Assistance for cyclone-hit Tasman and Taranaki regions

Tasman and Taranaki residents struggling to clear up the mess left by ex-Tropical Cyclone Gita can access a helping hand following an announcement today by Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni.

“The Government is committed to ensuring these regions have the support needed to recover from the storm damage wreaked by Gita,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

“Today I gave the green light to activate Enhanced Taskforce Green, making up to $500,000 of funding available.

“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.

“Five hectares of apple orchards in the Tasman District were completely destroyed by flooding silt and debris, the key focus will be on orchards needing silt cleared from around the trees and vines.

“So far ten 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.

“We are also assessing a significant number of other properties and it is likely other work will be identified as the work proceeds.

“Enhanced Taskforce Green is a work programme that employs job seekers to assist with clean-up following emergency events. Anyone who needs support should contact the Tasman District Council.

“While the funding also covers the Taranaki Region, initial reports indicate that machinery and skilled work is mostly required - not appropriate for ETFG at this stage. However if suitable work is identified ETFG is available,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

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