Under the expert supervision of Mike Brock of Land Based Training, the Enhanced Taskforce Green team have now completed remedial and fencing work on over 30 Tararua farms, with more in the pipeline.

Recently Jane Tylee and Simon Hales from Rural Support Trust caught up with the team and passed on a collective ‘thanks’, for all of the hard work they have put in for farmers in our district so far.  They shared lunch and a small thank you gift to show their appreciation.

Tangiwai Martin and Freedom Woolley are among the five men who have been working on farms through Enhanced Taskforce Green in Tararua, since June 19th.  They both agree working outside, brushing up on hands on skills, and learning new ones, has been a hugely positive experience.

Martin, who grew up in Dannevirke, is no stranger to farming, spending much of his youth in Tararua woolsheds under the direction of his late Koro, and well-known shearing contractor, Luke Martin. He returned to Dannevirke after spending time in Australia and found himself without work.

The opportunity to be back on farms, re-learning skills he hasn’t used for years has been really satisfying.  Bike rides, the views, crisp late winter and early spring mornings, plus the odd bit of baking from thankful farming families, have made the experience really rewarding.

Freedom Woolley is also soaking up the new experience, after previously spending years in the forestry industry. He says, “the fencing work is hard on your hands, but it’s good to get paid to do something you love”.

Woolley acknowledges that the practical on-site, hands-on learning is what he enjoys the most.  He knows he has a lot of skills from previous work experience, but not the formal qualifications.  Through Enhanced Taskforce Green, he can gain qualifications as he works, with rainy days spent in a classroom style setting doing theory-based learning towards qualifications.

At the end of the Enhanced Taskforce Green contract Woolley hopes to head to a fishing school in Nelson, and then onto a career at sea, where his passion truly lies.

For farmers, the free help on farm has been gratefully received. Local farmer Dave Kerr said of his experience with Enhanced Taskforce Green, “getting guys on the job and seeing stuff getting completed really lifts you up. These are really nice guys doing a really good job”

The Enhanced Taskforce Green contract in Tararua has been extended until 1 December 2023.  The programme, which is funded by the Ministry of Social Development, is a regional response to adverse natural or weather events, that cause significant damage. It links up job seekers with work experience, and the opportunity to help and support their local community.

Tararua farmers who haven’t had Enhanced Taskforce Green on farm, please take up this opportunity to get some help with cyclone related fencing repairs. Farmers can contact Simon Hales on 027 27 88042 for more information.

Source: Tararua District Council, https://www.tararuadc.govt.nz/news/2023/october/enhanced-taskforce-green-doing-great-work-in-tararua. , 02/11/2023