'Famously wet West Coast' in drought

Author
Newstalk ZB Staff,
Section
Rural,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 10 January 2018, 12:30PM
The Grey and Buller districts are the latest areas to be affected by drought. (Photo \ Duncan Brown)
The Grey and Buller districts are the latest areas to be affected by drought. (Photo \ Duncan Brown)

The "famously wet West Coast" has had a hot and dry start to summer which has left the Grey and Buller districts in drought.

Hot, dry weather across parts of the lower North Island had been classified as a medium-scale adverse event.

That has now been extended to include the Buller and Grey districts.

Agriculture and Rural Communities Minister Damien O'Connor says the famously wet West Coast has been missing out on much-needed rain.

"On the back of an extremely wet winter that left many farmers unable to grow pasture or crops for spring, the early and unusual dry start to summer turned West Coast pastures from swamp to concrete."

The Government is keeping a watch on neighbouring areas, including Murchison, which have also missed out on the rain.

The medium-scale classification gives the local Rural Support Trust and other recovery organisations a funding boost of up to $50,000 to help serve their communities.

There could be some relief on the way, with periods of heavy rain set to hit the area later this week.

- additional reporting, NZN

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