Waiau farmers struggle without water or power

Contractors fixing lines (Newshub.)
Contractors fixing lines (Newshub.)

The farmers on the outskirts of the town Waiau are desperate.

An underground water pipe that 100 farms rely on to feed stock is broken. Without it, a critical rural water link is inoperable.

The farmers also face another challenge - four days since the quake, they remain without power.

Contractors are wrestling with broken lines and buckled poles.

And this is the source of the other major problem - the pump house was used to help deliver water.

"The power here is for the dairy cockies to get the pumps on," says MainPower lines supervisor Noel Boyd.

"It's a very big problem. We've heard the pipe from the source to the reservoir about 3 kilometres away is just munted," says Bob Kingscote, Chairman of the Waiau Rural Water Scheme.

The solution is constructing a new system above the broken land - emergency tankers will also be used to resupply stock.

Farmer Don Galletly's situation is even more complex. His milking shed is ruined - he's already lost his 960 cows - they've been moved to other farms.

And it's not just his shed that's taken a battering. The farm manager's house is also a complete write off. This water tank has been destroyed - it's lifted more than a metre out of the ground.

The farm, known as the Lockness, had been in the family for more than half a century - Mr Galletly's operation is over for the meantime.

However, he'll pick up the pieces and says he's determined to carry on.