27 Apr 2009

Drought relief for Hawke's Bay farmers

8:02 pm on 27 April 2009

A medium-level drought has been declared for Hawke's Bay, despite rain in many parts of New Zealand in recent days.

Agriculture Minister David Carter has announced a drought relief package for Hawke's Bay farmers.

Mr Carter says the region is 60% down on normal rainfall levels over the past seven months, stunting pasture growth and forcing stock sales.

Federated Farmers Hawke's Bay president Kevin Mitchell says the package will lift the spirits of struggling farmers.

Mr Mitchell says specialist expertise for coping in drought conditions and financial advice offered is a huge help and a morale boost for farmers.

The relief follows similar offers to farmers in Gisborne and Wairoa last week.