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New events announced for "Checking-in" rural recovery project in the North Island

New events announced for "Checking-in" rural recovery project in the North Island

Community events and online tools & tips for rural people navigating a tough season.

Several new ‘Checking-in’ events to support North Island rural communities impacted by last year’s adverse weather events have been announced for 2024.

One year after Cyclone Gabrielle caused widespread damage to the northern and East Coast regions of New Zealand, the rebuild, cleanup and need for support across communities remains ongoing.

Checking-in spokesperson Gerard Vaughan of Farmstrong said they hoped the events – ranging from lighthearted comedy, wellbeing and resilience programmes to the celebration of women who have made an impact in weather-affected communities – would strike a chord with North Island communities tasked with building back.

“Often when we are under the pump we forget to do the things that help us to get through.  These events create an opportunity for farmers and growers and their families to have a night off, have a laugh and connect with others.  Having breaks away from the day-to-day challenges is a great way to refresh so you are in a good headspace to keep going”.

Farmstrong are excited to announce The Bitches’ Box series running from Northland to Wairarapa during April and May. The Bitches’ Box fourth live show sees actors Emma Newborn and Amelia Dunbar revisiting some of their most loved dog characters, with the latest offering set to deliver the hilarious, fast-paced, multi-character comedy they’ve become “world famous in rural New Zealand” for. Farmstrong will also run four more Comedy Night Shows during February and May, giving rural communities a chance to take a break, connect and laugh with others.

Agri-Women’s Development Trust (AWDT) will hold more wellbeing and resilience programmes in late February and March including Know your Mindset. Lead the recovery, a subsidised two-part online programme supporting food and fibre leaders to manage the multiple pressures of leadership in times of challenge. Designed for men and women leading teams in the sector, this programme encourages connection with others facing common leadership wellbeing issues during the recovery. AWDT is also offering YOU Matter programmes for women across the East Coast and Northland, giving them the opportunity to pause, re-energise and build the courage, mindset, skills and connections for recovery in a safe and supportive space.

Rural Women New Zealand are celebrating the female heroes of the North Island weather-affected communities with their ‘Rest, Refresh and Revitalise’ events, to be held during March and April. With a focus on taking care of those who have looked after others, these events will bring together nominated women who have supported their communities over the past year for some much-deserved time out. Nominations for women who have gone above and beyond in supporting their communities are now open - for more information.

Rural people across New Zealand are also invited to subscribe to the ‘Checking-in’ tools & tips email series. Delivered weekly, the 15-part series of short videos is about making the hard stuff manageable - like supporting people through challenges, managing emotions and enjoying the good times. The series features clips from rural leaders and resiliency experts featured in the ‘Big Check-in’ online webinar in May 2023, including:

  • Sandra Matthews, Tairāwhiti sheep & beef farmer and community leader
  • Steve Kearney, Chief Mental Health Officer for the NZ Defence Force
  • Michelle Ruddell, Ngati Tūwharetoa, dairy farmer and Chair of the Northland Rural Support Trust
  • Dr Lucy Hone Director of the NZ Institute of Wellbeing & Resilience

For more information on upcoming events or the tools and tips online series.

About Checking-in: ‘Checking-in’ is a collaboration project run by the Agri-Women’s Development Trust, Rural Women New Zealand and Farmstrong, supported by the Rural Support Trust. The project is funded by the Ministry for Primary Industries as part of the NIWE (North Island Weather Event) response and aims to help rural communities affected by adverse weather through in-person events and programmes.

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