| Latest Rural News | Wednesday March 6 2013 10:24
There may be no relief anytime soon for drought-affected parts of New Zealand.
NIWA's Dr Brett Mullin, says in the next three months temperatures are expected to be average to above temperatures in the North Island and above average in the South Island.
He says with rainfall levels likely to be only near normal in the next three months though, it could take some time for dry part of the country to recover.
Earlier a state of drought was officially declared in Auckland south of the Harbour Bridge, as well as the Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Hawke's Bay regions.
The announcement was made by Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy.
The area covered includes the Auckland Council area south of the Harbour Bridge, and all of the Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Hawke's Bay Regional Council areas, including Coromandel and Taupo.
The minister says the declaration is recognition that farmers across the North Island are facing extremely difficult conditions, and means that extra Government funding will now be available to Rural Support Trusts.
Labour MP Damien O'Connor says farmers are facing the prospect of another few weeks without rain.
He says when areas like the West Coast are potentially heading into drought, you know that there are issues, and the Government must check it's doing all it can to support those in need.