PCCG Uncategorised

Flood recovery report

Hi community

Many thanks to the large number of you that turned out yesterday to hear from Jon Roygard of Horizons, mayor Helen Worboys of MDC, MPI, MRSS & RFST & have the presence of FMG, DoC, Beef & Lamb & Dairy NZ as well as Ian McKelvie & Suze Redmayne

Below is a summary of the meeting for those that could not attend.

There are still many questions, issues & concerns but as a community, we can work together to help each other through this.

Points to note:

1)  Please email me with a list of your damages & concerns whether they be river, roading, access, communication or emergency response. PCCG will compile this information & use it to get more support & hopefully some action. 

2)  Mayor Helen will advise when the roading team are able to meet to discuss the long list of issues & come up with some solutions.  I will advise when this is happening meantime, keep hounding MDC or complete their on-line complaints form

3)  Jon Roygard will send the River Scheme map & Shane Carroll will advise when the next meeting is – I will let you know when I hear.

4)  Help is available if you need it – please just ask.  I am away until March 14th so please email or phone Matt Carroll
027 2571425

5) If you want to be involved in getting a community Civil Defense plan in place, even just for your area, please get in touch

6)  Big thanks to Alastair Cole of MPI & Matt Carroll for helping me to make this happen, MRCC, Beef & Lamb & Farmlands for the refreshments & Jon & Helen for fronting for their councils

Pohangina Valley Relief & Recovery meeting

Pohangina Hall, Friday March 3rd, 2023

Welcome & introduction from Matt Carroll, chair of Pohangina Catchment Care Group

Jon Roygard – Horizons Regional Council    

·         Horizons are here to support the community

·         A number of weather events in last 12 month have caused damage to many of the regions water systems

·         Need to get areas assessed – more staff deployed to the field & in office to answer phone calls & emails.  Helicopter survey booked

·         Shane Carroll chairs the Pohangina Oroua River Scheme – collects a portion of Horizons rates from all ratepayers in area; rate depends on proximity to river.  Currently about $500,000 in reserves, $250,000 already spent following January storm event.  AGM to be held shortly, anyone interested able to attend.

·         Jon to provide scheme maps to Lynda

·         $500 k will not be enough!  Are trying to get national assistance.

o   5 current nationally supported projects in the region

§  Whanganui Port

§  Lower Manawatu floodplain

§  Foxton flood protection

§  PN city – Mangaone Stream

§  Rangitikei River downstream of Bulls

·         1 in 80 year event but is the 2nd such event in 20 years!

·         Compared to 2004 – damage on a par except for bridge losses, river levels higher but volume of water was less.  Does this mean the river floor is higher?  More land lost then 2004.

·         River protection works if done properly & everyone does it. Work has been based south of Totara Reserve – may need to look at extending the scheme further north.

·         Land owned by lifestyle blocks on the river also entitled to protection

Helen Worboys – mayor Manawatu District Council     

·         Just returned from Wellington meeting with Kieran McNaulty – Minister for Emergency Management.  Even though Manawatu did not declare a state of emergency, still entitled to government assistance

·         Realised MDC response needs improving.  Recovery needs to be community led

·         Stressed importance of looking after ourselves & each other during recovery

·         Comments on lack of maintenance on roads, bridges & river nearing roads.  MDC have been waiting on back payments that have now been received so more money for maintenance now available

·         Complaints system has been upgraded, take all complaints seriously.

·         Bridges update – Konewa – a ford has been installed so this road is now passable with care to locals only.  A temporary bridge will begin contruction next week & aims to be completed in a month

o   Churchill Drive bridge much bigger issue – might be several years before a solution is found

o   Makiekie Bridge over Coal Creek – now has 6 tonne weight & 10 km/h restriction.  Concrete blockades in place to stop heavy vehicles.  Need engineering work to stabilise.

·         Concern over lack of contractors clearing slips & trees when roads become impassable, can locals clear these – advised to “Do it now & ask forgiveness later”

·         Work with Horizons & Waka Kotahi to protect infrastructure

·         Disappointment that roading team did not attend – Helen to organise a Public roading meeting to address issues & concerns & make a plan.  Time & date to be advised.

·         Concerns over emergency response when Raumai Bridge was closed.  PCCG aim to get a valley wide Civil Defence emergency plan established, community phone tree held by Pohangina Community Committee?

·         Need clearer signage as people are driving around road closed signs & non-local traffic still using the East road

Lee Ransom – Senior Regional Advisor – MPI         

·         $25 million government Farmers & Growers grant issued – $17 million already paid out.  Turn around very quick.  Maximum of $10,000 per claim

·         Simple form to complete either online or hard copy – post to PO Box 1654 Palmerston North

·         Must earn at least 51% of income from property.  If unsure enquire of apply anyway.

·         Important to keep evidence – photos of damage, receipts of work paid for, note hours both own, staff or voluntary, estimate of further/ongoing damage

·         May be further funding released so be ready

Aevryl Jestin – Manawatu Rural Support Services            021 082 34809

·         Free & confidential service

·         Information, advice & advocacy

·         Support during sickness, bereavement, unemployment, relationship breakdown or financial difficulties

·         Assistance with assessing info, resources, & services

·         Support to resolve loneliness, isolation or when struggling

·         Morning coffee meetings held regularly at St Bartholomew Church – Konewa & County Fayre in the village

Murray Holdaway – Rural Family Support Trust, Federated Farmers & Rural Co-ordination Group

·         Manawatu-Rangitikei rural Family Support Trust established to support farming families

·         Personal mental well-being, family relationships, farming difficulties, employment relationships, animal welfare concerns, financial difficulties, adverse climatic events & biosecurity incursions

·         Similar but different to MRSS – work closely with them

·         Tony Gray local area rep – or 0279603702

·         Rural Co-ordination Group formed after 2004 event to respond quickly to events like this.  MPI, Horizons, MDC, Federated Farmers, Beef & Lamb, Dairy NZ, Civil Defence.  Instigated this meeting

Refreshments were provided by Manawatu River Catchments Collective, Beef & Lamb & Farmlands

Also some important info in today from Shelley Dew-Hopkins who co-ordinated the 2004 flood relief

A few key things to tell your community;
Regardless of whether they receive 50% of their income from their farm/lifestyle block etc they do need to record the following;
Set up a flood recovery file
Take photos of all damage and record it
Estimate kms of fencing and waterline damage
How many troughs, gates, pumps, culverts are either blocked, damaged or missing
How many estimated hectares are damaged by silt or slips, photograph what they can
Keep hours of staff who are off normal duties and working on flood recovery. Including owners time and effort
Keep receipts of heavy machinery used for recovery
Photograph track damage and amount of damage
I think there will be more recovery monetary assistance for farmers. Lifestyle and small owners may be eligible through mayoral relief funds, rates rebates etc Hopefully they will put some funds into the DC's
Very important they are ready for when more information comes to light.
Very important they document their stories of what happened, the impact on themselves, their families and communities. In other words tell the story.
All creates a picture for any future assistance that may be forthcoming. Put in impacts of bridge damage etc, schooling disruption and so on.

And from Jason Griffin of Beef & Lamb

Information about the increased risk of Lepto following a flood.  Is the last thing a farmer would want to get.  Takes a long time to recover. 

Here’s a link to a recent article.

 Stay safe & keeping looking out for each other



PCCG Update

The current very wet winter is proving a challenge for valley residents – farmers and small blockers alike. We are fortunate to have missed the extreme weather events that have severely impacted many areas throughout the country and the roads have remained mostly passable. Waterways have had a decent clean out with the testing results generally returning lower readings for trace elements and e-coli although turbidity has been higher. We will attempt to have a community water quality report for the next newsletter for the trends from the 2 years we have been testing.

The Pohangina committee are planning to host Beef & Lamb facilitated workshops on Green House Gases 18th August and Winter Grazing and are planning a field day for November 5th aimed at small holders and lifestyle block owners. The content is still to be confirmed but revolve around land management and animal health. The group are also keen to re-establish the East vs West cricket competition and have set a date of 11th or 12th February 2023 – watch this space.

Manawatu River Catchments Collective continue to fund the 11 water testing sites monthly with funding they have received from MPI. MRCC have just received a further round of funding from MPI which will be used to continue providing support to the existing catchment groups in the Manawatu and is assisting a number of new groups to get established. There are currently catchment groups based at Pohangina, Upper Oroua/Kiwitea, Haynes Creek, Nguturoa/Linton, Stoney Creek, Mangaone West, Upper Tiraumea, Waitahora, Mangaone River (east coast) with new groups being established at Aptit (Oroua River), Moutoa & Upper Manawatu. The Phase 2 round of funding will allow groups to apply for funding for specific projects where community learning opportunities can be held. Some potential projects could include releasing dung beetles, wet land development, community planting & fencing projects, old mans beard & other plant pest control & establishing on-farm silt traps & bio-reactors.

Dates to note:

Beef & Lamb GHG workshop August 18th at Highland Home Smallholders field day November 5th East vs West Cricket match February 11 or 12 2023 Any questions, please do not hesitate to contact either Matt Carroll 0272571425 or Lynda Gray 0275648003


Pohangina Catchment Care Group update

Firstly, a huge THANK YOU to the Ashhurst Pohangina Lions Club for sponsoring one of the water testing sites – your support is greatly appreciated.

The PCCG held a very informative Land Owners Field Day on July 13th hosted by Matt & Shane Carroll & Nicola Shadbolt at Westview. There is a lot of new regulation being thrown at farmers currently & the purpose of the Field Day was to provide some insight into what this means going forward.

Ian McNab, a senior rural advisor from Horizons gave the first presentation. Horizons have found themselves in the unenviable position of being told they have to implement & enforce the new Government Regulations by a given time but the details in what that looks like have not been finalised and are forever changing. Horizons are wanting to work with farmers but farmers will need to be proactive in doing their bit. Ian touched on topics like intensive winter grazing, feed lots & stock holding areas, fish passage, stock exclusion regulations, freshwater plans & environment plans. These changes effect every land owner with more than 20 hectares. Horizons are currently aerial mapping some intensive winter grazing areas throughout the region so they will be able to monitor how these are being managed in the future. Ian left a supply of folders of information – if anyone would like one of these, please contact Matt or Lynda. Courtney Skou is the local Horizons Land Management Officer and she is also available to be contacted for advice on

Steph Sloan then did a presentation on Overseer – one of the platforms available to farmers to measure their Green House Gas emissions (a figure that farmers with a land area 80 hectares or more need to know by the end of 2022) and calculating inputs and outputs. Laura Keenan followed with a presentation of green house gases, carbon footprint and farm environment plans.

The day ended with a presentation from Paul Jansen of DOC on the planned release of kiwi into the Pohangina Valley. Paul thinks that the valley is the ideal location to reestablish a kiwi population, not up in the hills but down on farmland that is surrounded by bush areas. Kiwi enjoy foraging on farmland that has been grazed by cattle, turning over cowpats to find bugs & grubs as long as there is sheltered areas of bush for them to nest in during the day. The Southern Ruahine Kiwi Habitat Restoration Project has received funding for an extensive trapping project targeting stoats, ferrets, feral cats and possums which will also protect other threatened species in the valley including whio, native snails, long tailed bats and will improve general forest health. The goal is to release kiwi in the area in 2026.

The Pohangina Catchment Care Group would like to hold further workshops for farmers & landowners in the valley and are currently talking with Beef & Lamb about hosting several of their FarmPlan workshops. If you are interested in being involved in one of these, please contact Matt or Lynda.

The Manawatu River Catchments Collective was formed in December 2020 by the leaders of a number of catchment care groups in the Manawatu. As an Incorporated Society, MRCC aims to secure funding and provide support for the development projects that groups plan to undertake. MRCC have just received a grant from MPI to assist in the cost of some water testing & employ a co-ordinator/ facilitator who will work with the 10 existing catchment groups in the Manawatu (& any newly formed groups) to prepare operational plans so that further funding can be applied for. The Pohangina Catchment Care Group will benefit from these funds & is currently evaluating the groups goals & objectives in preparation for this plan. We may call on valley locals for a consensus vote of our operational plan soon. For the future of our group please participate. MRCC is strongly farmer driven and want to share the great environmental work that is currently being done throughout the region as well as ensuring economic and social wellbeing with any future projects.

If anyone would like further information about the Pohangina Catchment Care Group or would like one of the Horizons information folders, please contact
Matt Carroll or Lynda Gray