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Published: 2010-04-08 00:00:00

Environment Waikato chairman Peter Buckley says the regional council will work closely with the Government and other agencies to help support farmers through drought conditions in the region.

Mr Buckley was commenting after Agriculture Minister David Carter declared that the Waikato, and a number of other Upper North Island areas, were medium-level drought zones.

"We are all in this together," said Mr Buckley, himself a north Waikato dairy farmer whose property has been affected by the dry conditions.

"We will work closely with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Rural Support Trust, DairyNZ, Federated Farmers and others on managing the way we collectively support farmers and the rest of the community during this dry period.

"Farming is of vital importance to our region and support for farmers is important to help them and to help ensure the health of the wider community."

Mr Buckley will next Tuesday chair a meeting at EW of agencies involved in responding to the drought conditions in the Waikato.

"There we’ll be looking further at the detail of what we can do practically to help farmers in those areas affected by drought."

· The Rural Support Trust’s free calling number in the Waikato is 0800 787 254.