Jobs for Nature benefits three projects

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Three new Jobs for Nature projects will help nature thrive in the Bay of Plenty and keep local people in work says Conservation Minister Kiri Allan.

“Up to 30 people will be employed in the projects, which are aimed at boosting local conservation efforts, enhancing some of the region’s most special places and supporting its economic recovery,” Kiri Allan said.

Ngati Tahu-Ngati Whaoa rohe – $826,000 over four years

“A team of 15 people will be employed to restore and improve geothermal, fresh-water and cultural sites in the Ngati Tahu-Ngati Whaoa rohe, ensuring this amazing landscape is protected and enhanced for future generations. 

“An added bonus is that waste wood from felled pine will be provided to kaumatua and whanau in need to be used as firewood. Alongside that the project will also have a focus on the development/enhancement of mara kai (vegetable gardens) at two marae.”

Kaitiaki Adventures

“Two separate projects (Aumangea – Tarawera Maunga and Whakahaumanu – Okere) will provide jobs for up to 19 staff from Kaitiaki Adventures, allowing the company to retain and redeploy these world-class white water guides to work on environmental projects as a stop gap measure until international tourism resumes,” Kiri Allan said.

Project Aumangea – Tarawera Maunga – $355,555 over one year

This ambitious project aims to clear wilding pines from Mt Tarawera and is a joint project involving the Department of Conservation, Ministry for Primary Industry, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, and Ngāti Rangitihi.

Kaitiaki staff will work as ground crews to conduct hand-pulling in steep alpine sections of the mountain, building on work carried out since 2008 to protect regenerating post-eruption indigenous shrub land, alpine vegetation and geothermal ecosystems. Track and access maintenance, plus weed control on the roadside will also be undertaken.

Project Whakahaumanu – Okere – $220,265 over one year

Kaitiaki Adventure staff will be deployed to carry out conservation work on the Otanewainuku Ecological Area where they will undertake removal of noxious plants, fencing, communal garden construction, harakeke transplanting, re-establishment of manuka plantation, pest control and erecting nesting boxes on selected areas.

“The Bay of Plenty relies on tourism, forestry and local businesses, all of which have been heavily impacted by Covid-19. This $1.4million investment helps protect a unique environment, while also offering some fantastic new training and job opportunities to locals as the economy recovers,” Kiri Allan said.

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