News and Views

Highway reopening lifts farmers and their communities’ spirits

Federated Farmers congratulates all those involved in getting State Highway One north of Kaikoura reopened.

The coastal highway has been under repair after 2016’s Kaikoura- Hurunui earthquake caused major landslides blocking sections, making them impassable.

Locals, including our farmers, who were significantly affected are delighted with the outcome – as are Federated Farmers Marlborough and North Canterbury provinces which were involved in the subsequent community response and recovery.

“A big thank you to all the workers and those who provided services throughout the rebuilding of the highway. This was a momentous undertaking when you consider the situation we were in exactly a year ago, while also, the time and resources that have gone into this,” says Sharon Parkes, Federated Farmers Marlborough President

“For farmers and their communities, this is a great start to the festive period. It’s been such a tough year for many, rebuilding their lives and businesses after the quake.”

Farmers’ north of the Clarence River had it especially tough being effectively isolated from the southern end of the highway.

“It was challenging for those farmers not being able to get prime animals to markets or replacements for them, and there was no access to beehives either only a few kilometres away,” says Sharon.

North Canterbury Provincial President Lynda Murchison said the reopening would bring welcome relief to farmers and their communities who endured major disruption to their daily lives.

“It’s so crucial to have this highway open again. While much of the focus has been on getting tourists back into the region, it’s the rural sector too that relies heavily on this route.

“Looking back, if anything, this whole experience has demonstrated rural New Zealand at its best, whether it’s those rebuilding the highway or local farmers finding solutions to keep their businesses ticking over,” says Lynda.

Source: Federated Farmers

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