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Social Development Minister Anne Tolley today visited the clean-up teams in Edgecumbe which have successfully completed their second week of work.

“The Government has provided up to $500,000 of Enhanced Taskforce Green funding to employ people to assist Whakatane District Council with the clean-up,” says Mrs Tolley.

“Three clean-up teams have been working hard over the last two weeks to clear debris from Edgecumbe township and surrounding public spaces, including Thornton Beach Reserve, Edgecumbe Domain and local playgrounds.

“The teams have also completed work on a number of farm blocks around Edgecumbe, Whakatane and Poroporo rural areas, clearing debris from kiwifruit orchards and maize fields.

“The clean-up teams are making great progress, and the feedback from the community has been really positive.”

To date, 23 properties have been identified as part of the clean-up programme which runs for 12 weeks, and can be potentially further extended.

Currently 16 beneficiaries have been allocated across three teams. A fourth Galatea/Murupara team will be up and running shortly once the clean-up programme has been agreed with the Rural Support Trust.

Since the April floods, around 2,900 civil defence payments totalling over $800,000 have been made to help people with food, clothing and bedding. The Temporary Accommodation Service has received 110 requests to date.

The Government also announced in April $700,000 to further support local businesses, farmers and growers. Inland Revenue also waived late payment fees and penalties for those prevented from paying on time due to the floods.

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