A scheme designed to employ Northlanders who lost jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic has exceeded its target by getting just under 270 people into short-term work.
The Northland worker redeployment scheme originally aimed to employ 165 people for a six-month period.
Of the almost 270 who ended up being employed about 100 had lost their jobs due to the virus' economic impact.
The scheme will also continue longer than planned, until late February, because the July storm that triggered floods and slips around Northland delayed some projects.
Last May Northland received $9.51 million of $100m nationwide to help Covid-hit workers into alternative employment.
An extra $4m was allocated for repairs and maintenance after the July storm, bringing the total to $13.51m.
Work done included removing hazardous trees from roadsides and rivers, spraying noxious weeds, and construction work on cycle trails, footpaths and walkways.
About 20 tonnes of litter were picked up along Northland state highways as well as significant amounts from local roads and waterways.
And 21 anti-littering signs were installed at rubbish hotspots around the region.
Sites cleaned up included the Utakura River, near Ōkaihau, where more than 100kg of rubbish was dumped from a bridge in July. The river drains Lake Ōmāpere and flows into the Hokianga Harbour.
Nicki Sutherland, of the Provincial Development Unit, said by redeploying workers to short-term projects the scheme had kept money circulating where it was most needed, as well as given those involved training and new skills.
The scheme has not been without controversy, however.
Contractors hired by the Far North District Council to do roadside spraying have been accused by residents in the Waimate North and Russell areas of carrying out a ''scorched Earth policy'' with large numbers of native trees sprayed.
In Waimate North pōhutukawa planted by volunteers 20 years ago have died after being sprayed and a Landcare group says almost every māpou tree on the approaches to Russell has been targeted while many invasive weeds were left untouched.