Adverse Event Information and Support for Farmers

Farmer Support

If you are struggling and need support, please do not hesitate to contact the Rural Support Trust on 0800 787 254. If there has been a declared medium scale adverse event in your area, the Rural Support Trust will have received additional funding to support farmers (note this doesn't mean purchasing feed) and there will be options from the IRD for tax relief. 


We are working with the local Southern Wellness Activity Team to co-ordinate the response and recovery in Southern Otago and Southland. 

We are now taking registrations for a Southern "Farmy Army" and registering interest from farmers who could do with help getting basic but time consuming jobs taken care of by the "Farmy Army'

To register for the Farmy Army -
Click Here  

To register for clean up help by the Farmy Army - Click Here

If you have registered for the Farmy Army, please see below

Meeting Points:
Please look to arrive between 9.30am – 10.00am on Saturday and Sunday
Edendale Rugby Club 
Riversdale Community Center 
Those that have indicated “Other” will be contacted directly via phone to advise.

What you need to bring:
Rain is forecast over the weekend so please come prepared. You will also need a packed lunch and personal protective equipment including gloves, boots, eye protection, warm clothing, and wet weather gear
If you have indicated, you can assist with fence repairs please bring your own fencing equipment.
We ask that no one brings heavy machinery such as tractors at this early stage.

Understanding your Health & Safety requirement
Volunteers in the workplace must: 
• Take reasonable care of their own health and safety and that of others. 
• Cooperate with any reasonable health and safety instructions given by the organiser or farm owner and/ or person(s) directing their work.
• Report any health and safety risks and events to the farmer and/or person(s) directing their work.
Volunteers can stop working or leave a property at any time they feel unsafe in the work they are asked to do.

Government Support

When adverse events occur, whether a local scale emergency declaration in an area or a medium scale event or larger that is declared by the Ministry for Primary Industries, certain recovery measures (depending on the scale of the event) are available. For more information on this assistance, click here .

Rural Support Trust

The Rural Support Trust is there to help, working along side you, in a natural disaster such as a drought. They can help with your application for financial assistance, provide support, and connect you to other services should you need them.  Call them on 0800 787 254 or click here  to go to their website. All calls are free, local, and confidential. If they don't answer first go, leave a message and they will get back to you. This line is open to all rural people, not just farm and business owners.


The DairyNZ website has tools and information for managing your dairy farm through drought as well more tools on planning ahead. They also have resources for farms experiencing low pasture growth due to high rainfall and how to future proof your system for coming seasons. 

Beef + Lamb New Zealand

Beef + Lamb New Zealand has an Extreme Dry Management Tool kit available on their website for drystock farmers, as well as additional information on animal welfare, supplementary feeding, and planning ahead.

Staff Management

As is the case in these situations, due to the financial hardship of drought, you may need advice on what to do with staff if you can't continue to pay them during this period. For our members, you can call 0800 327 646 who can connect you to the Member Employment Lawyer free service. Alternatively, you can see the redundancy and other employment factsheets available on our employment page. For non-members, you can contact the Rural Support Trust for more advice and information or an independent lawyer.