The Government is offering an extra $3 million to help farmers and growers recover from drought, Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor announced today.
"There was an overwhelming response from farmers when we launched the Drought Recovery Advice Fund so we've put more money in to help meet the need," O'Connor said.
Today's announcement brought the total amount of government funding pledged to rural communities affected by drought to more than $19m so far this year, much of which has been specifically targeted at farmers.
The extra funding would provide support to more farmers and growers with professional advice to help them recover from the drought, and better prepare their farm businesses for any similar events in future, O'Connor said.
The advice would also help farmers to develop the mandatory freshwater modules of their farm environment plans.
"These modules are a key aspect from the Action for Healthy Waterways - our extensive reform package announced earlier this month to make sure we have clean water to drink and irrigation to support a sustainable economy," O'Connor said.
"Farmers and growers have shown that they are able to roll with the punches and most have been well-prepared for these types of events, but as the months go by without significant rain in many parts of the country, there is a cumulative impact."
Significant drought had affected many parts of New Zealand and the fund would provide relief across all of the North Island, the Chatham Islands, Christchurch, Marlborough, Nelson, Tasman, Selwyn, Kaikoura, and Waimakariri districts and regions.
"The Government knows our farmers, growers and producers will play a critical role in New Zealand's economic recovery from Covid-19, so helping reduce pressure on farmers and their families, plan for the future, and drive regional recovery efforts is a priority for us," O'Connor said.
The fund, now totalling $3.5m, would be managed by the Ministry for Primary Industries and would pay for recovery advisory services in drought-affected regions.
Funds would be allocated to those who already applied before it was closed on Friday, June 12.
Around 1000 people applied, and successful applicants would be notified by June 30.