Drought recovery grant – Northland

Need help with transport costs of supplementary feed?

Thanks to funding from the Ministry for Primary Industries, we have $250,000 to help Northland livestock owners mitigate animal welfare issues.

Was your pasture slow to recover due to low autumn rainfall? You can apply for a partial reimbursement of transport costs for supplementary feed and/or cartage of livestock for grazing.

If you meet the following criteria, you may be eligible to receive a partial reimbursement of 90% of transport costs, up to a maximum of $5,000 per business.

Who can apply? Criteria

Anyone in Northland who lives rurally, owns livestock and has an effective grazing area of 20ha or more can apply.

Other criteria:

  • Slow recovery of pasture due to low autumn rainfall 
  • A feed plan has been undertaken with DairyNZ or Beef + Lamb
  • One claim per farm (can be the transport of feed and transport of livestock).

Apply now button.

Frequently asked questions

What if I don’t meet the criteria?

If you have animal welfare issues due to extenuating circumstances from the drought or Covid-19, we may be able to help – please email [email protected] with ‘Drought Recovery Grant eligibility’ in the subject line.

I can’t source feed, who can help?

Feed coordinators have been appointed by MPI to help connect farmers with available sources of feed. They are working with the primary sector groups and trusts in each region. Farmers and livestock owners can register by completing the 'Feed Coordination Service - I Need Feed' form

To use this service, you need to have a feed budget for the next few months so that they can help you get through.

I have extra feed, how can I help?

If you have feed to donate or sell, complete the Feed Coordination Service - I Have Feed to Sell or Donate form and an MPI feed coordinator will be in touch.

I don’t have a feed plan, how do I get one?

DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb provide free planning support. Call the free winter feed planning service to talk through your options:

  • DairyNZ | 0800 4 DairyNZ (0800 43 24 79 69)
  • Beef + Lamb | 0800 BEEFLAMB (0800 23 33 52)

Why doesn’t the fund cover the cost of feed?

Access to feed is one of the biggest problems facing drought-affected farmers right now. Feed is in very short supply in the North Island, so this funding will go towards subsidising the transport costs of getting feed from (but not limited to) the South Island.

What were the funding limits based on?

We want the fund to support as many people as possible through this difficult time. 

What if I’ve already purchased feed?

Retrospective applications for the transport of feed will be considered, from as early as 1 January 2020.

How many loads can I apply for?

The funding can be claimed for transport of multiple loads of feed, but is only available once per business group/farm.

How long will the fund be available?

The fund is a first-in-first-served basis until the grant is exhausted – but by no later than 20 November 2020.

Once I apply, when will I know if my application has been successful?

Northland Regional Council will be in contact within three weeks of applying. If successful, your reimbursement will be paid within one month of application.

Who makes the decision?

A decision panel will meet once a week to review the applications. Provided the criteria is met, 90% of transport costs will be reimbursed up to a maximum of $5,000.

Doesn’t helping farmers get feed now penalise farmers who made earlier decisions?

We realise that the process is unfair for people who have made the decision to cull, however we are trying to do the best with the funds we now have available.

What about lifestyle/smaller land holdings?

We recognise smaller land holdings also need support, from advice on feed and stock management through to funding; however, landowners on lifestyle farming blocks are on a significantly smaller scale to commercial farms and are unlikely to buy feed in bulk form. Lifestyle block owners are also likely to have an additional off-farm income.

If farmers have received donated feed, can they apply for the fund?

The fund is not intended to cover the cost of transport for donated feed, and it creates a situation of inequity if this was the case.


The privacy of applicants, and the deliberations of the Decision Panel are strictly confidential. A high-level summary report will be provided to MPI, but the recipients of the funding will not be disclosed outside the decision panel, administration and any associated internal audit processes.

Further information

Email: [email protected]

Other support available

MPI Logo source: www.mpi.govt.nz