Task Force Green vouchers get boost

The Dunedin City Council has loosened the purse strings to show its appreciation for the work done by Task Force Green volunteers.

Councillors voted yesterday to a 50% increase to the weekly $20 supermarket voucher volunteers have traditionally received as a token of thanks for their efforts.

Councillors initially considered whether to increase the value of the voucher to $25 before they decided to bump it up to $30 instead.

Cr Sophie Barker moved the increase and said the value of the voucher had not gone up for "an awfully long time".

"Inflation is rapidly catching up."

Cr Jules Radich said he thought an increase to $25 might have been "a little bit token" and was the first to suggest $30 might be more appropriate.

Cr Lee Vandervis said while he was happy to support a one-off increase, he would not like to see the value of what was intended as a token gesture increased automatically by a percentage in the future.

"The monetary focus, I think, has a risk of detracting from the fundamental and very important concept of volunteering."

Cr Mike Lord said he disagreed and would have been comfortable with a much larger increase.

"Twenty dollars is absolutely nothing."

The increased value of the vouchers will cost the council an extra $15,600 per year.

Task Force Green volunteers provided 14,000 hours of voluntary work to the council in the 2020-21 year, equivalent to $270,000 of labour.

The majority of work was environmental in nature including maintenance of public green spaces, graffiti removal from public buildings and minor maintenance work.

-- andrew.marshall@odt.co.nz


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