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New Zealand government offers financial help for growers affected by drought

Northland farmers and growers affected by the drought now have access to rural assistance payments to help ease financial pressures. Up to $500,000 has been made available for farmers and growers in the region along with those in parts of the Auckland region.

Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni made the announcement on March 1. "We want farmers and growers to know they can ask for help and there may be support available to them," she told

The payments are equal to Jobseeker support and follow an $80,000 support package announced on February 11 when Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor declared a medium-scale adverse weather event for areas north of the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

That funding is to help the Northland Rural Support Trust to facilitate recovery, run events to help get farmers off-farm and reduce isolation, provide education and technical advice for farmers, and provide one-to-one care as needed.

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