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FCANZ appoints Patron to support rural mental health

Fencing Contractors Association of New Zealand (FCANZ), the industry body for fencing contractors, has partnered with rural mental health and wellbeing advocate Craig “Wiggy” Wiggins. Wiggy has stepped up as a patron for the Association in a move that is expected to bring greater support to those living and working in rural communities. 

Phil Cornelius, FCANZ President, says that the partnership with Wiggy is important for the industry and the rural sector. “As an Association we represent the fencing industry as a whole, but our roots are very rural, and the majority of our members are still strongly connected with the rural sector. Rural mental health has always been a challenge, but even more so now in light of the unprecedented destruction caused by the extreme weather events of the first two months of 2023.”

Whatever With Wiggy founder Craig Wiggins is well known for his rural mental health initiatives including “Lean on a gate, talk to a mate” and his Whatever With Wiggy Facebook group. Established in response to the 2020 COVID lockdown, the Whatever With Wiggy Charitable Trust seeks to maintain and build connections within the rural community. 

Initially Whatever With Wiggy consisted of a Zoom meeting every Thursday night, with up to 80 plus attendees, discussing everything from covid to politics, to mental health and all issues affecting rural communities. Now, as part of the ongoing advocacy work for mental health and wellness in rural communities Wiggy’s work also includes nationwide Rural Health and Wellbeing checks with the Carr Family Foundation, checking farmers’ overall health and wellbeing at rural events, and Agriconnect, providing mental health seminars for the rural service industry and rural professionals.

“Being invited to be a Patron for FCANZ is an exciting time. It allows us another way to connect with another important part of the rural community – and means that we can continue supporting those who need it. We’re already hearing about the stresses that rural fencing contractors are under trying to support their existing clients, while servicing all of the insurance assessments coming through – not to mention dealing with the impact that the Cyclone has had on their own personal and business lives. There are challenging times ahead.”

FCANZ has always had a connection with Wiggy, so this partnership is not unexpected. In 2022 Association members raised $15,000 for the Whatever With Wiggy charitable trust in an impromptu charity auction at their annual conference. “This level of un-prompted support shows just how important our members and industry partners feel Wiggy’s work is. We’re excited to have him on board as our Patron and we look forward to working with him further”

FCANZ will be holding a charity auction at their conference this year in New Plymouth and hope to meet or beat the $15,000 raised last year.

Anyone who is interested can reach out for support through the Whatever With Wiggy Facebook page at  

FCANZ Patron Craig "Wiggy" Wiggins accepting the award for Ravensdown Agricultural Communicator of the Year.
FCANZ Patron Craig “Wiggy” Wiggins accepting the award for Ravensdown Agricultural Communicator of the Year.


To learn more about FCANZ or find a fencing contractor in your area visit