New Zealand's worst drought in decades has officially expanded to the South Island.
The usually rain-soaked north-west of the South Island was included in the drought listing today.
Last week the government declared the entire North Island drought stricken.
The area's 380 dairy farmers have dried off their milking herds up to two months early.
Farmer Katie Milne says the loss of income combined with soaring feed costs could set some farmers back $180,000.
The government says the drought is likely to cost the economy close to $1.6 billion.
© ABC 2013
11:51 EDT Seven days out, forecasts still suggest Christmas Day in Australia will be typically hot, humid and thundery in the north, windy in the south, wet in the southeast and dry on the west coast.