Our People

Seeking help early can reduce issues before they become unmanageable, be they weather or environmental related, financial, or personal. If you or someone you know in the rural community need help contact the Mid Canterbury Rural Support Trust :

Judy Skevington

Phone: (03) 302 6860
Mobile: (027) 878 7254
Email: rst.midcanterbury@gmail.com

 

Freephone: 0800 787 254

Alternatively, you may complete our contact form.

 

Allan & Sue Baird

Phone: (03) 308 7594
Mobile: (027) 435 0141
Email: allan.baird@xtra.co.nz

Tim Silva

Phone: (03) 308 1890
Mobile: (021) 505 137
Email: tim.silva@tp.co.nz

 

Allan Baird - CoodinatorAllan Baird

Coordinator

Allan has an extensive rural background ranging from working on a number of Canterbury farms in his younger days through to 10 years with MAF in Ashburton. Allan has been involved in rural emergency response activities since the 1973 South Canterbury snow storm. He also carried out damage assessments for MAF following the 1986 South Canterbury floods.

Allan was instrumental in establishing the Mid Canterbury Rural Support Trust in 1991. With Allan as coordinator from its inception, the Trust has responded effectively to a number of rural adverse events in the intervening years.

Tim Silva - CoordinatorTim Silva

Coordinator

Tim has strong links to the rural community, both professionally as a partner in a law firm specialising in rural law, and recreationally as a keen hunter and fisherman. Tim's formative years involved 6 seasons on a high country station West of Wanaka, where, largely due to the rainfall in excess of 100 inches per annum, response to emergency situations was a way of life.

Tim's involvement with the Trust began in the big snow storm of 2006.

Judy Skevington

Manager

Judy grew up in rural areas and currently owns a cropping farm working it in partnership with her son. She has worked in the rural sector, first with National Insurance and then the trust department of PGG.   Judy has a variety of life experiences and has volunteered her time to several support agencies over many years and is used to responding to emergency situations..

Board of Trustees

  • Peter Reveley
    Chairperson
    Farmer and Councillor Ashburton District Council
  • Kevin Geddes
    Secretary
    Nuffield Scholar, Senior Policy Advisor Federated Farmers NZ
  • Allan Baird
    Treasurer
    Computer consultant
  • Sue Baird
    Trustee
    Self Employed
  • Don Geddes
    Trustee
    Deputy Principal Rural Fire Officer 
  • Alasdair Urquhart
    Trustee
    Retired farmer and Councillor Ashburton District Council
  • Marg Verrall
    Trustee
    Farmer

News & Alerts

Preparing for Gita

Monday, February 19, 2018

Author: Terri Anderson

Forecasting weather is a tricky one. Luckily we have Chris Brandelino from NIWA updating New Zealand on what to expect as of this morning:

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/101550169/preparing-for-cyclone-gita 

So now's the time to prepare:

 

Before a flood or storm

* Find out from your local council, neighbours, etc, if your property is at risk from flooding and plan accordingly

* Check your insurance cover details

* Fill vehicles’ tanks

* Have a smartphone you can charge in the car

* Store bailage/hay in areas not prone to flooding

* Ensure trees posing a hazard are trimmed (over houses, sheds, boundary fences)

* Store anything that is likely to be blown around, or tie down bigger items like trampolines

* Have a plan and trigger points to make decisions without waiting for official advice.

* Move animals, equipment and feed to higher ground.

* If you have a generator, make sure it’s accessible and ready to go.

*Clear drains and gutters

*Clear debris from waterways

* Have a household emergency kit including food, water, clothing, first aid, torch, cash, and a battery-powered radio

 

During a flood or storm

* The safety of you, your family, and your workers comes first.

* Listen to your local radio stations for official updates.

* Ensure stock have safety, shelter and water, and can't wander. Are electric fences working?

* Unplug small appliances to avoid damage from power surges. Turn off utilities if told to do so by authorities to help prevent damage.

* Do not attempt to drive or walk through floodwaters unless it is absolutely essential.

* Treat all lines as live. Check power and phones and report outages.

* Check dogs, poultry and pets.

* Check on neighbours - do they need help or can they help you?

* Check buildings at risk, secure feed stacks.

* Use generators if necessary to keep pumps, refrigeration, electric fences and household appliances running. Flood pumps may need attention.

 

Useful sites and numbers:

* Civil Defence website https://www.civildefence.govt.nz/

* Your local Rural Support Trust to update your information or ask for help 0800 RURAL HELP (0800 787 254)  www.rural-support.org.nz

* Your local council website and facebook page

*Animal welfare https://www.mpi.govt.nz/protection-and-response/animal-welfare/animals-in-emergencies/  

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Minister O'Connor's update on dry conditions

https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/govt-closely-watching-dry-conditions

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Author: Terri Anderson

Farmers and growers in very dry regions around the country are urged to make plans to get through a summer that has turned hot and dry sooner than usual.

Minister for Agriculture and Rural Communities Damien O’Connor said today that the latest information from NIWA and industry bodies makes it clear that while farmers are generally coping through this early dry spell, rain over the next few weeks cannot be relied upon.

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One of these things is not like the other

It’s easy to see if there’s a flood or an earthquake, but drought’s an odd one to call. When does a dry spell become a drought?

Friday, December 08, 2017

Author: Terri Anderson

It’s easy to see if there’s a flood or an earthquake, but drought’s an odd one to call. When does a dry spell become a drought?

Dry spells and droughts are part of life for many farmers across New Zealand. Farmers monitor their local conditions, plan for dry weather, and make tough decisions early.

MPI doesn’t declare droughts, but help to identify if the impacts of a drought on the primary sector should be classified as a medium- or large-scale adverse event, under the criteria in the Primary Sector Recovery Policy.  

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Dry summer support

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Author: Marcia

The NIWA drought index measures dry conditions across the country. Their hotspot watch helps identify areas that are getting dry each week.

Like all adverse events, a drought is classified as either localised, medium-scale or large-scale.

What farmers need to do now

Don’t hold out for rain as a reason to delay any decisions you need to make. Make plans and decisions in light of current conditions and warm temperatures driving high evapotranspiration. It will take significant rainfall to slow down or reverse the dry conditions. 

That it is so dry so early in the season may further limit your options, or create uncertainty, such as decisions on which animals to sell or cull.

In many locations stock feed in the form of hay and silage is lower than normal due to the wet winter and spring. You need to understand your local situation and factor these delays in your planning.

Tips from farmers who have managed their way through past dry spells:

  •  Review the technical information from your industry bodies on managing in dry weather.
  • Do a feed budget.
  • Make a plan and set trigger points to make decisions or take action: Dates, stock condition, feed availability; Once a day milking, drying off, culling early.  Ensure relevant contract partners agree with the plan. When those points or times hit, enact your plan.
  • Keep an eye on climate predictions and soil moisture levels, especially on your own farm as it can vary from your neighbours’. (NIWA is useful).
  • Use water efficiently and plan for water restrictions. Check irrigation consents for any triggers that will require you to make changes to usage.
  • Ensure bores are well maintained and make contingency plans in case supply fails.
  • Look after your animals and regularly check their condition.
  • Make decisions for slaughter well in advance and book space in time (since killing space may be in high demand in your area)
  • Be vigilant on very hot days. Animals cannot be left for much time with no shade or access to water.
  • Be aware of increased risk of fire and take precautions
  • Talk to your bank, accountants and other advisors, seek their advice, and ask for help if you need it.        
  • Your Rural Support Trust is here to help. If you need to get pointed in the right direction for advice or information, are concerned about a friend, a neighbour, a worker…. or just need a private chat, their services are free & confidential. Call 0800 RURAL HELP (0800 787 254) or visit www.rural-support.org.nz.

This document will give you some tips and tricks for mitigating the dry hot summer conditions.

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