27 Feb 2015

Drought confirmed in parts of Wairarapa

6:59 pm on 27 February 2015

Wairarapa mayors and farmers are asking the Ministry for Primary Industries to declare a localised drought, the first stage of a formal state of drought declaration.

Dry farm land in Wairarapa, east of Masterton.

Dry farm land in Wairarapa, east of Masterton. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

The head of catchment management for the Greater Wellington Regional Council, Wayne O'Donnell, said if the dry conditions continued, they would then ask the ministry to declare a medium level drought.

He said farmers facing problems should talk to the Rural Support Trust, their industry representatives, accountants and banks.

Inland Revenue said it would consider refunding overpaid provisional tax or allowing early withdrawals from the income equalisation scheme by Wairarapa farmers.

Minimal rain is expected in the next two weeks, severely restricting farmers' ability to build up pasture going into the winter.

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