1 Mar 2013

Govt asked to declare Waikato region in drought

6:53 pm on 1 March 2013

The Waikato region is to ask the Government to declare a drought.

It will become the second region to be officially in drought following a declaration in Northland on Wednesday.

The area to be covered is from South Auckland to Turangi and includes the Rotorua District and Rerewhaakaaitu.

The Waikato Regional Drought Committee says they are getting calls from distressed farmers.

It says soil moisture is worse than the same time at the 2008 drought, and no rain is forecast in the foreseeable future.

A drought declaration from the Minister for Primary Industries triggers direct assistance such as tax relief and special welfare payments.