22 Apr 2013

Drought declarations stay until May at least: Guy

2:44 pm on 22 April 2013

The Primary Industries Minister says the current drought declarations covering the whole of the North Island and the west coast of the South Island will stay in place until next month at least.

Rain over the past week has restored soil moisture levels and effectively broken the drought in some areas, notably the Bay of Plenty.

But Nathan Guy said other areas were still well short of the mositure they needed to get them through the winter.

And he would be taking advice from his Ministry as well as NIWA and rural support trusts before reviewing the drought status of different regions.

Mr Guy said irrespective of the regions' drought status, government support packages would remain in place until September, to cover the downstream effects of the drought on farmer and grower incomes.