Two Hawke's Bay locals who set up an initiative to help Australian farming families affected by the devastating fires have received 500 requests to help.
Nathan Addis, who grew up in Waipawa, and Mark Warren, who farms in Central Hawke's Bay, called upon farmers around New Zealand to lend their properties to help their Australian counterparts.
Since setting up their Facebook page on January 2, the pair has received offers of properties for people to stay in, as well as offerings of shuttle services, rental cars, buses, and even an entire motel.
"At the start, we didn't really have any formal structure to anything and were getting swamped with enquiries on Facebook and via email," Addis said.
"But, we've put together an official document and sent it out to all those who had responded to us.
"As a result, we've had 500 of them sent back in. We know some people will still be away or busy, so we are expecting more."
Addis added: "That has given us a really good base to work from. Reading through the emails and messages has been quite a humbling experience."
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While anybody affected by the fires landing on New Zealand shores may still be some time away according to Addis, protocol is beginning to take shape after numerous meetings with organisations and agencies.
"Someone from Australia coming over here is probably still quite a long way away," he said.
"While the Australians are going through the whole process of sorting out government support, emergency accommodation, and insurance and so on, they need to be on the ground in Australia.
"Once all those processes are in place, then I think we'll be starting to see people wanting to come over and get away."
Addis added: "We've had some very positive meetings with organisations in New Zealand, with the experience and ability to provide the local support we will need. The next step is to finalise the groups we are going to work with here and get in contact with their sister agencies in Australia."
A Givealittle page has also been set up to "assist with the logistics, travel, and associated costs of getting Australian farmers and their families to the properties that have been so generously offered by Kiwis around New Zealand."
"We set the Givealittle page up because we had people coming to us saying I can't offer accommodation, but I would like to donate to the cause," Addis said.
The page has had over $1750 donated to it so far.
Addis said they've also been contacted "discreetly" by generous Hawke's Bay residents who are not only prepared to house those in need, but also to pay for their air travel.
Addis said they want to make sure that the people who eventually come over to New Zealand are "the most in need."
"There is a lot of enthusiasm for what we're doing and that is really cool," he said. "But, we also need some structure in how we go about it. We're just trying to help where we can.
"It was always going to take time to build the foundation because our focus has always been to make sure the New Zealand end of things operates like clockwork."