6 Mar 2012

Taranaki farmer estimates $2m storm damage

1:51 pm on 6 March 2012

A southern Taranaki farmer and forester estimates the weekend storm has cost him $2 million in damage to farm buildings, equipment and loss of trees.

Roger Dickie has a dairy and dry stock farming operation in the Waverley area, between Whanganui and Hawera.

He says the worst damage caused by north-westerly followed by south-westerly winds is concentrated along the coastal strip and up to about 20 kilometres inland, between Patea in the west and Maxwell near Whanganui.

After surveying the damage by helicopter on Monday he estimates hundreds of hectares of pine forest has been destroyed on the coast alone.

"I've lost about 50 hectares of my own forest, and it looks as though we've had about 40 hectares damage from a couple of partnership forests we have in this area.

"Any forests that were about 20 to 21 years old have been destroyed, totally, like a rolling pin's gone across them."

Roger Dickie says other parts of his farm have also suffered significant damage, with 14 buildings damaged and farm equipment destroyed.

Mr Dickie says his farm property is insured, but his trees are not.

While attempts will be made to salvage the timber, he says, the harvest cost will be high and the wood quality lower than normal so there is little likelihood of a return to the farmer.

His farm was still without power on Monday and he had five generators running.