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‘Farmy Army’ removes 1,000 tonnes of earthquake debris

‘Farmy Army’ removes 1,000 tonnes of earthquake debris from residential properties

Federated Farmers is pleased to announce that an estimated 1,000 tonnes of earthquake debris was today removed from the Christchurch suburb of New Brighton, heavily impacted by last Tuesday’s earthquake.

“There are a heck of a lot of tired people who are now being fed and watered by our colleagues from Rural Woman New Zealand,” says John Hartnell, Federated Farmers earthquake spokesperson.

“Today we deployed 40 teams of twenty apiece into the New Brighton area, which is almost unrecognisable after the quake. For the first time in the clean-up we got to use some of our light weight specialised equipment to get into residential properties.

“It’s on the conservative side, but over 1,000 tonnes of debris would have been removed today from residential properties. In the enormity of what’s there we’ve made a deep scratch because there’s so much more to do.

“In the coming days our operation will go down a gear as we cycle new people into the operation. It has to be remembered that after today, all farmers have to get back to their day jobs as farmers.

“Yet there’ll be plenty of new faces coming into this operation as we cycle through our volunteers. That farmer ethos of seeing something through is incredibly strong. It’s why I guess Mayor Bob Parker has described Federated Farmers as the ‘Farmy Army’ and why others see us as the ‘Farm e-Army’.

“Frankly it’s a huge team effort and wouldn’t be possible without our very good friends from New Zealand Young Farmers, the Canterbury Rugby Football Union, Rural Woman NZ, Rural Contractors, farmers and the local residents and businesses of Christchurch.

“Let alone the support of Silver Fern Farms, Tegel Chicken, Caltex, Rabobank and NZ Safety.

“So while there will be some knackered people, there’s a sense of achievement in making a difference to the lives of residents. It’s remarkable how a smile and some home baking can suddenly make that sore back disappear.

“So we’ll be back at the A+P Showgrounds tomorrow first thing to commence day three.

“Can I please just repeat the open call for light loaders and diggers. We need as much light kit in Christchurch as possible to speed things along,” Mr Hartnell concluded.

Can the media please assist with promoting these messages:

Federated Farmers asks all volunteers to report to the A+P Showgrounds, Curletts Road, Christchurch. There is no need to call Federated Farmers in advance

For farmers and out of town volunteers, accommodation will be provided by local rugby clubs. Please bring sleeping bags and personal effects and discuss this during registration

Registrations run from 7am each day with last registration at 2pm (the last practicable time to send a team into the field)

Federated Farmers is very interested in volunteer labour and volunteers are asked to bring shovels, wheelbarrows and personal protection equipment

We are particularly keen to get as much small specialised equipment into the operation as possible. Especially diggers and loaders to a maximum weight of 3 metric tonne (this is a weight increase over what has been previously advised). Please go direct to the A+P Showgrounds with this equipment between 7am and 2pm

If people can offer larger pieces of equipment, we are still interested to build up our equipment list. People able to offer such equipment and operators can call 0800 FARMING (0800 327 646) or email our offer to mail@fedfarm.org.nz.

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