Plastic posts put to the test at New Zealand Rural Games

A truly Kiwi invention that turns waste plastic into long-lasting, hard-wearing fence posts that will be put to the test at the Hilux New Zealand Rural Games in Palmerston North this coming weekend.

The posts, developed by New Zealand farmer Jerome Wenzlick, will get a thorough public work-out at the New Zealand Speed Fencing Championships, part of the Hilux New Zealand Rural Games, on Saturday March 9.

The posts are made from recycled soft plastics and plastic milk bottles. They can be treated just like wooden posts, and are just as strong but are more flexible. Subject to the conditions of use, the serviceable life is expected to be at least 50 years.  Being plastic, they’re not affected by moisture, fungi, insects or rot. They also are not CCA treated, which means no leaching issues. And if a post does need to be replaced, the old one can be recycled again.

“We’re delighted to be debuting these posts at the Hilux New Zealand Rural Games,” Games founder Steve Hollander says. “They are a true example of Kiwi ingenuity – taking the problem of waste plastic and repurposing it into a New Zealand product that will have huge benefits on the farm and will last well into the future.”

“The posts will be set up alongside the Speed Fencing Championships. We hope plenty of people will come along to see how well they perform.”

The New Zealand Speed Fencing Championships pit our top fencers against the clock and each other, to use borers, put in a strainer, ram and chamfer the top strainer, run wires, insulate and put in posts.

Future Posts’ founder Jerome Wenzlick was inspired to create the posts while trying to ram posts in for a fence over an old rubbish tip site.

“What we’re doing is repurposing waste that could have gone to landfill and turning it in to a valuable product for consumers,” he says. The company has partnered with Fonterra for part of its raw materials supply and to distribute the posts. Each standard Future Post contains more than 200 plastic milk bottles, and 1,700 pieces of soft plastic, whereas a strainer post contains 1,600 milk bottles and 12,000 pieces of soft plastic.

“Our partnership with Fonterra gives us access to a steady supply of raw material from the Co-op’s own recycling initiatives,” he says. “It also gives us access to a network of nationwide Farm Source stores that can sell the fence posts, and access to 10,000 farmers who are actively engaged in environmental initiatives, like fencing to keep cows out of waterways and planting along river banks.”