Flood pulls rural peo­ple to­gether

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - REXINE HAWES

The rural com­mu­nity is band­ing to­gether, in the face of the big clean up fol­low­ing cy­clones Deb­bie and Cook.

Mata­mata Fed­er­ated Farm­ers chair­man Ben Moore says that while the clean up is mas­sive, most farm­ers are in a good place due to the emer­gency re­sponse.

The Rural Sup­port Trust, Dairy NZ, Tatua, Fon­terra, Waikato Re­gional Coun­cil and Fed­er­ated Farm­ers are all part of a ma­jor re­sponse team to get farms and crops back into pro- duc­tion.

‘‘You gotta ask, how much dam­age has been caused and then as­sess the sit­u­a­tion,’’ he said. ‘‘There’s wa­ter, it’s gotta go. ‘‘No one lost their whole farm, but close to 80 per cent on some.

‘‘But there is great stuff go­ing on.

‘‘Lots of com­pa­nies and in­di­vid­u­als are of­fer­ing feed and graz­ing and also flood pack­ages.

‘‘Rural Sup­port Trust has been amaz­ing.

‘‘The fact help is there has made a huge dif­fer­ence to flood af­fected farm­ers.’’

For rural sup­port call 0800 RURAL HELP (0800 787 254).

For stop­bank or other flood­scheme re­lated matters call the Waikato Re­gional Coun­cil on 0800 800 401.

For wel­fare con­cerns in­volv­ing peo­ple, stock or prop­erty peo­ple should con­tact ei­ther Hau­raki District Coun­cil on 0800 734 834 or Mata­mata-Pi­ako District Coun­cil on 0800 746 467.

There is an 0800 num­ber for rural sup­port.

Moore says that, along with other sup­port lines have been busy.

So­cial me­dia platforms such as Face­book and Twit­ter have been use­ful tools for get­ting mes­sages across the coun­try.

Mata­mata Fed­er­ated Farm­ers has been work­ing in li­ai­son with Auck­land and Hau­raki chap­ters, who have been tak­ing their cues from the Rural Sup­port Trust.

Herds have needed to be re­lo­cated and Moore has been help­ing with those ef­forts.

‘‘I got a phone call need­ing to find a home for 400 cows, so within two hours we found a home for 300.

‘‘Now we are com­ing into end of sea­son, it’s more im­por­tant that stock is looked af­ter.’’

He said no one has been sit­ting on their hands.

Stock and feed com­pa­nies have been do­ing their bit to trans­port cat­tle and get feed where it’s needed.

‘‘From a rural com­mu­nity stand point, it shows we back each other up.’’

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