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Clevedon farmers count flood costs

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 12/03/2017

Clevedon farmers are facing hefty bills after recent flooding damaged feed and fencing and washed away farm roads.

Federated Farmers member Robert Cashmore, the son of Auckland deputy mayor Bill Cashmore, says the cost to his property, which backs onto the Hunua Ranges, could run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

He estimated 370mm or about one quarter of the region's annual rainfall, dumped on his farm in five days.

The downpour forced a river on the property to break its banks multiple times destroying fencing, culverts and tracks, and leaving parts of the property cut off, he told NZ Newswire on Monday.

Fortunately, Mr Cashmore's stock were unharmed when he happened to move them to higher ground just before the first major downpour hit last Tuesday.

Despite that good fortune, he still believes his farm could take a financial hit of between $100,000 and $400,000.

This includes bringing two diggers in to repair tracks at around $1000 a day each and fixing kilometres of fencing that could cost between $10 and $20 per metre to repair.

He also faces challenges moving his sheep around the farm to keep them adequately fed and has instead had to allow them to roam freely.

A secondary income from logging has also been halted after trucks and equipment were no longer able to reach high ground on the farm after the tracks were badly damaged.

If the ground around the trees does not dry up soon, he said logging may be halted for the season.

"Then the logging prices could drop by next summer so there could be a substantial missed income there," he said

Mr Cashmore said while his farm received large rainfalls annually, folks in the region had seen a downpour so heavy since the 1960s.

Faced with the aftermath of the floods, he said he has no choice but to "get on" with the back-breaking work.

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