Collaboration key to getting through Gita
Dry conditions followed by two cyclones – it’s been a testing time and I’m working with all agencies to seek further support for those affected by former cyclone Gita.
It took an extraordinary effort of collaboration to get through Gita – from Fonterra’s barge to ferry milk and supermarket supplies to and from cut-off Golden Bay, to those picking up the pieces on badly hit orchards in Riwaka Valley – but now we are getting a clearer picture of the extent of the damage and there’s more everywhere you look.
With the Takaka Hill Road out of action last week the only way in and out was by helicopter so I became copilot and courier – giving directions and dropping essential supplies to the Takaka Medical Centre.
While the initial response is over, the clean-up will take weeks and a good deal more of community strength and further support to get back on track.
The Top of the South Rural Support Trust is active across the area and will sort community events in the worst-affected areas (Motueka Valley, Riwaka and Marahau) where many properties have significant impacts.
CDEM, Federated Farmers and the Top of the South Rural Support Trust will continue to assess welfare needs and impacts – and I’m working with them and TDC to see what further help is available.
These more frequent weather events highlight how important it is for us all to have contingency plans in place.
I’d like to thank the rural support trusts and other industry groups for their efforts in helping our communities through stressful times.
The remains of a concrete and steel bridge at the family’s Old MacDonald Farm and Holiday Park in Marahau, Tasman after ex tropical cyclone Gita came through the region last week.