Thames resident Lucan Johnson gets up at 5'oclock every morning - and bikes for around an hour to meet a van that will take him to work.

He says it's his soon to be born son that's motivating him to work hard.

"I look at my partner every day and I think, aww my babies growing inside her, and that's me, that's what gives me the motivation and the drive, plus I see my brother earning some good money," Mr Johnson says.

Mr Johnson's one of about 30 work and income jobseekers in 3 teams that are helping farmers clean up properties in Waikato which were hit by the weather bomb earlier this year.

Rocky Flats Farm near Onewhero, is one of more than 50 properties that have benefited from the workers' help in a temporary government funded programme called Enhanced Taskforce Green. It contracts Thames based Valley Education and Training
(VETEL) to employ the workers and provide all aspects of employment
management.

Farm Owner Teresa Phillips says there were more than 100 slips on their 11 hundred acre property and they no longer have vehicle access to the Western side of their farm. During the storm the creek that runs through their property was turned into a raging river.

"We ended up with lots of places where the fences were just taken out. Basically wherever the water went, as it came down, it tended to bring logs and rubbish and stuff with it as well, so as that came down, it just flattened the fences."

And with her husband Neal out of action due to an operation, the extra manpower is a "godsend."

"It's a great help. I mean it's not, it's not the be all end all because a lot of the damage is going to set us back five years. But by having these guys come in and open up some drains so the surface water gets away means I get a digger in the summer and do the job properly," Neal Phillips says.

It is tough work - but one of the working teams supervisors, Cervantes Matarangi, says the job is rewarding.

"It's just really heart felt, for us to help people and for them to be helped, and we get 'pikleted' out, 'sconed' out and 'muffined' out. Its really wonderful," Mr Matarangi says.

Some workers have even been offered permanent jobs by the farmers they've met.

Federated Farmers representative, Andrew MacLean, says the farmers are happy with the highly motivated teams and good quality of work.

"The farmers are getting lots of jobs done here which either wouldn't get done for months or in some cases might not get done at all, and because some of these people are living in quite isolated areas, [the farmers] enjoy having the crews on the farms."

Chazz Ngapera is Lucan Johnson's brother, and at 19-years of age he says the job has got him off the couch and away from his Xbox.

"I was just at home, just bloody, just I don't know, wasting my life I suppose, then I jumped on to this [job], and, it's been choice, it's been a lot better for me, my family," Mr Ngapera says.

Better because he's learning new skills while earning - and supporting the recovery of farms in Waikato.

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