Westland values are alive and well
Westland values are alive and well – Unity, Dedication, Respect and Loyalty”
The severity of the storm on the South Island’s West Coast is becoming clearer as communication is restored, Westland Milk Products says, and the dairy company is advising its farmers and staff to make sure they’re taking a break and support each other.
“It has been a pretty tough time,” says General Manager Operations Bernard May. “Not only have our shareholders had to cope with power outages and blocked road access causing delays in milk collection and concerns re animal welfare, some of our families have lost roofs to their homes and had other substantial property damage.
“The community support has been amazing and farmers have rallied to support each other. We’re sending the message to our shareholders today that no-one needs to be alone with this. We’re supporting the local social initiatives and encouraging neighbours to check on neighbours, especially in areas where farms have been cut off by road and not had phone communication either.”
May said Westland is also looking to the welfare of its own staff. “People who were supposed to be on holiday having an Easter break with their families have instead been out in all weathers and at all hours supporting our shareholder/suppliers – lending a hand on everything from throwing tarps over damaged roofs to helping clear road obstructions, repair machinery and helping organise generators so cows can be milked. Our tanker drivers, too, have managed to get through to every farm in spite of some extreme conditions.” May said the company is encouraging people to get some family time and take a break as the emergency response enters its third day and likely to extend out to five days.
May said power is still out or intermittent in some areas, generators are still being shared where needed and milk quality in areas where storage might have been without power is being very carefully monitored. Tanker collection is expected to return to normal by Monday.
“Our farmers are well into the clean-up phase now, with resources now able to get in to help repair homes and equipment, clear up fallen trees and damage from surface flooding and so on.”