Support for Rural communities

This page will hold information and advice for people in rural areas who are impacted by unprecedented events.

We will add information to this page as it becomes available.


The information below is relevant for the COVID-19 pandemic event.

Stock feed planning Service:

Industry groups and MPI have launched a stock feed planning service for all farmers nation-wide.
Toll free numbers – Drystock farmers call 0800 BEEFLAMB (0800 233 352), dairy sector 0800 4DAIRYNZ (0800 4 324 7969).

Joint media release

Psycholigical Support Service:

Rural Support Trusts continue to provide its psychosocial support service: 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP) by talking over the phone or on skype/zoom during lockdown.  This can help connect farming families with professionals including farming or business advice, suppliers, financial information, health, and counselling services. Their services are free and confidential, and they can still make connections while NZ is self-isolating.


There is more information on MPI’s COVID-19 & Primary Industries FAQ webpage:

Tararua District Drought

Tararua District recently experienced a critical water shortage following an extended period of drought-like weather.

A medium-scale adverse event (drought) was declared for the Tararua District. Council and key rural representatives contributed to the application for this declaration, which demonstrates just how severe conditions are getting. Further information can be found here

Register for a water delivery

Tararua District Council and the Rural Support Trust are working with people in rural areas to make sure that they are able to source water for their household needs. Please note, we are prioritising those with the highest needs. 

We are also providing advice and assistance for those highly impacted by the water shortage and we can link people to support if they are not in a financial position to pay for a water delivery. 

Click here to register your details with us

Information and advice

There are a number of organisations that are working together to manage this event and provide support. You can contact these organisations directly or register your details with us to be referred to the organisation best suited for you.  

  • Jane Tylee, Rural Support Trust – 027 367 3672
  • Sally Dryland, Federated Farmers – 027 423 8997
  • Mike Milburn, Dairy NZ – 027 702 3083
  • Ben Burgess, Fonterra – 027 540 4190
  • Emma Harvey, Beef & Lamb NZ – 027 431 7626

Current situation

The key message to people in rural areas continues to be - if you have no water, let us know.

Council is coordinating with certified water suppliers to deliver water to those who need it most. While there is a cost to water deliveries, Council is working alongside the Rural Support Trust and a number of organisations to provide advice and where necessary, links to financial support.

To register your needs, go to

Also, a small reminder to ensure water collection containers are thoroughly cleaned and water from untreated sources is boiled before use.

For all other drought related matters, rural residents may contact Rural Support Trust Tararua Coordinator Jane Tylee on 027 367 3672 or visit the Ministry for Primary Industries website where they have information and advice for dealing with drought conditions: