20 Oct 2014

Clean up crews complete storm work

7:04 am on 20 October 2014

Taskforce Green teams that have been helping Northland farmers and orchardists with clean up and repairs after the July storms and flooding have finished up.

Flooding at Hukerenui, Northland.

Flooding at Hukerenui, Northland. Photo: Northland Regional Council

The Ministry for Social Development paid for 15 Enhanced Taskforce Green workers operating in three crews.

They put in almost 5000 hours over three months to help with the post storm clean up in mid-Northland and the Far North.

The teams cleared storm-damaged trees and crops, removed debris from paddocks and cleared and repaired fence lines on almost 90 properties.

Northland Rural Support Trust co-ordinator Julie Jonker said all the farmers and growers who asked for taskforce help got it.

She said what really made a difference this time was having the Northland Regional Council administer the scheme, rather than the various district councils.

"We learned a lesson from last time and the major thing was that MSD (the Ministry for Social Development) was onto it really quickly and that NRC (Northland Regional Council) stepped up to the mark and said right, we'll act as the employer and that way we won't have any problems crossing boundaries between the local territorial authorities.

The difficulty is when you're employing through local authorities and you've got a crew that needs to go from, basically, one side of Northland to the other, you suddenly cross into another territorial authority," she said.

"Then you have to change their employment and change the supervisors and it gets much more complicated. This was just very seamless."

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