It's still taking some farmers around the Northern Hawke's Bay town of Wairoa twice as long to get to Gisborne or Wairoa because the bridge across the Te Reinga river is still not fixed.
Nine months after the two cyclones made landfall, rural communities along the East Coast are still working hard to bring some form of normality to their families, land and businesses.
Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) Mātanga Whenua Māori advisor Pania King, in collaboration with the Rapid Relief Team (RRT), Ngāti Porou Runanganui and Oranga, and Indevin NZ led the East Coast community event in Ruatoria last week (10 November) for farmers and communities impacted by Cyclones Hale and Gabrielle.
The event provided the resources needed to help with recovery from many sponsors to aid those facing challenges in the rebuilding process and also featured a barbecue kai, a bouncy castle, sweet treats, health checks, and specialist advice.
B+LNZ Mātanga Whenua Māori advisor, Pania King says it was important for this event to not only address the immediate needs but also the overall wellbeing of the community.
“We had over 200 impacted farmers and community members attend the event where we celebrated our resilience as a community whilst also acknowledging there is a lot of mahi still to be done,” says King.
“The event was driven from the ground up by wanting to offer real value and solutions to those in need. That’s why it was fantastic that we were able to offer tangible resources like fencing materials, floodgates, water pumps and water tanks.
“We are grateful to the sponsors who made it all possible and the behind-the-scenes team who worked so hard to make it happen,” she says.
The event was sponsored by B+LNZ, RRT Rapid Relief Team, Indevin NZ, NIWE, Ngāti Porou Runganui, Ngāti Porou Oranga, Coates Associates LTD, BDO Gisborne, Radio Ngāti Porou, Air Ruatoria, FMG, Ravensdown, Ballance Fertiliser, Fergus Rural, Headline Ballance st, Property Brokers, H Blackbee Contractors EC, PGG Wrightson, Thinkwater Gisborne.