46 year old community sustains severe damage from cyclone Gita
Raising funds to help restore the natural beauty to Marahau Valley Farm Community and ensure the safety of its residents.Nelson / Tasman
Marahau Valley Farm Community is a co-operative community on the southern boundary of the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park. We have 10 families, some with children, and numerous visitors- who value living with each other, the environment, and the chance to live sustainably.
With the 350mm downpour which Ex-Cyclone Gita brought us, we were going through near apocalyptic events that have left us shaken. Our community land and livelyhoods were severely damaged from massive slips, on steep terrain, below an area which has been commercially logged. These slips brought down with them many cut pine logs, stumps and general debris which wiped out large sections of native bush as they carved out a new path to the valley floor- which has endangered numerous houses. It also brought with it unimaginable amounts of silt/sand/gravel with it, creating a up to a 2-metre blanket over roads, carparks, orchards/ gardens and farmland- with the permanant loss of two grazing paddocks, .
We are incurring large expenses to repair heavy damage in relation to: access roads, retaining walls protecting houses, river redirection, debris removal, replacement water supply, grey water systems, fencing, future legal costs, etc
Some of our residents carry insurance and EQC claims are in process, however it is very unlikely this will be sufficient for all community repairs. Due to safety concerns- some residents are questioning the viability that they can remain here. We are hoping to raise funds to help restore our community to the beautiful/ peaceful place it was before the cyclone.
Please note that our fundraising target is likely to change as more expenses are realised during cleanup & restoration.
One News, 21 feb 2018 https://facebook.com/1NEWSNZ/videos/10155191822916218
Gita slip, 20 feb 2018 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfA3lxrRNbs
Logjam lets go, 20 feb 2018 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTypB4-6MAc
Use of funds
Funds will be used for various expenses in relation to the cleanup, restoration of the land, and the safety of those who live there (as outlined above).
A Big thank you for all your donations to our community restoration efforts. It has a been a stressful period for most people here. Some temporary folk renting have left because it was all too much, but thankfully now- it looks like all our main community members are staying.
There have been diggers working here almost every day since the cyclone- digging out & shaping new stream channels, clearing huge piles of silt & pine debris, reshaping/ flattening out much of the lower community. This is being mostly paid for by EQC claims, and Tasman forestry. It kinda looks like a bare new subdivision- which we will be planting with new grass seed & native trees (some large existing trees are dying due to the meters of silt around their bases)
Our three largest beef cows were dispatched early because we had no longer had paddocks capable of holding them. Temporary electric tape is plugging gaps in the damaged fences- but it will still be some time before our overworked fencer can rebuild them all properly. A group of volunteers from Motueka came out and helped us clear all the pine debris throughout our paddocks into a big burn pile.
A new community waterline was built up the creek & a small dam at the intake- so our water supply has been restored (however there have been major concerns with forestry weed/ gorse spray drifting into our catchment). Almost all our toilets are composting and we have filters processing our grey water- so waste water is not an issue.
We all hope that when the bills come in- the community account and funds from this givealittle campaign will cover them.
Key people in the greater Marahau Village have formed a collective "Save Marahau" to challenge/ stop further forestry replanting on steep separation point granite- so this type of disaster won't be repeated in future storms. This is being supported by an environmental lawyer.
Recent news articles have shown the damage forestry runoff has done to the marine environment. It is ridiculous we can call our country 'clean green NZ' while this type of industry is permitted.
...and the main Marahau hill road has finally been reopened (albeit with stop/go traffic control).
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This page was created on 1 Mar 2018 and closed on 28 Aug 2018.