17 Apr 2013

Drought getting worse in some areas, ministry warns

6:20 pm on 17 April 2013

The Ministry for Primary Industries is warning the drought is worsening in places, despite good rainfall in some regions around New Zealand.

Farmers in the Bay of Plenty say the rain they have had over the past two days will be enough to break the drought over much of the region, but more is needed.

However, the ministry's resource policy manager for the North Island said on Wednesday that Hawke's Bay is one area that has not had a lot of rain.

Stuart Anderson said the drought has been a serious event, and it will take between six and eight weeks for pasture to recover.

"What's really important is that we have a more normal pattern of rainfall from here, so we have continual periods of good rain and the temperatures remain mild enough for the pasture to grow and recover. But yes, it is a long process - many weeks."

Mr Anderson said it is for the minister to decide when the drought declaration, which expires at the end of September, should be lifted. He said the effects of the drought in some cases would be felt for years.