$500,000 in assistance funding will be extended to Tasman and Taranaki residents who are struggling to clear up the mess left by ex-Cyclone Gita.
The Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni, on March 12, gave the green light to activate Enhanced Taskforce Green, which made the funding available to the regions.
“The Government is committed to ensuring these regions have the support needed to recover from the storm damage wrecked by Gita,” Sepuloni said. “We’ve been in regular contact with people on the ground, particularly the local councils, Ministry of Primary Industries and the local Rural Support Trusts, and will continue to take stock of the situation as the clean-up continues.”
In the Tasman District, the Minister said five hectares of apple orchards were completely destroyed by flooding silt and debris, and the key focus will be on orchards needing silt cleared from around the trees and vines.
“So far 10 orchards, mostly apple and Kiwifruit, have been identified as potentially needing support in some of the hardest hit areas. Not requiring specific skills or heavy machinery, these are perfect places for temporary workers to make a difference,” she noted.
“We are also assessing a significant number of other properties and it is likely other work will be identified as the work proceeds.”
The Enhanced Taskforce Green programme employs job seekers to assist with clean-ups following emergency events. Anyone who needs support should contact the Tasman District Council.
“While the funding also covers the Taranaki Region, initial reports indicate machinery and skilled work is mostly required – not appropriate for ETFG at this stage. However if suitable work is identified ETFG is available,” the Minister added.