The rain of the last few days has brought some relief to parched paddocks but the week leading up to Christmas could be a trying time for some regions.
The Niwa drought monitor index highlights the Manawatū/Horowhenua/Rangitīkei area as especially hard hit.
National’s primary industries spokesman Nathan Guy said Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor should declare a drought now, based on what the index indicated, but O’Connor said the criteria for classifying the conditions as a medium or large scale adverse event had not been met.
“We have a clear set of guidelines for responding to drought, which Mr Guy will know as he was a minister with responsibilities for such events in the previous Government. Officials are briefing me regularly,” O’Connor said in a statement.