Jobs for Nature funding will provide much-needed work for Northland locals, and contribute to the ongoing restoration of the Waipoua River awa, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says.
“Led by Te Roroa Environs, the $760,000 Taiaororoa o Waipoua project will create meaningful nature-based employment and training opportunities for nine people from the local community, many of whom have recently returned to Northland from urban areas due to the economic effects of COVID-19,” Kiri Allan said.
“Given the local community is small – it has a population of less than 100 – this project will provide a significant boost to employment in the area.
“It also helps address what has been an intergenerational goal for the people of Te Roroa – the holistic restoration of the Waipoua River, whose banks are currently covered with ginger, tobacco weed, wilding pines and other pest plants.”
Te Roroa Environs General Manager, Snow Tane, said the project adds to the substantial long-term restoration work that is already being carried out in the catchment through the Te Roroa-led Te Toa Whenua project and the Department of Conservation’s Nga Awa Strategic Waterways programme.
Intensive pest plant control, including the removal of plants by hand pulling/saw work, scrub bar and chainsaw, along with the gel treatment of cut plant stems and spraying will be undertaken during the year-long project.
“The project’s aim is to meet critical employment needs through empowering Iwi and Government to work in partnership to build a programme of work that delivers jobs and environmental outcomes in regions,” Kiri Allan said.
Philip Murray (Tumu Whakarae of Te Rarawa), sees this as a crucial first step in the process of building a programme of work for Te Tai Tokerau.
“It is exciting that this project is underway. Jobs for Nature gives us the opportunity to make a real difference as kaitiaki of Papatūānuku and to provide mahi for people throughout Te Tai Tokerau,” Mr Murray says.
The Government’s Jobs for Nature programme is a $1.245 billion investment in the creation of thousands of nature-based jobs. As a part of this programme the Department of Conservation will allocate $500 million to projects that will create 6,000 nature-based jobs over a four-year period.
Te Roroa Environs is the environmental arm of the Te Roroa iwi organisation, based on the West Coast of Northland. The Te Roroa rohe stretches along the west coast from the Hokianga to Tokatoka in the Kaipara, encompassing at its heart the Waipoua Forest and Kai Iwi Lakes.
Te Roroa Environs has been partnering with DOC to undertake freshwater restoration on the Waipoua River through the Te Toa Whenua project.
Te Toa Whenua received support from the Department of Conservation’s Community Fund in 2016/17 and in 2019/20. Te Toa Whenua has also been supported by other organisations including Reconnecting Northland, Northland Regional Council, and the Tindall Foundation.
The Waipoua River runs through Waipoua Forest and has a small area of farmed land in the headwaters and 950 ha of regenerating forest, food-producing land, and pine forest near the Northland coast.
The Waipoua River in Northland is one of 14 priority catchments in the Department of Conservation’s Ngā Awa river restoration programme. For more information about the restoration of Waipoua River visit: Waipoua River restoration: Our work (doc.govt.nz)