Flooding in rural Otago and Canterbury

as at 15 September 2017

Published on Saturday, July 22, 2017

Useful contacts for rural people affected by flooding:


What does a medium-scale event classification mean?

On August 1, Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy classified the Otago floods as a medium-scale event for Dunedin City, Clutha District, Waitaki District and Central Otago District.

This classification triggers funding to assist with recovery for rural communities impacted by the flooding. The total funding package of $800,000 is comprised of:

1. Funding of up to $500,000 allocated to Enhanced Taskforce Green to assist with cleanup both on farms and in urban areas. This is run by MSD.

2. A donation of $50,000 to the Dunedin Mayoral Fund, targeted at assisting people who cannot receive assistance through other avenues, such as insurance.

3. Funding specifically earmarked for supporting the primary sector’s recovery from the floods.

What is the funding earmarked for primary sector recovery being used for?

The funding (up to $250,000 for primary industries) will support the following activities:

  • Funding for a recovery coordinator – resourcing to coordinate recovery activities and information around the various organisations offering assistance and support.  (To date this role has been filled by David Cooper from Federated Farmers)
  • Facilitating advice for farm recovery planning – funding the provision of technical extension advice by industry groups in group settings, and one-on-one advice for a number of farmers, with an emphasis on feed budgeting, farm management and animal health after flooding.
  • Organising and supporting farmer social events – The aim of rural social events is to get people off the farm, and these events will often be used as an opportunity to provide technical extension advice to farmers.
  • Some privately organised events which are open to the rural and farming community and focussed on social support will be supported through this funding avenue. Details of these events will be compiled, updated and distributed.
  • Contracting farm recovery activities - MPI is contracting a number of parties including the Otago Rural Support Trust to provide the above recovery activities to farmers. The Trust will provide one-one-one support to anyone who is brought to their attention as needing welfare support.

Independently, the Otago Rural Support Trust has offered to provide a contribution towards professional feed budgeting advice for those who do not already have access to this service. The Trust is also providing access to mental health support if needed (Contact the Chair Gavan Herlihy via 0800 787 254).

What other activities are underway?

A component of this funding, particularly employment of a rural recovery coordinator, is aimed at integrating the work of the industry bodies (DairyNZ, Federated Farmers, Beef+Lamb NZ and processors) with the work of Councils (through their civil defence recovery managers), MPI and others.

The overall primary sector response has included:

1. Federated Farmers is coordinating requests for help and offers of assistance. The number to contact is the same as for feed 0800 327 646 (0800 FARMING), press for option 2. This includes providing a service for farmers who:

a. Are in need of, or have surplus feed or grazing.

b. Are in need of assistance for farm cleanup.

2. DairyNZ has a ‘flood webpage’ farm planning advice aimed at recovery from flooding (on the DairyNZ website).

3. DairyNZ is running a farm visit programme, mainly in the Taieri area, though also targeted in other flood areas to:

a. Give farmers information on the Rural Support Trust service; feed planning; and other support available.

b. Create a list of farmers who need/are seeking assistance for on-farm cleanup.

4. Beef&Lamb NZ has a ‘flood webpage’ with farm planning advice aimed at recovery from flooding (on the Beef&Lamb NZ website).

5. Beef&Lamb has developed Health and Safety checklists to ease the pressure on farmers getting volunteers on-farm. This is a similar template to those used in the Kaikoura Earthquake, checked and approved by Worksafe.

6. Industry bodies are working together to develop flood-specific farm decision-making advice. This includes DairyNZ guidance to assist farmers in establishing whether baleage is safe for use.

Your property

  • Assess damage to water supply and reticulation systems. Which stock water troughs are contaminated with silt and will need cleaning?
  • Assess damage to access lanes, tracks, gateways, culverts and fences. What clearing away of flood debris is needed?
  • Assess damage to pastures, the depth and type of silt.
  • Assess available non-flooded pastures and other undamaged feed reserves.
  • Accept help when offered, and ask for it if you need it.

Animal welfare

  • Stock that is particularly vulnerable – cows calving; ewes lambing; young stock - should be shifted to an area which is more accessible in case they need assistance, supplementary feed or veterinary treatment.
  • Pregnant animals closer to giving birth are at a higher risk of metabolic diseases such as sleepy sickness, milk fever or staggers. They need to get access to feed as soon as possible if flooding has prevented access to feed.
  • If you have insufficient supplementary feed contact Federated Farmers Helpline 0800 FARMING.
  • If you need assistance please contact MPI Animal Welfare 0800 00 83 33
  • More detail on animal welfare is here
  • Refer to Dairy NZ for dairy farming advice www.dairynz.co.nz/farm/adverse-events/flood/

Boil water notices

Bring water to a rapid boil for at least one minute to make it safe to drink. Dairy farms which don’t use water heated above 70degC for plant and silo CIP need to follow instructions from your dairy company or your risk management procedures for dealing with non-compliant water (including boil water notices.

Otherwise, MPI recommends that farms use Sodium Hypochlorite (such as Ecolab XY12, FIL Grade Right, or other hypochlorite approved for farm dairies) in the final rinse at 5mls per 100 litres of water with the plant drained after rinsing; the same regime that farmers on water exclusion follow.

ORC compliance

The ORC has noted that affected farmers won’t be able to comply with some ORC rules while dealing with the aftermath of the flooding, and that farmers’ welfare and also their livestock’s welfare are the priorities right now.

Civil Defence payments

MSD has activated Civil Defence payments for people in areas that declared a state of emergency. More detail here: www.workandincome.govt.nz/products/a-z-benefits/civil-defence-payment.html

General Insurance advice

  • Safety first - please don't venture out to assess damage until it is safe to do so.
  • Lodge your claim as soon as you can, even though you may not have all the information.
  • Take notes and photos of all damage.
  • Talk with your insurer during the call about temporary accommodation support if needed.
  • Carry out emergency repairs such as making buildings safe and weatherproof. Take photos of any damage you’re repairing to add to your insurance claim.
  • Call your insurer before carrying out non-essential repairs.
  • If you need to throw items out, such as perished food, please take photos first.

There's help at hand

Take good care of yourself. Recovering from a flood is a big job. Learn how to recognise and care for anxiety, stress and fatigue. Call your local Rural Support Trust on 0800 787 254 if you are concerned about someone's stress levels or mental wellbeing.

Photo courtesy of Otago Regional Council.

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Author: Terri Anderson

Categories: National, Otago




News & Alerts

Updates from MPI on M. Bovis

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Author: Terri Anderson

The latest media release is here: http://www.mpi.govt.nz/news-and-resources/media-releases/further-moves-underway-to-contain-cattle-disease-mycoplasma-bovis/

In July 2017, MPI detected the bacterial infection Mycoplasma bovis in cattle at a South Canterbury dairy farm. Regular updates are here: www.mpi.govt.nz/protection-and-response/responding/alerts/mycoplasma-bovis/

Key contacts

Questions for MPI – 0800 00 83 33 or Email: MBovis2017_Liaison@mpi.govt.nz
Oamaru welfare contact – 027 447 4610 or Email: mbwellbeing@asurequality.com
Rural Support trust – 0800 787 254
Exotic Pest and Disease Hotline – 0800 80 99 66
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Categories: National, South Canterbury


Flooding in rural Otago and Canterbury

as at 15 September 2017

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Author: Terri Anderson

Useful contacts for rural people affected by flooding:

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Categories: National, Otago


Farmers joining shave-free for calving Rural Support Trust fundraiser

Donations will go to every RST nationwide - Click this link to donate https://givealittle.co.nz/fundraiser/shavefreecalving2017

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Author: Terri Anderson

“When your first calf of the season is born -you have a good, close, shave, then hang up your razor. When the final cow calves, THEN you can get that beard off.”

This is shave-free for calving, the fundraiser launched by Marlborough farmer Lyndon Campbell last year.

“In 2016 we raised nearly $3000 for the Top of the South Rural Support Trust, and we are very proud of that,” says Lyndon. “However we feel there is much room to grow by getting more farmers involved.”

This year he’s going national and is calling farmers from all over New Zealand to get hairy and scratchy along with him (the blokes, at least): https://www.facebook.com/shavefreecalving/?hc_ref=PAGES_TIMELINE&fref=nf


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Categories: National, Top of the South


Myrtle Rust

Kerikeri myrtle rust response –Daily update 11 May 2017

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Author: Julie Jonker

No significant news to report today.

Ground teams in Kerikeri have completed inspections of the areas extending 500m out from the two confirmed positive sites.

The situation remains that there are still just two known infected properties. The initial nursery in Kerikeri where the myrtle rust incursion was first detected and a neighbouring residential garden.

All other suspected finds that were sampled have tested negative for myrtle rust. This includes a sample from a nursery in south Auckland.

Today field personnel have partnered with local iwi to mount intensive inspections of coastal areas close to Kerikeri for signs of the fungal disease.

The public message remains - if you believe you have seen signs of myrtle rust - DO NOT TOUCH IT or the plant - take a photo of the rust and the plant. Call MPI on 0800 80 99 66.

Full information is at www.mpi.govt.nz/myrtlerust.

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Categories: Northland