It was all smiles for the return of the regular Temuka sale.

Health and safety warnings have eased significantly since level 4 but saleyards gate master Rosemary Yeo was kept busy with health and safety management, meeting everybody for sign-in and sanitiser.

"You have to keep an eye on everybody and make sure those that choose to come do so for the right reasons. I have already had to ask one group of people to leave this morning [at the first sale since lockdown was lifted] as they were not buyers or sellers."

NZ Farms stock agent Peter Jackson personally made sure those in attendance kept each other safe. Photo / George Clark
NZ Farms stock agent Peter Jackson personally made sure those in attendance kept each other safe. Photo / George Clark

It was all about making sure everybody was in the right place, with 2m spacing and specified entry and exit points.

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The biggest concern for everyone was getting too close to the animals as a possible transmission would be extremely dangerous.

PGW administrator Wendy Taggart implored others to use the main sheet office so as to keep distance. Photo / George Clark
PGW administrator Wendy Taggart implored others to use the main sheet office so as to keep distance. Photo / George Clark

"It feels great to be back at work. You get a bit sick of doing the normal stuff around home but I had fun riding my mountain bike. There are some differences keeping it interesting, usually the companies come to an office to process stock but they are not allowed to do that now."

PGW livestock administrator Wendy Taggart said everyone was happy to be back.

"People prefer the stock come to a live auction so to properly assess market value and I tell you what, it is great to be back. I know people enjoy the connection with others rather than doing it online or not at all. There are a lot of smiles. The start of lockdown a lot of people grew beards, you come back and do not even recognise some of them!"

Rosemary Yeo stops every person entering to ensure sanitising and contact tracing. Photo / George Clark
Rosemary Yeo stops every person entering to ensure sanitising and contact tracing. Photo / George Clark

As 2IC of TESSCO South Canterbury Ltd, which helps run all scheduled sale days, Toni Hawes was also pleased to return.

"I look after all the sheep when they come in, we pen them up and the agents sell them and then my staff take them out to truck drivers. We work together so spacing out has been a bit difficult. You get the odd reminder from Rosemary when it looks like you may be getting too close."

Socially distanced. Bidders respected the rules. Photo / George Clark
Socially distanced. Bidders respected the rules. Photo / George Clark

"The main thing people come here for is to gossip," she laughed.

"It feels great to catch up with almost everybody. There are a lot of people who cannot attend because they are not buying or selling, with a no spectators allowed policy, but this is a thing they love to do each week. Stock still need to be shifted and sold so for us it really is just business as usual."

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