The dry weather that's been plaguing farmers on the west coast north of Auckland is officially a drought.
Councils from Auckland to the Far North have met the Ministry for Primary Industries, Fonterra and farming sector groups and decided to classify a localised drought, from Kaukapakapa north.
Northland Rural Support Trust co-ordinator Julie Jonker said that would trigger tax concessions, and some legal leeway for those involved in sale contracts.
"This would affect people like graziers, or sale and purchase agreements where you have to have left a certain ground cover or a certain amount of supplement available," Ms Jonker said.
"It does mean that there's a little bit of leeway there."
Many farmers had moved their autumn-calving cows to the east of Northland for grazing, and could soon need to look outside the region for feed, Ms Jonker said.