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Source: New Zealand Government

The Government has announced further help for the Southland and Otago regions to speed up recovery efforts from the floods. 

“I’ve approved Enhanced Taskforce Green (ETFG), making $500,000 available to help with the clean-up in Fiordland, Southland, and the Clutha district in Otago,” Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni said. 

It follows immediate Government assistance of $200,000 earlier this month:  

  • The Southland Mayoral Relief Fund received $100,000 to support communities impacted by the flooding
  • Rural Support Trusts received $100,000 to help growers and farmers recover.


Minister Sepuloni said there is severe disruption for people being evacuated from homes, and with farms under water.

 “It’s put a lot of pressure on local communities and the Government is committed to helping them get through it.

 “This funding will mean jobseekers can be employed to help clear debris, including trees and baleage plastic, clear fences and buildings, and support general clean-up,” she said.

 So far around 700 farms in Southland and 50 farms in Otago have been contacted to see if immediate help is needed.

 “Some houses and other buildings have been affected in both urban and rural communities, with some residents unable to return to their homes.

 “The Federated Farmers-led group, the ‘Farmy Army’, have done great work so far with over 100 volunteers working across Southland farms to help with the initial clean-up, and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had the opportunity to thank them during a visit to the Southern Field Days last week.

 “Emergency services have also been on the ground supporting the response and the Government will continue to assist where needed,” Carmel Sepuloni said. 

 Note to editors: 

  • MSD is working alongside Territorial Local Authorities, MPI, Rural Support Trusts and communities to set up operations and find suitable jobseekers to take part.
  • Currently, there are roughly 60 farms still needing help with clean-up, and this number is expected to increase.
  • These numbers may change as more information comes to hand.

 Key dates 

3 February 2020

A State of Emergency for the Fiordland area.

4 February 2020

A State of Emergency was declared for the Southland, Gore areas and the Clutha District.

5 February 2020

The Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor declares an adverse event for the Southland and Otago regions, unlocking $100,000 for farmers and growers.

7 February 2020

The Minister of Civil Defence announced the Government would contribute $100,000 to the Southland regional Mayoral Relief Fund to support communities impacted by the flooding.

17 February 2020

Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare activates the Temporary Accommodation Service to help people whose homes were damaged by the severe weather and flooding across the Southland region.


What is Enhanced Taskforce Green (EFTG)? 

When a significant adverse weather event or natural disaster occurs, ETFG can provide funding to employ jobseekers to assist with the clean-up. ETFG can also be used to hire or purchase equipment and clothing to enable the clean-up.

 MSD provides funding for the programme and monitors expenditure related to that funding. The day-to-day management of the work associated with ETFG lies with the affected territorial authority.


What does ETFG funding include? 

  • Payment of full wages for workers start-up grants for councils to assist with the administration of ETFG
  • Hire or purchase of personal safety and light equipment for workers, and the hire of transportation to take work crews to work sites.