Fairfax Media Network

Weather News

NZ suffers worst drought in 30 years

New Zealand correspondent Dominique Schwartz, Friday March 15, 2013 - 13:18 EDT

The New Zealand Government has announced that the entire North Island is now officially in a state of drought.

Drought has been declared in ever more regions of the North Island over the past four weeks.

The Primary Industries Minister, Nathan Guy, has announced on Friday that the whole of the island is officially drought-stricken, with farmers facing their worst conditions in 30 years.

Parts of the usually rain-soaked South Island are now on drought-watch.

Federated Farmers spokesman Tony Wilding, who runs a farm in the dairy heartland of Waikato on the North Island, says the impact on farmers has been devastating.

"It's as dry as it ever has been since 1942," he said.

"We've got 30 years of records and none of them come close to this."

Mr Wilding says his farm has had only 23 millimetres of rain this year - an eighth of the average rainfall.

Milk production is down by a fifth in some areas, stock feed is being transported from the South to the North Island, and farmers are selling their animals.

Drought has already cost the country an estimated $1 billion.


© ABC 2013

More breaking news

ABC News
Sydney Morning Herald
National Nine News
News Limited

Display Your Local Weather

Weather News

It's Build-Up time in the NT

15:06 EDT

When humidity starts to rise and the fish start to bite in the Northern Territory, the locals know the Build-Up is here.

Spring - a season of contrast

11:14 EDT

Spring is a season of significant weather variations, ranging from frosty mornings to oppressive heat.

Hopes new weather stations for Canberra's wine region will reduce disease

08:09 EDT

Canberra's winemakers are hoping new weather stations will provide more reliable data for the region.