23 Feb 2018

Golden Bay farmers take stock post-Gita

9:14 pm on 23 February 2018

Golden Bay farmers have begun a massive clean-up in the wake of flooding from Cyclone Gita, which ripped apart fencing and washed away paddocks.

Slips and flooding in the Takaka Hill area.

Slips and flooding in the Takaka Hill area. Photo: RNZ / Logan Church

The wild weather caused the Takaka River to burst its banks in places up the valley, which flooded fields, damaging paddocks, fencing, roads and some buildings, including at least one milking shed.

It also closed State Highway 60 over Takaka Hill, with slips cutting off the only access route by road into Golden Bay.

Food and other supplies had to be flown into Takaka Airport or shipped in on a barge.

Shirley Rossner's family has 550 dairy cows on a farm near the top of the valley. She has spent the day pulling muck out of hundreds of metres of fencing so it can be fixed.

Ms Rossner said it was likely to cost thousands of dollars to repair all of the damage.

"I got sent to town the other day to get more staples, more fencing gear and we're getting more posts in today...it's quite expensive," she said.

Ms Rossner said extra workers had to be brought on to help make the clean up more manageable.

"There's been eight of us cleaning up and we've still got days and days of work here yet," she said.

"We've been very, very busy cleaning up the mess...a lot of fences damaged or flattened, posts ripped out, wire all over the farmer."

She said the last time she saw that much damage due to flooding was during a flood two years ago on Good Friday.

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