An article by Jess Helps

The cold doesn't faze this team. (Credit: Jess Helps)

The weather has been somewhat on all our minds lately. Mother nature is giving us a good smash around here on the Peninsula and we are all feeling it. The farmers losing fences and water, homes with silty rapids lapping at the door. The arduous clean-up afterwards, shoveling silt off drives and away from gardens. Searching for, then replacing lost and damaged equipment. It can all be very disheartening.

What I want to note is the special way in which this community knits together during these uncanny times. It is heartwarming. Folks helping each other through rain or shine, kind words and offering hands, it makes you proud to be a peninsula local.

The ground is waterlogged and there is nowhere else for the water to go, except down. (Credit: Jess Helps)

We are all in the same waterlogged boat so to speak. This weather has impacted us severely and pushed our work plan around something terrible, but we persevere, and adapt. There are days when the team are out wading through mud and creeping lake edge to rescue or check waterlogged traps on Kaitōrete and it’s real hard yakka. There are days when you return covered in mud and aching, with no catches in the traps, and you know 100% that the animals you are trying to catch are far smarter than you, staying safe and dry in their dens. Despite this, we continue when we can, and when it is safe to do so.

This crew is 100% tough stuff (Credit: Jess Helps)

There are times when the weather isn’t ideal, but the team find a way to enjoy their work. There is a real sense of accomplishment when you tackle the elements head-on, and it feels like you have almost won. For myself enjoyment it is driving through large puddles on the long boring road down to Kaitōrete and enjoying the resulting wake in my path or trying to catch snow in my mouth while my workmates laugh at me for being such a darn kid at heart. Other notable times were when we were scrub cutting in the snow, coming back after a long cold day, with flush cheeks and cold fingers and getting ambushed by raucous workmates with stockpiled snowballs. We forgot about our numb fingers quickly and a snowball war ensued amid shouts and excitement.

There is a time for work, and a time for play - sometimes both at the same time... (Credit: Jess Helps)

Yes, Climate change has dealt us some real challenges lately but we Peninsula people look after each other and I know that will continue. There will be failures, yes, but there will also be successes despite what this wild weather throws at us. We are here to help you, to rid the Wildside of possums, rain or shine. We are also here to support you, the landowner, through these hard times. Don’t worry, we understand the challenges each of you are facing and we will face them together.

Kia Kaha and here enjoy these pictures of PFBP’s wild weather times.

"It's just up there - somewhere...?" (Credit: Jayden Lum)