Our district has been deeply shaken by the shooting of more than 200 sheep.
The sale raised close to $22,500 for the Stackhouse and Dodd families, both victims of recent sheep killings on their properties, with stock agents reporting ”generous” prices being paid.
Meanwhile, about $11,400 has been deposited in the Westpac bank account set up by Rural Women NZ North Otago.
When contacted, Ngapara farmer Peter Stackhouse said he was overwhelmed by the support shown.
”Words can hardly describe it … we’re really, really privileged to be in the North Otago area. We didn’t expect anything; it’s very, very humbling,” he said. . .
While the sale was about country people showing their support, he said he had also had calls from urban dwellers who were also very concerned and thinking about them.
The next best thing now would be for someone to be apprehended for the offending, he said.
Tapui farmer John Dodd said it showed ”good human nature against the opposite side of it” and he thanked the public for their support.
”Once you pick on one farmer, in my opinion, you’re picking on the whole lot. Farmers respond with kind hearts,” Mr Dodd said.
The sale was an initiative of Federated Farmers and the community, and it drew a much larger crowd than usual to the weekly Waiareka stock sale.
Organiser Greg Ruddenklau was ”over the bloody moon” with the result, after 168 sheep and several cattle beasts were donated.
”It just shows how much people care really, doesn’t it?” Mr Ruddenklau said.
While demonstrating the level of support for the farmers affected, it also showed that people ”don’t want these sort of things happening in North Otago, or anywhere”. . .
During spirited bidding, auctioneer Rod Naylor quipped: ”I wish it was like this every week”. . .
Mr Naylor said prices overall at the sale were ”generous”, compared to usual market value, which showed the buyers’ goodwill.
He described the result as ”tremendous” saying both the numbers of stock yarded and the prices achieved were higher than what had been expected.
Police said there were no further reported similar incidents over the weekend.
The first incident happened over the weekend of June 21-22 when 195 sheep were killed on the Stackhouse property, and at least a further 20 sheep were killed on the Dodd farm the following weekend.
In both incidents, police believed a firearm was used. Police actively patrolled the Ngapara area over the weekend and would continue to conduct patrols in the area, Detective Warren Duncan said.
A small investigation team, including some Dunedin staff, was working through information received from members of the public and carrying out inquiries.
Anyone with information should contact Oamaru police on (03) 433-1400 or call Det Duncan confidentially on (03) 433-1416.
Everyone in the area knows that this could have happened to anyone of us and everyone is happy to dig deep to help neighbours.
Money can’t replace decades of breeding which went in to the stud stock which were shot, nor can it take away the fear. But the generosity and good will locally and from further afield is heart warming.
We’ve been impressed by the police response too.
One of our staff was stopped and questioned on his way home late on Saturday night and a woman who had stopped to admire the stars found her car surrounded by police.