4 Mar 2013

Rain not enough to break drought

7:19 am on 4 March 2013

Light rain in some parched parts of the North Island over the weekend has done nothing to ease drought conditions.

The MetService says there's no relief is in sight, with no significant rain forecast for at least a week.

Drought was declared last week in Northland, and Waikato has also asked the Government to recognise that region and parts of South Auckland and the Rotorua area as a drought zone.

Hawke's Bay regional council has called a drought meeting for that region on Tuesday.

Waikato Rural Support Trust chairman Neil Bateup said farmers there had only just recovered from the effects of droughts in 2008 and 2010, but in some ways are better prepared this time.

He said farmers are making decisions earlier this year than they did in the previous droughts and have better stocks of feed.

Waikato farmer Peter Buckley says there had been very light rain on his farm on Sunday but it would take sustained rain over a period of at least a week to break the region's drought.