Yesterday I noticed that the daffodils leaves are above ground and some flower buds are showing, the wattle trees are beginning to flower and some of the leaf buds on the trees are beginning to swell. Spring is beginning to think about coming! After the winter we’ve had, it will be very welcome.

I hope you’ve all coped with the unpleasant winter conditions we had recently – the cold, snow and the floods.

We were very fortunate in a way, as the ground was so wet that the snow didn’t really settle on our farm. However, looking around, there are still patches of snow on the hills.

The problems that the various areas have experienced over this winter, as well as the ongoing drought in North Canterbury got me thinking about llama rescue and the possibility of expanding this into a wider network to help llama and alpaca owners who find themselves needing help. Some years ago there was a large fire near Christchurch that affected a number of alpaca owners. Other alpaca owners who had floats offered help and animals were able to be moved out of danger.

Wouldn’t it be great if we had a register of people throughout New Zealand who had floats and would be prepared to help in emergencies, whether it was in disaster situations, or with animal rescues?

And wouldn’t it be great if we could extend this to people who could offer temporary or permanent accommodation to rescue animals?

In my last newsletter I mentioned that Keith Payne was appointed as Chairman of the new show/workshop subcommittee. You will see from recent emails that Keith has organised a workshop at the Rangiora showgrounds on the 24th September on Llamas handling. I’ve been to a couple of workshops Keith has run and can highly recommend them. The workshop is aimed mostly at those who are relatively new to llamas, but please don’t let this stop experienced llama owners from going. Not only will you be able to share information and experiences, but you will also be able to have a catch up with other llama owners.

This workshop is a great lead up to the Canterbury Show (9-11 November). Keith is aware that 3 days at the show is a long time for both animals and handlers, and has been able to arrange an alternative programme. Its an exciting one, and I’d like to encourage as many people as possible to consider showing their llamas. The show schedule and entry forms can be found on the Canterbury Show website.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate ask one of the convenors (Keith Payne & Lyn Cole).

Watch out for the Keiths next newsletter (due out very shortly) about the leadup to the Canterbury Show.

The next meeting of the NZLA Committee is on Tuesday, 6 September. If you have anything you would like added to the agenda, please send details to Judy (NZLA Secretary).