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Fieldays and Rural Women say thanks

December 5, 2004
For immediate release

Fieldays and Rural Women say thanks

Fieldays and Rural Women are again saying “thanks” to the rural community – with the $15,000 annual joint grants announced yesterday.

The New Zealand National Fieldays Society/Rural Women grants are given annually to groups that have a positive impact on rural New Zealand, according to New Zealand National Fieldays Society board member and Rural Women coordinator June Haultain.

“Because Fieldays and Rural Women are both charitable organizations, it’s a thank you to the community,” she said.

This year’s recipients are: WestpacTrust Air Ambulance, Mobile Surgical Service New Zealand Ltd, Salvation Army and Young Farmers Club.

While the air ambulance, Salvation Army and Young Farmers Club are former recipients of the grants, Mobile Surgical Service New Zealand is a new initiative.

“Rural Women met Mobile Surgical Service at Fieldays this year, and we were absolutely amazed at the services they were providing in rural New Zealand,” Mrs Haultain says.

Mobile Surgical Services (MSS) is essentially a bus fully equipped with a modern operating theatre. Anaesthetic Nurse Athalie Price said the two-year-old project’s most common service is day-stay surgery in rural areas of New Zealand.

“And Mobile Surgical Services are researching ways they could utilize funds so they could be of further benefit to women in the rural community,” Athalie says.

MSS is also utilizing “telepresence” surgery at some of the larger locations it visits – a method pioneered in true New Zealand rural spirit. Basically, it enables a surgeon to supervise or give advice from a remote location on an operation taking place in the mobile unit.

From the air, Fieldays and Rural Women believe the WestpacTrust Air Ambulance has a high priority because it’s a service that helps all people in New Zealand (particularly in rural communities). Salvation Army provides services at Fieldays for people in need. And the Young Farmers Club grant is so they can send a young farmer to Australia to be hosted by an Australian Young Farmers club (in association with an Australian Field Days event).

“We value the work that young farmers have done as their contribution to Fieldays,” Mrs Haultain says.

Rural Women have had an association with Fieldays since day one – in 1968.


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