Lower North Island, West Coast, Otago and Southland drought 2018
Support and assistance available if you've been affected by the Lower North Island, West Coast, Otago and Southland drought in 2018.
Help for farmers
If you're a farmer who's been affected by the drought, you may be able to get a Rural Assistance Payment. You must be in an area run by the following Councils:
- New Plymouth District Council
- Stratford District Council
- South Taranaki District Council
- Rangitikei District Council
- Manawatu District Council
- Palmerston North City Council
- Horowhenua District Council
- Kapiti Coast District Council
- Upper Hutt City Council
- Porirua City Council
- Wellington City Council
- Hutt City Council
- Buller District Council
- Grey District Council
- Southland District Council
- Invercargill City Council
- Gore District Council
- Clutha District Council
- Central Otago District Council
- Queenstown Lakes District Council.
Rural Assistance Payments are available from 22 January 2018 to 21 January 2019.
Your local Rural Support Trust Coordinator can provide more information about what you may be able to get and help you with the application process. You can contact the Rural Support Trust on 0800 787 254
Help for non-farmers
If you're not a farmer (eg, you're a farm worker or rural contractor) and you've been affected by the drought, you can contact us to find out what help you may be able to get.
Other help from us
If you can't meet your basic living costs or need something and you can’t afford to pay for it now, we may be able to help. Contact us to discuss your situation and we'll work out the best way to help you.
You can also contact us if you:
- would like assistance
- aren’t sure if you can get assistance
- are struggling to support yourself or your family
- would like more information.
Help from other organisations
Rural Support Trusts
If you live in a rural community and are concerned about your farm, a friend, a neighbour, a worker, or just need a private chat, you can:
- contact your local Rural Support Trust on 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP), or
- visit the Rural Support Trust website
They will point in the right direction for advice or information. Their services are free and confidential.
Ministry for Primary Industries
The Ministry for Primary Industries co-ordinates the Government's response to adverse events affecting the rural community. They work with various agencies (eg, Rural Support Trusts and Councils) to monitor conditions throughout New Zealand on a regular basis, and advise Government accordingly.
Information about the current drought and how to deal with drought conditions can be found on the Ministry for Primary Industries website
If you're a farmer who's been affected by the drought, Inland Revenue may offer tax relief and income assistance - it will depend on your personal circumstances. If you're concerned about tax payments, changes in income, or refunds, you can:
- contact your accountant
- call Inland Revenue's emergency helpline 0800 473 566
- visit the Inland Revenue website
If you or one of your employees has been injured as a result of the drought, ACC will work with you and/or your employee to ensure a safe return to work. They'll also work with businesses and individuals that have any concerns about levy related matters as a result of the drought.
You can contact their Business Service Centre on 0800 222 776