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Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced funding of half a million dollars to the Hawke’s Bay Mayoral Drought Relief Fund.

Mr O’Connor says the funding is to help farmers facing one of the worst droughts in living memory.

The regions local body leaders all sent the Minister a letter this week asking him to contribute to the Fund.

Mr O’Connor said access to feed is the biggest acute issue facing drought-affected farmers right now.

He said feed is in very short supply in the North Island, so most has to be shipped up from the South, and the funding will go towards subsidising transport costs.

O’Connor is currently in the region, and will today will visit farmers across the region and learn first-hand from farmers about the profound challenges of this kind of drought.


Police arrested 16 people and seized around $1,000,000 in assets following the execution of search warrants across Hawke’s Bay yesterday.

The warrants followed a significant operation by the Hawke’s Bay Organised Crime Unit, targeting the sale of methamphetamine and cannabis by an organised crime group.

Detective Inspector Mike Foster said the majority of those arrested were either patched members of the Mongrel Mob or their associates.

Most of those arrested, who range in age from 18 to 46, will be appearing in Hastings District Court today, facing a number of serious drug and firearms charges.

Police located methamphetamine, cash, cannabis and 10 firearms, with a house, vehicles and motorbikes, and around $400,000 in cash amongst the assets restrained.

Mr Foster said the warrants were the culmination of an ongoing operation by the Organised Crime Unit into the sale of methamphetamine and cannabis throughout Hawke’s Bay.

He said these organised criminal groups cause considerable harm in our communities, making money through illegal activity, and prey on the most vulnerable members of the community to do so.


A rural road in Central Hawke’s Bay is currently closed.

Tourere Road was yesterday closed to traffic due to an underslip about 8km from the Ngahape Road intersection.

The CHB District Council says the nature of the road closure means they are not able to provide an estimated reopening date, however more detail will be provided once a thorough investigation has taken place.

Detours have been established.