A dozen trucks laden with 75km of fencing materials to help hundreds of Hawke’s Bay farmers get back on their feet after Cyclone Gabrielle have rolled into the Hastings Showground ahead of a major community event on Friday.
The convoy was organised by the Rapid Relief Team (RRT) charity to bring about $375,000 worth of fencing supplies to the region’s farmers.
About 250 farmers will receive the supplies at a RRT Farmers Community Connect event at the Tōmoana Showgrounds, Elwood Rd, Hastings on Friday.
RRT New Zealand director Danny Blampied said the arrival of the materials in Hastings was great news for affected local farmers, who lost millions of metres of fencing during the crisis.
“It was a great effort … by everyone involved to get 75km of fencing materials and 20,000 fence posts loaded onto a dozen trucks for the Farmers Community Connect event,” Blampied said.
“The convoy made a stop at Esk Valley and we said hello to some locals there and explained what RRT was doing to help local farmers hit by Cyclone Gabrielle.
“Thanks to the suppliers in Auckland, Wellington and Central North Island and to our great team of drivers who made the journey to Hastings Showground.”
The Hastings event will be the inaugural Farmers Community Connect celebration in NZ. With their families, farmers will also enjoy breakfast and lunch provided by RRT volunteers.
An important part of the day will be the opportunity for those attending to talk to around 20 rural support services, including local government, mental health providers and farm advisory.
“We understand that there are over 2000 stock and beef farmers in the greater Hawke’s Bay area who have lost an average of 5km of fencing per farm due to flooding and slips because of Cyclone Gabrielle,” Blampied said.
Established in 2013 by the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church, RRT is a global charity that provides tangible support to communities in need. It is supported by 14,500 volunteers in 14 countries.