Following significant flooding resulting from a one-in-a-100 year rain event in Canterbury in late May 2021, the government offered assistance to affected farmers and landowners through their Enhanced Taskforce Green (ETFG) programme. CVNZ was chosen to provide this support through our connections with MSD and our experience running Conservation Work Skills programmes over the last three years. ETFG is administered by the Ministry for Social Development (MSD) and is a relief programme that can be instigated when there is a significant emergency or event that requires unskilled labour to help with clean-ups after major weather events.
Up to five teams and 35 job-seekers were engaged in the programme , including a team established in the Ashburton region, where much of the worst affected areas were. Participants received health and safety training and worked a 40 hour week. Tasks include clearing debris from fence lines, streams and riparian plantings, fixing fences and other general repairs as needed.
Initially intended as providing 8 weeks of on-ground support, the programme was extended twice -once in order to meet demand as more farms requested help, and the second time to compensate for the loss of delivery time due to Covid lock-down.
Over the course of the ETFG, some 60 farmers were directly supported through having a team on their property – the great majority receiving a minimum of 2 days on-ground support- in total, 157 days of on-farm work by the teams. The involvement of a number of agencies and district councils, including Federated Farmers and the Rural Support Trust, Civil Defence and of course MSD, was a critical contributing factor in the success of the initiative, which provided a ‘model delivery’ for the almost inevitable need for future programmes. Feedback from farmers was overwhelming positive, and the teams’ efforts have been greatly appreciated and acknowledged by both farmers and the participating agencies.
“We were so grateful they came and gave us assistance for removing debris. They were very hard-working, and nothing phased them and got on with the job, which wasn’t easy, but they did a marvellous job and made a tremendous difference. Many thanks Wendy & Paul”
“I can’t thank you enough the taskforce green did for us . It helped us that much to get our fences cleaned. It made our life after the flood so much easier. We are just cleaning up after the flood. If there is any help we can do to repay you. With love Judith & Pete”
“Can’t say thanks enough for help clearing up. Something of that magnitude is an impossible mountain to climb on your own and having a crew here to help is a huge mental boost as well as physically taking a step forward with repairs. Cheers Pete”
“We are very grateful for the assistance we have had from Taskforce Green. The post flood clean up was just too daunting for us initially to even look at. Once Taskforce Green arrived with their cheerful “can do” attitude and cleared fences which we had thought would be too difficult, the cleanup did not seem so impossible. This enabled us to get on with re fencing and making the paddocks stock proof again. Their work definitely helped with both our physical and mental wellbeing. So once again a huge THANK YOU to Taskforce Green, Regards, Helen & Philip “