'Stay strong' - Federated Farmers message to East Coast after Local State of Emergency declared
Rural News
Rural News

'Stay strong' - Federated Farmers message to East Coast after Local State of Emergency declared

Torrential rain and severe flooding are once again having a significant impact on the Tairāwhiti/Gisborne region with a local state of emergency declared at 4:45 pm on Thursday afternoon.

Federated Farmers Meat & Wool Chair and local farmer Toby Williams told REX host Dominic George it's been a tough last few years for the East Coast.

"We've had almost two years of this," he said.

"Every time you get hit you think this is the tail, it's going to dry out and we will get on with our lives and then no, sure enough, another Easterly pops up and away we go again.

"It's getting pretty tough to deal with."

While it isn't too intense at the moment, weather reports are forecasting heavy rain from around 6 pm to 7pm on Friday evening, with continued rain right through most of next week as well.

"Doesn't look like we are going to have much of a respite for six or seven days.

"Inland of Ruatoria and Tokomaru Bay it looks like they are going to have some severely heavy rain up and down the headwaters of those rivers too, doesn't look good."

Williams said the seemingly relentless weather is massively demoralising for the local communities, particularly for farmers whose sources of income are directly impacted by the wind and rain.

"The one saving grace is that it's only June and there's only a few crazy people like me who are actually lambing.

"Lambing is still a month away so stock losses will be minimal, guys will have stock spread out, we've got good grass covers and it hasn't been cold so there are a few small positives we've got to grab those."

Federated Farmers are encouraging people to reach out if they need support or feel a bit uncomfortable and unprepared. Groups like Farmstrong, Rural Support Trust and Mike King's I Am Hope are great places to go for advice and support in such challenging times.

Listen to the full chat between Federated Farmers Meat & Wool Chair Toby Williams and Dominic George above.

To check out more episodes listen to the REX Today Podcast anytime on your favourite streaming platforms including Spotify, Apple Music and Rova or tune in to REX Today live on Magic from 5 am to 6 am every weekday.

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