Press Release – Federated Farmers
Federated Farmers Manawatu-Rangitikei yesterday pressed for a medium scale adverse event to be declared due to drought. A formal declaration is anticipated next week.7 March 2013
Manawatu and Rangitikei farmers request drought status
Federated Farmers Manawatu-Rangitikei yesterday pressed for a medium scale adverse event to be declared due to drought. A formal declaration is anticipated next week.
“Everyone in the room felt that the Manawatu and especially Rangitikei are in a bad way,” says Andrew Hoggard,” Federated Farmers Manawatu-Rangitikei provincial president.
“Bar the formal declaration, The Rural Support Trust, Beef+Lamb NZ, DairyNZ and the regional council pretty much agreed with us that this is drought.
“We believe we will be grouped together with other regions for a formal announcement next week. We’ll just have to wait a few days longer for the bureaucracy to do its thing.
“As it is tough can I please ask radio hosts to pull up callers who say farmers are ‘whingers seeking hand outs’.
“Comments like these hurt because farmers work hard to do the best they can for their families and their livestock.
“A Rural Assistance Payment (RAP) is only for farmers who have no income, no savings and literally no means to buy a loaf of bread. Anyone qualifying for one will be on the absolute brink.
“A RAP is the same as the dole so Work and Income tests farm and off-farm income as well as trusts.
“In January 2011, during the 2010/11 drought, way fewer than 100 farmers in New Zealand got a RAP.
“Speaking to Katie Milne, our national adverse events spokesperson, she gave me an idea of how desperate things are in her patch. Some of her famers are less worried about feed than getting their stock a daily drink.
“For the vast majority of us an adverse event declaration unlocks recognition, advisory services and a more tolerant Inland Revenue, as long as your accountant lines that up.
“We love farming but like any occupation you have your low points and this is one right now. It is why a formal declaration cannot come quickly enough for our members.
“People also need to know that farmers are not after hand-outs only a little understanding,” Mr Hoggard concluded.