NZ drought spreads to South IslandBy New Zealand correspondent Dominique Schwartz, Friday March 22, 2013 - 18:11 EDT
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
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The weather bureau is warning Tasmanians of a wet and windy week ahead after gusts associated with a cold front caused widespread power outages.
A deep cold front has swept through Melbourne and parts of southern Victoria, uprooting trees and damaging buildings with wind gusts of more than 100 kilometres per hour (kph).
Widespread rainfall is expected to impact NSW from Saturday as two systems interact with one another from the north and west.