Kaipara Hills farmers Scott and Philippa Innes estimate they have between 700 and 800 slips on the hills in their 160ha sheep and beef farm and the 1000ha leased family farm next door.
“We have lost fences, bridges and tracks and we think it will take months, possibly years, to restore all the infrastructure,” Scott said.
The priority is getting access to all parts of the farms, for which a digger and operator have been hired.
The Auckland Anniversary storm caused most of the slips and Cyclone Gabrielle tended to make fewer slips much bigger, with losses of fencing spans up to 40m wide.
One recent riparian fencing project done with help from the Auckland Council has been wrecked along 300-400m.
Scott will take advice on what to plant in the slips to aid stabilisation. Older willows ripped out by floodwaters have caused much of the damage to bridges.
Loss of pasture is probably around 10% but, because summer and autumn growth has been so good, Scott thinks winter feed will be adequate for the livestock numbers – 1000 cattle and 3000 sheep.