Fresh groceries are welcomed at isolated homes

'A lovely surprise'.

'A lovely surprise'.

A helicopter loaded with fresh bread, milk and cookies really made the day for residents around Rangikohua Road yesterday, inland from Tolaga Bay.

Farm managers Gemma and Rob O’Sullivan, and their eight-month-old baby George, said it was a lovely surprise.

Neighbours Marsha and Neil Wilcox enjoyed having fresh bread sandwiches for lunch yesterday.

The grocery drop was done by Gisborne District Council staff flying in to check on residents in the remote area.

“They were just dropping in to see how many people were living in each house and to touch base.

“It was really nice,” said Mrs Wilcox, who runs a sheep and beef farm with her husband.

They have been home on the farm all week and had two days without power, which also meant no phone because their landline needs electricity.

“All the neighbours got stuck in and cleared slips. We have really great neighbours.”

That was neighbours Burne and Tracey McNeil.

Mr McNeil said he and his head worker Stan Brown headed out with a chainsaw and a tractor to clear the roads on Monday.

They had to rely on themselves to get access and it was “a hell of a mess”.

Mr McNeil said horse access was still the best transport right now, as horses were quite safe in these conditions and did not tip over. The McNeils also run a sheep and beef farm. They have lost floodgates, two kilometres of fences and access tracks around the farm.

It was going to take a lot of time to get back on track, he said.

“We have to just carry on.”

A helicopter loaded with fresh bread, milk and cookies really made the day for residents around Rangikohua Road yesterday, inland from Tolaga Bay.

Farm managers Gemma and Rob O’Sullivan, and their eight-month-old baby George, said it was a lovely surprise.

Neighbours Marsha and Neil Wilcox enjoyed having fresh bread sandwiches for lunch yesterday.

The grocery drop was done by Gisborne District Council staff flying in to check on residents in the remote area.

“They were just dropping in to see how many people were living in each house and to touch base.

“It was really nice,” said Mrs Wilcox, who runs a sheep and beef farm with her husband.

They have been home on the farm all week and had two days without power, which also meant no phone because their landline needs electricity.

“All the neighbours got stuck in and cleared slips. We have really great neighbours.”

That was neighbours Burne and Tracey McNeil.

Mr McNeil said he and his head worker Stan Brown headed out with a chainsaw and a tractor to clear the roads on Monday.

They had to rely on themselves to get access and it was “a hell of a mess”.

Mr McNeil said horse access was still the best transport right now, as horses were quite safe in these conditions and did not tip over. The McNeils also run a sheep and beef farm. They have lost floodgates, two kilometres of fences and access tracks around the farm.

It was going to take a lot of time to get back on track, he said.

“We have to just carry on.”

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