The next three months will be critical for the primary sector as it tries to get product to key markets in the midst of a logistical crisis.
Met Service says over the next few days the Buller area can expect between 350 to 450mm of rain in the ranges and up to 230mm near the coast and in the case of Westland between 500 to 700mm of rain in the ranges and up to 250mm near the coast.
The CEO of WMP, Richard Wyeth told Rural News that when we get a red civil defence warning they automatically put a response plan in place to get everyone prepared and to carefully monitor the situation. He says this is to ensure that they can react in a more prepared fashion rather than just being reactive.
“A number of roads to farms we collect milk from are basically single entry so if the road gets washed out or closed it can be very difficult to get milk out,” he says.
Richard Wyeth says this also applies to staff, and in particular tanker drivers and in the past they have had to helicopter them from home to their base to pick up a milk tanker and get on the road. He says they have learned from past storm events about the need to be prepared and this is what they are doing now.
“Hopefully this event won’t be that extreme but we are on watch right now,” he says.
Watch this website for updates on this event.