New Zealand's umbrella rural health organisation will move to shut down if it does not receive government funding on Thursday.

The Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand (RHAANZ) agreed last week that it would cease operating should the government not provide core funding support for it.

Chief executive Michelle Thompson said RHAANZ first presented a funding bid to Rural Communities Minister Damien O'Connor and Health Minister David Clark in November, but as of last week had not had an answer.

"Our financial situation is now precarious," Ms Thompson said.


"More than 600,000 people live in rural New Zealand, easily the equivalent of the country's second-largest city. We feed New Zealanders three times a day, not with junk food but with good-quality protein, fresh fruit and vegetables.

"One in every five dollars generated in the economy either directly or indirectly comes from the agri-food sector.

"Yet it does not feel like we get anywhere near this level of resourcing or attention.

"The endless gnawing away at services for rural communities has to stop. Rural Kiwis have lost their hospitals and schools. We are facing under-funded health services, emergency services, midwives and airports."

Ms Thompson and RHAANZ chairman Martin London will meet Mr O'Connor next Thursday to discuss the government's funding offer.

"RHAANZ has a vital function in bringing a cross-sector rural health, rural industry and rural community voice to both enunciate rural health issues and to identify and resource solutions," she added.

"For the organisation to disappear from the scene, at a time when rural health itself is as precarious as ever, would be a terrible loss of goodwill, synergy and expertise.

"There are only two other national rural health alliances in the world, and both have received central funding in recognition of their value to both government and communities. New Zealand needs to follow that lead."