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Canterbury earthquake Saturday update: Farmy Army



5 March 2011

Canterbury earthquake Saturday update

This is the penultimate regular update from Federated Farmers. Today, the Farmy Army is out in force to ensure the last full day of the Council supported clean-up is a success. The Farmy Army will also return to Christchurch over the weekend of 18, 19 and 20 March to help schools, residents and businesses attend to ‘new discoveries’. Other volunteers are meanwhile delivering bulk water to restock water reservoirs. Meanwhile, the Canterbury District Health Board is now seeking accommodation assistance from the rural community.

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Farmy Army demobs Saturday to reform 18,19 and 20 March
Incredibly, in the past eleven days mountains of liquefaction have been moved. Federated Farmers Farmy Army, like the Student Volunteer Army (SVA), will now scale back operations after today in line with Christchurch City Council instructions.

Yet, one last large operation is set for 18, 19 and 20 March to mop up areas of Christchurch as people discover earthquake related damage. These may be new discoveries or people returning from outside the city for the first time.

To volunteer for the Farmy Army’s last big push on 18, 19 and 20 March 2011:
Federated Farmers issues an open invitation to anyone able to help Christchurch with physical and machine power, to please call 0800 327 646 (0800 FARMING) during normal business hours to volunteer. You can also volunteer by email by clicking here indicating if you will need an airport pick up and/or accommodation. We will also need mini-diggers, loaders and trailers to transport matériel over this weekend. Please pass on the word.

Today, hundreds of volunteers and dozens of specialised equipment are helping individual home owners and schools. This is something the Prime Minister saw for himself yesterday, where he pitched in with the Farmy Army to lend a hand.

Federated Farmers earthquake spokesperson, John Hartnell, rightly describes the outpouring of support as “an epic response by so many for so many”. Yet pockets of need will still exist hence the big push on the weekend of 18 March.

To build our call list Federated Farmers wishes to hear from those residents, businesses and schools in need of support by calling 027 266 7926 (7.00am to 7.00pm) or 0800 FARMING (0800 327 646). Please pass these numbers on
How to keep helping Christchurch from now until 18 March:
Federated Farmers is also looking for ‘Farmy Army reservists’ to assist people from now until the weekend of 18 March. If you are able to do that, then please call 0800 327 646 (0800 FARMING) during normal business hours to volunteer. You can also volunteer by email by clicking here.

What many may not know, is that a number of Federated Farmers staff members and some volunteers have been coping with damaged homes themselves. Despite this they have put service before self. The list of evacuated buildings also includes Federated Farmers Christchurch office, with the entire Farmy Army operation having been run from two caravans at the A+P Showgrounds

More companies to ‘Meat the needs of Christchurch’
From next week, New Zealand’s meat and fibre farmers will be able to make charitable donations for Christchurch if they supply participating meat processors and/or wool exporters. In recent days AFFCO, Progressive Meats Hastings and Wool Partners International have signed on to ‘Meat the needs of Christchurch’. Please help us by spreading the word to all farmers.

Procedures for farmers wishing to donate to the Adverse Events Trust, a registered charitable entity (no. CC46245) administered by Federated Farmers:

When farmers are consigning wool or drafting stock to participating companies, please kindly advise company managers the number or value of animals/wool to be donated.

Meat companies helping Meat the needs of Christchurch:
AFFCO New Zealand Limited
Alliance Group Limited
Blue Sky Meats NZ Limited
Greenlea Premier Meats Limited
Progressive Meats Hastings
Silver Fern Farms Limited
Wallace Corporation

Wool companies helping Meat the needs of Christchurch:
Elders Primary Wool
Wool Partners International

The company will deduct the value donated from the ‘buyer created invoice’ they prepare on your behalf.

The company will then deposit the value of the animals donated into the Adverse Events Trust bank account 06 0594 0028181 00 (National Bank Hamilton).
NB: GST will not be applied as donations are exempt.

Participating companies will forward a summary of the names and addresses of donor farmers and the value of individual donations received to Federated Farmers Hamilton office.

Federated Farmers will post back to each donor a receipt in the form of an official Adverse Events Trust letter, which will contain all the information required to be fully compliant with all the Inland Revenue’s requirements for claiming back the donation rebate of 33.3 percent (or a third).
NB: Individuals, (including individuals who are partners in a partnership), companies and trusts can obtain a tax benefit from donations. Individuals obtain the benefit by way of a refundable tax credit, whilst companies and trusts obtain the benefit by way of a tax deduction for the amount donated (but only to the extent of the companies net income).

Please contact Paula Kennedy (0800 327 646) or by email by clicking here, if any further technical information is required.

Water deliveries continue for Christchurch
The Bleeker Contracting and Raymond Hart led operation to refill water reservoirs around Christchurch and water pods continues unabated. A columnist writing for the NZ Herald wrote this yesterday:

“..Six years ago, I watched different television coverage from New Orleans. Then, supply trucks were stranded like beached whales, while people withered in the heat without water, far too many days after Hurricane Katrina struck.

Huge cross-purposed federal agencies were falling on top of each other, killing innocent people under their weight. In America, Oprah got through, but the US government couldn't move its behemoth behind. In this country, the contrast of effectiveness was almost obscene. Within 24 hours, Christchurch had 300,000 litres of water delivered to its ruined front door.

Kiwis would much rather be damned for doing, than damned for not. Almost immediately, independent water tanker owners like Stephen Bleeker called officials to offer help. When they didn't hear back from swamped Civil Defence staff hours later, they took initiative, sourced water from farms and processing plants, then phoned Federated Farmers, who immediately joined with Fonterra to co-ordinate a fleet.

You want everyday heroes? There are lists of diesel suppliers who gave petrol, massive efforts by vendors headed by the Grocery Council, the entire thousands-strong army of volunteer students who are doing everything from shovelling silt to spending the night assembling wheelbarrows, to the "Farmy Army" of machinery now entering the city...”

Put an ICE contact into your mobile phone
ICE stands for In Case of Emergency and came to prominence after the London Underground bombings. Recent events highlight the need for everyone to have an ICE contact in your mobile telephone’s address book. ICE enables ambulance crews, Police and other emergency personnel to rapidly contact someone you trust, such as a spouse, parent or child. All that is needed is the acronym ICE, written in caps, to be entered into either the first name or surname of your phone’s address book, followed by valid telephone numbers in the right fields. If there is space for notes, please add their full name, the relationship to you and any other relevant detail you see fit.

Canterbury District Health Board enquires after accommodation
Canterbury District Health Board made contact again yesterday for people to assist with patients being discharged from hospital, whose homes have been damaged. There is also a demand to house elderly Cantabrians in Canterbury. If you have volunteered please expect a call and note that financial assistance may be available to assist with billeting people (see below). If you are able to provide accommodation and have not yet volunteered, then please dial 0800 327 646 (0800 FARMING). Alternatively, please click here to email us.

Christchurch earthquake relief packages
This is provided to assist you to advise friends or relatives affected by the earthquake. Applications can be made at Work and Income offices, online by clicking here or over the phone on 0800 779 997. People should have their IRD number and a bank account number handy to speed up the process.

Civil Defence payments
There are also payments available to meet the immediate needs of people affected by the Civil Defence Emergency. Civil Defence payments can cover the following costs:
payments to hosts for billeting evacuees (private homes, marae or community centres) accommodation costs for evacuees in tourist accommodation (motels, hotels or temporary rental accommodation)
food, clothing and bedding (immediate needs up to a maximum amount).

Initial Earthquake Assistance Package
The six week Initial Earthquake Assistance Package is made up of two parts:
An Earthquake Support Subsidy to give Christchurch-based employers a contribution to help them keep paying wages while they consider the future of their business.
Earthquake Job Loss Cover is a new programme to provide support to workers whose employer believes their business is no longer viable. It will also be available to employees who are unable to contact their employer.

There are also loss of livelihood payments available, but Work and Income advise these are not available to those receiving Earthquake Support payments, or the Job Loss Cover in the Government’s relief package.

Payments are dependant on individual circumstances, to find out more, please click here. There are other grants available so please enquire on 0800 779 997.

Can farmers assist urban residents with storage?
It is no secret that this earthquake has compounded the severe damage from September. It is now sadly clear that many houses will be uninhabitable for some time and this is seeing many residents enquire with the Farmy Army about short-term storage. If you are in a position to assist, then please call 0800 327 646 (0800 FARMING) from 9am on Monday or email by clicking here.

Postal services update
NZ Post is now delivering to about 77 percent of the city. A list of these streets is available from NZ Post’s website by clicking here. NZ Post’s assessment of the areas it can access is ongoing and details of where other deliveries and collections can be made will be posted on its website (see above link), as further access clearances and staff availability allow.

Important message to customers
New Zealand Post is providing free mail redirection services for residential customers in the earthquake affected areas. To find out what this is defined as please click here. For a detailed list of NZ Post/Kiwibank branches operational, please click here.

Educational facilities
Primary and secondary
All schools across Christchurch city remain closed until further notice. To confirm if schools are open or closed, please click here.

Lincoln University: Semester One commences on Monday, 14 March

University of Canterbury (including the College of Education): is firming up plans for a progressive re-start of teaching from 14 March 2011. Please refer to daily updates posted on its website.

Christchurch Polytechnic: Trades and related programmes are planned to start during the week of 14 March. Please refer to daily updates posted on its website.

There was some very positive news yesterday - as at 2pm, Orion had achieved its target of restoring power to 95 percent of customers two days earlier than previously indicated. In the Eastern suburbs, the number of customers without power has dropped from 16,000 to 8,000 (halved) in just 24 hours.

About 14,000 customers across the network remain to be connected:
8,000 in the Brighton and Dallington areas and surrounds – this includes the suburbs of Bexley, Bromley, Aranui, Avonside, and parts of Burwood and Shirley.
600 from Mt Pleasant to Sumner (all areas east of Ferrymead bridge)
4,700 in the CBD
70 across remainder of network.

It expects to reconnect most of the remaining 5 percent of customers by end of Sunday.

It is important that customers with power in the Eastern suburbs do everything they can to conserve electricity to enable us to share supplies around the fragile network. There was one setback with multiple cable failures found leading out of Brighton substation, which is now live. Every cable has failed and it is now replacing portions of these cables.

Due to these faults, Orion reiterates that it will be a slow process of customer reconnection in the affected Eastern suburbs. There are now 3,700 customers connected to generators in the Eastern suburbs (increased from 1800 yesterday) and it is working on how to increase that number.

Cable repair work remains our top priority. The mobile cable repair and manufacturing facility located at the Connetics head office in Chapman’s Road is in full operation. It currently has hundreds of Orion staff and contractors working on cables. This number is increasing daily – external resources are being called on and arriving when required. Because they are working on 11,000 volt cables, the safety of our crews is paramount.

Orion livened the first of two new $1 million cables in North Brighton Thursday and the second was livened by end of Friday

Repairs to damaged Armagh Street cables continues. Access to damaged cables in the CBD remains restricted according to Civil Defence instructions. When permitted, some supply to the CBD will be possible despite these cable failures, but security of supply will be less.

Orion continues to inspect the suburban power network in the eastern suburbs, moving west from Brighton beach. Repair crews are following behind them. The number of reconnections it is able to announce each day are slowing down as we tackle areas with severe damage to our underground cable network. In many cases each cable has multiple faults. It cannot identify which pockets of customers or suburbs will be reconnected first, except to say, they will be on the ends of the least damaged cables.

Important message to customers
If you do not have the power back on yet, turn the power off at the main switch, unplug all appliances at the wall and make sure the stove is turned off. This reduces the risk of fire when the power is restored.
If you have the power back on in the Eastern suburbs, please conserve electricity. The capacity of the power network is limited until all cables are repaired, and lower demand enables us to ‘share it around’.
Turn off unnecessary appliances such as heated towel rails, and keep lights etc to a minimum.

Road closures
Environment Canterbury’s updated list of closed roads in Christchurch twice daily on the Christchurch Earthquake website.

Thanking those who have helped Federated Farmers work in Christchurch
These are the companies and groups who have supported Federated Farmers response to the emergency. On behalf of the Federation, thank you:
Alliance Group
Bleeker Contracting
Canterbury A & P Society
Christchurch City Council
Country 99 TV
Green Grocers (Jack Lim)
Fulton Hogan
Hallswell New World
Newstalk ZB
NZ Safety
NZ Young Farmers
Oakleys Spuds
On the Field (BSport)
One News
Rakaia Lions Club
Raymond Hart
Radio NZ
Rock Gas
Rural Contractors (members of)
Rural Woman NZ
Silver Fern Farms
Strat Co
Student Volunteer Army
The Farming Show (Radio Sport)
3 News / Campbell Live
Turners and Growers

Government earthquake helpline
The Government’s helpline is 0800 779 997. The Earthquake Commission can be contacted on 0800 DAMAGE (0800 326 243).

Red Cross helpline including missing persons
If you are concerned about the wellbeing of friends and relatives in Christchurch, you should call 0800 REDCROSS (0800 733 276).

Federated Farmers Christchurch office remains closed until further notice
Federated Farmers Christchurch office is closed due to earthquake damage.

For general information, please contact:
0800 FARMING (0800 327 646)

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