Tasman district fires and drought 2019
In February 2019, the Tasman district was affected by a major fire and a drought. Check the advice and information given during the emergency, which ended on 27 February.
On this page:
- Latest newsletter update
- Keep informed, email alerts, previous media releases and newsletters
- Civil Defence
- Rural Support Trust for farmers
- Federated Farmers' Feedline open
- Dealing with dry conditions
Drought resources for the Tasman district
- Drought information for Tasman horticulturists [PDF, 2.2 MB]
- Drought information for Tasman livestock owners [PDF, 856 KB]
- Animal welfare - from fire to drought February 2019 [PDF, 187 KB]
For the most up-to-date information about the fires, go to:
The Rural Support Trust helps farmers and provides access to networks, services, and government funding following an adverse event to help you get back on your feet.
For farm advice and support, contact the Top of the South Rural Support Trust on 0800 78 72 54. All calls are confidential and free.
If it's an emergency and you're concerned about the safety of people, call 111.
Federated Farmers has opened its Feedline to support farmers who have been affected by the fires and need extra feed or grazing for their animals.
Farmers who are short of feed, or who have feed to donate, can contact Federated Farmers on 0800 32 76 46.
12pm, 28 February 2019 – Day 23
While the state of emergency declaration has been lifted and notice of transition to recovery has been issued, there is still an extreme fire risk across the Nelson-Tasman region and we urge residents to stay on alert and be prepared to evacuate.
Have a plan in place that includes your animals. If you need to evacuate:
- Take pets with you – if you can do so safely – or take them to a safe place. Do not leave pets in cars.
- If you need to leave animals at your property, make sure they have access to 2 to 3 days of food and water, are in a safe space (such as a paddock with little to no grass or near a waterway) and can move to avoid danger.
- Consider opening gates within your property so that outdoor animals can move away from the fire. Do not open gates on to roads.
- Remove any flammable or heat-sensitive gear from your animals while the fire risk is still high, especially those with polyester or metal on them like horse rugs and halters.
The Richmond Showgrounds has returned to normal operations – the animal shelter has closed.
For concerns about animals, phone the MPI animal welfare line – 0800 00 83 33.
What are my options for stock?
You have some options to help your animals get through a drought in good condition.
If you don’t have enough feed or water, buying it in is possible. But plan for the long run. What if there is no rain in a month, for example? What are your trigger points to make decisions? You might be surprised at how much water animals need per day, especially when the weather is hot. If you can’t provide enough food and water to keep your animals healthy and in good condition, you will need to reduce the number of animals on your block.
See if you can have animals moved somewhere with less pressure on water or feed. Talk to friends and neighbours, or speak to Federated Farmers who match grazing and feed needed with offers from farms around the region in adverse events. You will need to arrange a contract with the grazing provider and organise the transport.
Depending on your situation, you may need to look at selling your animals or sending them to the works. There can be a backlog of several weeks, and it’s easier to sell animals in good condition, so make this decision sooner rather than later.
You will need to arrange transport for them, by you or a transport company, and you must make sure they are in a fit state to transport.
There is a list of works and agents on our animal welfare and drought information sheet:
Animal welfare and drought information for Nelson-Tasman [PDF, 187 KB]
Feed and grazing requests – Federated Farmers
The feedline service is available to anyone with stock. You don’t have to be a Federated Farmers member to use this service.
- Farmer support and feedline
- or phone 0800 32 76 46, option 2
Federated Farmers has put out a member’s advisory today requesting extra grazing. So do call or mail in and see what may be available.
- Advice about weathering a drought
- Codes of welfare for standards of care required for animals
- For animal welfare concerns phone 0800 00 83 33 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bringing in extra water
For more information on water contact the Tasman District Council (TDC) 24-hours:
- 03 543-8400
You can source water from areas where restrictions are not currently in effect. You will need to contact a tanker company to arrange this. These sites are already very busy.
For stock water, you’ll need to contact a tanker company/water carrier company to have it delivered. This is at your own cost to take care of your animals.
Water rationing in Wakefield and Richmond means that water tankers cannot fill up in the normally permitted sites. Tapawera’s water site is rationed only for human health needs (by application only), not for stock. Normal permits for Tapawera are no longer valid. Nelson is moving into further rationing and has stopped issuing permits.
TDC reminds people that filling up tanks or containers on the Wakefield and Richmond taps is not permitted. They will take steps to prosecute anyone putting the water supply at risk.
Previous media releases and newsletters
22 February [PDF, 129 KB]
21 February [PDF, 102 KB]
19 February [PDF, 154 KB]
18 February [PDF, 272 KB]
17 February [PDF, 121 KB]
16 February [PDF, 58 KB]
15 February pm [PDF, 59 KB]
15 February am [PDF, 120 KB]
14 February [PDF, 110 KB]
13 February [PDF, 115 KB]
10 February: Animal welfare issues
9 February: Information about the Tasman fires