Farming, droughts and Covid-19: The creation and maintenance of community in a time of hardship and forced social restrictions
Permanent link to Research Commons versionhttps://hdl.handle.net/10289/15121
In the summer of 2019-2020 the Hawkes Bay farming community of RD9 was faced with extreme drought conditions. To further compound the droughts effects on the RD9 community, they were also made to abide by the strict social restrictions required to limit the transmission of Covid-19 throughout the community from March to May of 2020. As farmers are already required to live in physical isolation due to their profession, the Covid-19 isolation period compounded the pre-existing tensions between the farmers of RD9 and the wider New Zealand community and New Zealand government. In this thesis I argue that more needs to be done in order to help New Zealand farmers with the environmental, social and economic issues that farmers face at an increasing level. From the increasing frequency of droughts, the constant government restructures impacting on the agricultural sector at both at the ground level and industrial level, and consistent and persistent social and physical isolation experienced in rural living, New Zealand farmers are having to deal with many events that are out of their control. As such, I argue that it is crucial to consider how to help farmers maintain a sense of wellbeing, connection and belonging during a period of hardship in periods of hardships such as the situations that unfolded in 2020.
The University of Waikato
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- Masters Degree Theses