7 Jul 2009

East Coast road slip causes problems for farmers

1:05 pm on 7 July 2009

A farmer in the East Coast community of Tokomaru says he will have his work cut out finding enough feed for his animals, as a slip cutting main road access means the monthly trip to a cattle fair has had to be postponed.

Heavy rain in the area led to a slip on Tuesday 30 June that damaged 180 metres of State Highway 35 into the small town.

The Transport Agency says an inland detour being used to get food and other essentials to the town is open only to light vehicles.

The agency is not sure when the main highway will be repaired as the hillside is still moving.

Frank Tibble, who lives just south of the slip, will have to hold on to the 50 cattle he had been planning to take to Te Puia Springs cattle fair which being held on Tuesday.

Mr Tibble says the stock has been in good condition but it may be a struggle to keep them this way until the next cattle fair in a month.

He says the region has come out of a drought, straight into this new problem.