Door-to-door farm visits welcomed as floodwaters recede and costs become clearer

Published on Sunday, April 23, 2017

Door-to-door farm visits welcomed as floodwaters recede and costs become clearer

Teams from the local Rural Support Trust and Red Cross have been documenting destroyed pastures, damaged homes and inundated orchards, as they carry out assessment visits to flood-affected farms and orchards in the Bay of Plenty.

“Our farming and growing families have been very stoic in getting through the flooding, and now our visit is a chance for them to sit down, have a cup of tea, and see what they need to move forwards with recovery,” says Igor Gerritson from the Bay of Plenty Rural Support Trust.

“What’s immediately clear is the extra cost associated with the evacuations of about 5000 cows, and the pressing need to buy feed for stock whose grazing is destroyed by floodwaters. The cost of transporting stock out alone is estimated to be $75,000 in the first week of the event.”

The Rural Support Trust has set up a bank account 06 0489 00160308 04 specifically for donations to help rural flood victims cover some costs associated with the flood damage.

The coordinated visits, planned through the Civil Defence Emergency Management group, are to streamline information gathering and reduce the number of different agencies and visitors who go to each affected property. The teams will do a detailed needs assessment and then pass each farmer or grower to the right agencies to progress their needs.

“Once you get off the beaten track, you really get to see the severity of farm damage.  Water races and fences have been washed away or covered with silt and debris, pasture and crops are hard to recognise after days underwater, and with the second storm there are dozens of trees down too,” says Igor. “Some farmhouses have been badly damaged by the water, with gib pulled off the internal walls.” 

Five teams are visiting across the region, and expect it will take just over two weeks to get through them all. Other teams will then move into more urban areas as people there get back home and have a chance to take stock of their situations.

More than 5000 dairy cows are estimated to have been evacuated and are now being returned to their farms where possible, and Dairy NZ is offering farm management advice, assistance with feed plans and surveying for animal welfare problems. NZKGI is providing support to growers who suffered flooding at a critical time of the year, and has been helping get water pumped out of orchards.

The Ministry for Primary Industries has been coordinating rural response and recovery efforts and working on getting information out to people in the affected areas.

“As we move from response to recovery phases, we are working closely with rural recovery stakeholders to agree what recovery structure they would like to put in place to support them as they move forwards,” says MPI Director Resource Policy, Kate Hellstrom.

Federated Farmers’ 0800 FARMING line continues to be the central point for farmers seeking on-farm assistance or feed. The Rural Support Trust (0800 RURAL HELP) has trained facilitators who can help rural people with other needs including stress management and where to go for further information.

--ends—

For more information please contact:

Sandy Scarrow

Chairperson, Bay of Plenty Rural Support Trust

SandyScarrow@fruition.net.nz

(027) 4425436

http://www.rural-support.org.nz/Regions/North-Island/Bay-of-Plenty

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Author: Terri Anderson

Categories: National, Bay of Plenty

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News & Alerts

MYRTLE RUST

Myrtle Rust in Taranaki

Monday, May 22, 2017

Author: Marcia

Myrtle rust response - Media update 22 May 2017

Please attribute any material in this update to Geoff Gwyn, Director, Response, MPI

MPI continues to encourage members of the public to report any suspected signs of myrtle rust to MPI's Exotic Pest and Disease Hotline on 0800 80 99 66. Do not touch the rust or the plant. Note the location and take photos of the symptoms and the plant.

Information is at: www.mpi.govt.nz/myrtlerust

 

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Categories: National, Northland, Taranaki

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Myrtle Rust

Kerikeri myrtle rust response –Daily update 11 May 2017

Monday, May 08, 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

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Information and help for farmers and growers affected by ex-Cyclone storms and flooding

As at 10am, Thursday 11 May

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Author: Terri Anderson

Whakatane District Recovery Project: Help to reduce biosecurity risk for your property and the catchment post flooding 

Contact your local Rural Support Trust on 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP) if you think you or someone you know could do with a private and confidential chat. 

Other contacts

  • Call Federated Farmers' helpline on 0800 327 646 option 3 for feed offers or requests, or option 4 for other on-farm help, including stock movements, generators etc.
  • Farmers needing support with their NAIT account should get in touch with the OSPRI contact centre on 0800 482 463

  • Kiwifruit growers contact NZKGI on 0800 232 505

  • Other growers can contact HortNZ on 0508 467 869

  • Dairy farmers can contact DairyNZ on 0800 4 324 7969

  • Fonterra suppliers call 0800 656 568

  • Open Country suppliers call 021 272 1558

Boil water notices have been lifted.

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Rural flood recovery response event this Wednesday afternoon

Wednesday 12th April, from 1-4pm, NOTE VENUE CHANGE

4/12/2017 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Author: Terri Anderson

The venue has been changed to the Awakeri Hall, White Pine Bush Road 1-4pm

We will have a ‘rolling’ BBQ, thanks to the FarmSource BBQ and FMG food supplies, and a collection of organisations and networks that are able to provide help of various kinds to rural folk as they begin recovering from the flooding.

We envisage just a short opening address by RST introducing who is present and acknowledging help already received. Then the format will be open for folk to eat and talk for the afternoon.

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Categories: Bay of Plenty

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