Lifestyle block owners have been quick to snap-up a one-off drought relief special of up to 15 bales to combat feed shortages.

By late Thursday and barely 24 hours after the offer was made about 1260 bales had been sold, said Hawke's Bay Regional Council communications adviser and Rural Advisory Group spokeswoman Jenny Keown.

Under the scheme, the block owners would buy the feed, but transport costs would be met by drought relief funding.

Most were understood to be taking up the maximum available of 15 bales per block-owner.


Further relief catering to the needs of commercial farm operations is expected to be available once criteria are confirmed on Friday.

The project was also providing some benefit for Napier Tech rugby players whose training pattern now includes a job unloading bales.

Keown said the project is the first use of the Hawke's Bay Drought Fund, which had reached $1 million.

The lifestyle scheme was announced on the council and Hawke's Bay Drought Facebook pages, which also carried details of hay being donated by farmers in Horowhenua and expected in Hawke's Bay today.