The entire North Island has officially been declared a drought zone.
The announcement was made on a Manawatu sheep and beef farm by Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy this morning.
Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Hawkes Bay have already been declared to be in drought.
Manawatu, Rangitikei, Taranaki, East Coast, Wairarapa and Wellington have now been added to that list.
The declaration means that farmers in these regions will be entitled to receive Government assistance.
The drought is predicted to cost the economy $1 billion as hard-hit farmers struggle to feed stock.
Wellington is estimated to have just 18 days of water left while Aucklanders are being warned about the impact of the city’s driest summer in 50 years.
We’ll have a full update on the situation with NZ @ Noon
WW and NZHerald