25 Jun 2013

Volunteers flock to farms to help

3:19 pm on 25 June 2013

Rural support trusts in Otago and Canterbury say they are inundated with volunteers to help on farms struggling with snowy conditions.

Otago Rural Support Trust spokesperson David Mellish said teams of volunteers are travelling to two farms between Palmerston and Ranfurly where the need is greatest.

About 50 volunteers went out on Monday and another dozen are helping on Tuesday. A bulldozer, helicopter and snowrakers are being used to help look for sheep.

Mr Mellish said staff from banks and stock firms are also helping, along with the Ranfurly Rugby team. Baking is on its way to those in need, and farmers are also donating equipment.

Meanwhile, the Mid-Canterbury Rural Support Trust says helicopters are dropping volunteers into remote areas including the Ashburton Gorge so they can herd stock to food and water.

It says employers have given people time off work so they can volunteer their time.