It’s a no-brainer that strong networks and relationships in peacetime make life easier when things go to pot, and this can be even more important in rural areas. Variously named Rural Advisory Groups, Rural Coordination Groups, and Primary Industries Clusters have been popping up around the country, and now there’s a concerted effort to build and strengthen these in each region.
Primary industry communities have specific challenges in an event; local knowledge can be critical to managing issues such as geographical isolation, large-scale animal welfare and protecting ongoing productivity.
Who’s in these regional rural groups?
Usually led by a partnership between the regional CDEM Group, MPI and Rural Support Trusts, most have a core group of around ten people, with a much wider group coming together a couple of times a year.
It’s different in each region, but so far Rural Groups can include (and are not limited to):
- CDEM Group: Group Welfare Manager, Emergency Management Officers, Local Welfare Managers, Group Manager and Group Controller
- Ministry for Primary Industries
- Rural Support Trust
- Federated Farmers
- Primary Industry groups: DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb NZ, & other groups (horticulture, deer, goats, pork, poultry)
- Animal welfare groups: SPCA, NZ Vet Association, Council Animal Control
- Rural Women NZ, Dairy Woman’s Network, Young Farmers
- Rural companies: Dairy companies (e.g. Fonterra, Miraka etc), meat companies, the Primary ITO
- Transport representatives
- Ministry of Social Development
- Regional and district councils
Groups are on a journey to improve the way systems work to support farmers, so the focus is on quickly getting out the right support to farmers when it’s needed.
Interested? Contact your local Rural Support Trust on 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP).