3 Jun 2016

Farming on the Fringe

From Country Life, 9:29 pm on 3 June 2016
Michael Diack gives farmer Sue Scott a new look

Michael Diack gives farmer Sue Scott a new look Photo: RNZ / Cosmo Kentish-Barnes

Dozens of cut and blow wave vouchers from Kaos Hair Salon in Invercargill have been gifted to dairy farmers in response to the plunging payout.

“We really want to be able to give back to our rural communities because we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for our farmers,” said salon owner and hairdresser Michael Diack.

The initiative is run by the Southern Dairy Women’s Network in order to raise rural spirits and give women a chance to catch up with others and get some well-deserved pampering.

Outside KAOS HQ on Tay Street

Participants outside KAOS HQ on Tay Street Photo: RNZ / Cosmo Kentish-Barnes

Michael and Felicity Diack have owned the salon on Tay Street for nearly 20 years and from listening to their rural client’s stories, they are acutely aware of the financial pressures some people are under at the moment.

“There are a lot of masks that people wear when you talk to them. When they are in the salon getting their hair done they really let those barriers down and they allow us into their worlds every now and then.”

As well as getting her hair styled, sharemilker Johanna O'Callaghan is also enjoying the social interaction with like-minded people.

“I think we underestimated the community, being together and having somewhere to talk, or seeing a friendly face that you know is really, really important, especially through tough times”.

So far Michael and Felicity have given out 80 vouchers and the farmers who have received them were nominated by others who felt they deserved a treat.

Katrina Thomas is the Southland Dairy Women’s Network convener. 

“This initiative has been a huge hit in the region and it has also helped us to identify a number of women who needed additional support.''

No time for reflection

No time for reflection Photo: RNZ / Cosmo Kentish-Barnes

Click here to visit the Southland Dairy Women’s Network Facebook page.