Quiet ‘Gypsy Day’ ex­pected

Selwyn and Ashburton Outlook - - FRONT PAGE - HE­LENA O'NEILL

Coun­cils and farm­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions are warn­ing mo­torists to be care­ful on ru­ral roads as stock is moved for win­ter­ing.

June 1 is also ‘‘Gypsy Day’’ or ‘‘Mov­ing Day’’ for the dairy in­dus­try, the time of the year – be­tween May 31 and June 1 – when sharemilk­ers move to an­other farm with their cows. Some cows travel by truck, while oth­ers walk.

Fed­er­ated Farm­ers Mid Canterbury dairy chair­man Nathan Cur­rie said Gypsy Day should be a quiet affair as peo­ple in the area were ‘‘rea­son­ably set­tled’’.

‘‘There’s not a lot of 50/50 [sharemilk­ing] jobs like the old days. It’s not as com­mon­place as it once was.’’

Cur­rie floated the idea of mov­ing Gypsy Day from June 1 to mid-June to help take some of the pres­sure off dairy farm­ers and their fam­i­lies.

‘‘A lot of peo­ple are still milk­ing at the end of May, and it puts a lot of pres­sure on them to move on June 1. I’m keen to see if there’s any ap­petite to shift Gypsy Day to the mid­dle of June.’’

Fed­er­ated Farm­ers North Canterbury (which in­cludes Sel­wyn) dairy chair­man Michael Wood­ward said there were very few 50/50 sharemilk­ers in Canterbury as the re­gion favoured large scale farms.

He too noted few move­ments around Gypsy Day over the past few years, a trend which he ex­pected to re­main.

‘‘Gypsy Day is still alive and well in the North Is­land. It’s al­ways go­ing to be a part of the dairy in­dus­try.

‘‘With the larger scale farms in Canterbury, you just don’t get those sharemilker roles chang­ing as much as they do up north.’’

The Sel­wyn Dis­trict Coun­cil says any stock moved on state high­ways will need a con­sent from the NZ Trans­port Agency. Coun­cil con­sent is needed for roads with a 70km speed limit and other high vol­ume roads. Cat­tle must be moved in mobs smaller than 400 on roads in Sel­wyn.

A pi­lot ve­hi­cle is re­quired at the front and rear of stock at all times to avoid a crash.

To check the rules visit www.sel­wyn.govt.nz/stock. For Ash­bur­ton rules, look up the trans­porta­tion and park­ing man­age­ment by­law on the Ash­bur­ton Dis­trict Coun­cil’s web­site.

Any­one with feed­back about whether Gypsy Day should be moved can con­tact Nathan Cur­rie on 0272956516.

JOHN KIRK-AN­DER­SON/FAIR­FAX NZ

500 dairy cows are moved along Thomp­sons Track and Somer­ton Rd, near Rakaia, as part of Gypsy Day in 2015.

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