Mayor urges tourist farm­stays

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - ABBY BROWN

‘‘Spring, early sum­mer would not be an ap­pro­pri­ate time to start a farm stay I sug­gest.’’

A high-end ac­com­mo­da­tion short­age in the Waikato could be the gift strug­gling farm­ers are look­ing for with Mata­mata-Pi­ako Mayor Jan Barnes sug­gest­ing they open farm stays to make some ex­tra cash.

She en­cour­aged farm­ers to look into start­ing a Bed and Break­fast or farm stay.

‘‘Have a look at your oper­a­tion,’’ she said.

‘‘When things get tough look out­side the square.’’

Al­though Stew Wadey, who is the chair­man of the Mata­mata District Fed­er­ated Farm­ers, thought Barnes’ idea a ‘‘wor­thy’’ one, he said the lo­gis­tics of bal­anc­ing a farm, fam­ily, and dis­cern­ing tourists’ de­sires may be harder than Barnes thought.

He said some lo­cals’ herds were not far from calv­ing for the 2016/17 year.

‘‘That en­tails a lot of in­put time to such a busy time there­fore spring, early sum­mer would not be an ap­pro­pri­ate time to start a farm stay I sug­gest,’’ he said.

He ac­knowl­edged that a cou­ple with a ‘‘ma­tured fam­ily’’ would be able to con­sider it. He also said a lot of over­seas guests were quite dis­cern­ing as to the level of lux­ury be­ing pro­vided so it might not be a good fit.

‘‘That is in­clud­ing the cui­sine which is the roast lamb or beef, wine and the works.’’

He also wor­ried there could be a bit of red-tape with IRD and health and safety re­quire­ments.

Joy Diprose, who runs de Preaux Lodge, said it was not re­ally a sure fire way for farm­ers to make that ex­tra money.

‘‘It is a lot of hard work and as most farm­ers’ wives are of­ten out on the farm help­ing it would be a huge job for them as it in­volves a lot of house­keep­ing, cook­ing and ev­ery­thing else that goes along with hav­ing strangers in your home,’’ she said. ‘‘So un­less they were go­ing into it on a very large scale it would not be a very large in­come.’’

Mata­mata iSITE man­ager Sue Whit­ing said while there was pres­sure on ac­com­mo­da­tion it was only re­ally for two to three weeks over Christ­mas, which was the same all over the country at the time of year.

She said the iSITE was get­ting more and more of­fers of farm stays and that most of those are listed on the iSITE’s website.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.