Taskforce Green co-ordinator Alex Griffin (far right) is retiring for the second time from the role this year. His replacement Shayne Perkins stands beside him, ready to take over. In the background are former Taskforce Green and current Flexiworks workers (from left) Hamish Cuthbertson, Nicholas Daintith, Russell McLaren and Mark McKeay. Photo by Dan Hutchinson.
Retiring Dunedin City Council Taskforce Green co-ordinator
Alex Griffin is concerned some unemployed people are still
being ''left on their own''.
About 30 long-term community workers lost their Government
transport subsidy of $21 a week recently and Mr Griffin has
put his retirement on hold since March, until the future of
the programme was cleared up.
''We weren't too sure where the scheme was going and so the
council had to be a wee bit wary if they were going to
Shayne Perkins has now been employed to take over the
co-ordinator role and the council confirmed the scheme was
still a good fit with its community wellbeing strategy.
Community Development Team Leader Rebecca Williams said those
who lost their Government subsidy were no longer eligible for
it because it was supposed to last for only six months.
Now, when workers were no longer eligible for the Taskforce
Green subsidy, they could still continue to take part in
community work on a voluntary basis.
She said Mr Griffin was ''very passionate'' about what he did
and always put his workers first in everything. He was being
honoured with a farewell function today.
The council's Taskforce Green was not identical to the
Government's Taskforce Green scheme but it did administer
projects that met the Government's funding criteria and its
workers came via Work and Income.
Mr Griffin said the social aspect of the work scheme was the
''big issue'' for him and he felt the Government was not
looking after a lot of people who needed an opportunity to
''I just feel there is a lot of people left out on their own
today and it really upsets me ...
"They would rather be on our scheme than walking the
streets,'' Mr Griffin said.
He said it was good that his workers were still able to work,
and be contributing to the various beautification projects
around the city.