Fencing Contractors Association of New Zealand (FCANZ) will be giving away 100 farm gate and gudgeon sets and 10,000 insulators to twenty farmers in the East Coast and Hawke’s Bay, still dealing with the after-effects of Cyclone Gabrielle.
The Great Gate Giveaway is the culmination of fundraising efforts in the 12 months since the cyclone and has been made possible thanks to the support of Association Partners Gallagher, Beattie Insulators and Summit Steel & Wire. The equipment retails for more than $35,000 and will be distributed at the East Coast Farming Expo being held in Wairoa on 21-22 February.
“We are a year on from the cyclone, and some of these farmers are still unable to contain their stock. You can’t farm like that. As an Association, we hope this giveaway will help ease some of the financial and mental strain that these farmers are feeling,” says FCANZ President Phil Cornelius.
Recipients have been nominated by FCANZ members who work in the area and the local Rural Support Trust co-ordinator to ensure the gates and insulators make it to those who are really struggling to get on top of their farm fencing.
Family-owned New Zealand manufacturers Beattie Insulators have donated 10,000 insulators to the cause. “We are delighted to be able to work with FCANZ to help these farmers. We know it’s only a small part, but every bit helps.” Says Ivan Beattie, one of the second-generation company owners.
The Association will also host a BBQ on the evening of 21 February for FCANZ members, gate recipients and their families. FCANZ Patron Craig “Wiggy” Wiggins, and creator of the “Lean on a Gate, Talk to a Mate” movement, will be available to talk with people about their concerns for themselves or their friends.
“Some of these farmers are doing it really tough, so it’s never been more important for people to reach out to their mates and check they are ok. It can be hard to start the conversation, but Lean on a Gate has resources and people to help, no matter what you’re dealing with,” says Craig.
The Association also plans to be back in the district in early autumn to deliver another two-day re-fencing event, during which time fencers will volunteer their time to reinstate essential fencing.
Originally planned for late 2023, the event has been delayed to allow the ground to dry out – a plan hampered by recurring rain events. “The reality is that the scale of damage in the area means it will be some time before permanent fencing work can be started in many areas,” says Phil. “It makes sense that we come back in autumn and assist with the reinstatement of essential fencing then.”
To learn more about FCANZ, find a fencing contractor or become a member, visit www.fcanz.org.nz