Banking on empathy

Our community is in drought and we need our banks to be patient as farmers adapt to the worsening situation, says Federated Farmers Golden Bay. 

Provincial president Wayne Langford has been taking calls from bank managers who are beginning to process farmers’ claims.  Some appear to be uncertain about whether a drought has been officially declared - but there should be no doubt now.

“Bank managers need to understand we are well past that announcement in early February.  Perhaps the confusion is over a drought being declared a medium scale adverse event. 

“Medium scale relates to the size of the event , not the intensity – we are in drought. It is officially a ‘medium scale event – drought’. Drought is declared by the Minister for Agriculture based on recommendations from a local group of key stakeholders.”

Both the Takaka and Aorere rivers are running at record low levels.  They haven’t measured this low in 80-plus years of recording, Wayne says. 

“Pressure is building on farmers with some farms drying off partial or complete herds due to the lack of rain.

"I suggest farmers work on a plan with the bank manager to get right through until the grass takes off again in October. Forward planning will achieve the best results for both the farmer and the banks,” Wayne says.

"It’s a tough time out there for all involved. It's important we all look after each other so we can get through events like this together in one piece."