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Farmers and volunteers plough into earthquake cleanup

‘Just the start’ as farmers and volunteers plough into earthquake cleanup

To assist with the Christchurch cleanup, Federated Farmers has organised well over 300 farmers and urban residents to work in the St Martins and St Albans areas. With more volunteers coming to the A+P Showgrounds and calling into 0800 FARMING (0800 327 646), further groups will be dispatched in the coming days.

“This is a very impressive turnout but can we please ask the media to help get the following message out, because as the word spreads, we expect hundreds of volunteers more will be joining us tomorrow,” says John Hartnell, Federated Farmers earthquake spokesperson.

“Canterbury’s country rugby clubs and their supporters are coming into Christchurch tomorrow so Federated Farmers now wishes to hear from areas around St Martins/St Albans that need our assistance.

“While we won’t be able to do every single area right away, could community representatives please call their needs into 0800 FARMING (0800 327 646). Federated Farmers will be exchanging this information with Christchurch City Council for coordination purposes.

“To sustain the effort we need to roster people in and out of the cleanup effort so they can get back to their beekeeping operations, dairy, arable cropping and sheep and beef farms.

“So if there are volunteers out there keen to pitch in, please continue calling into 0800 FARMING (0800 327 646), email us at mail@fedfarm.org.nz or register at the A+P Showgrounds in Curletts Road.

“It is vital everyone registers instead of trying to find us as we need to limit vehicles in the parts of Christchurch where we’re working. Not only that, but we don’t want to add to the missing persons list.

“While we’re here in St Martins/St Albans to work, we’re also here to listen to what residents have gone through.

“Many of our farmers will empathise with residents because the 4 September earthquake badly knocked about rural North Canterbury. In fact, there’ll be volunteers whose own houses are still awaiting repair from the last quake emphasising that we’re in this together.

“I think in the coming weeks you’ll find a number of urban residents will probably get an invite out to rural Canterbury.

“As Federated Farmers is working under Christchurch City Council direction, we still hope their engineers will give us the greenlight to bring our specialised equipment into the effort.

“With farmers’ natural ability to improvise solutions, we’re hoping to make a big dent in this mammoth cleanup effort,” Mr Hartnell concluded.

To volunteer:

Call 0800 FARMING (0800 327 646), email us on mail@fedfarm.org.nz or physically go to the A+P Showgrounds off Curletts Road to register. Registration is absolutely vital.

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