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Source: New Zealand Government

Ninety-two jobs will be created to help environmental restoration in the Waikanae River catchment through $8.5 million of Jobs for Nature funding, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan announced today.

“The new funding will give a four-year boost to the restoration of the Waikanae awa, and is specifically focussed on restoration through riparian fencing and planting; animal and plant pest control; sustainable land management – good land use and land management practice; and community engagement, education, and capacity building,” Kiritapu Allan said.

There will also be integrated provision of engagement, involvement, training, and employment. 

“This ensures that iwi and other people can enter the programme at different levels; learn and understand what is required and what is possible, see if the mahi suits them; and build their involvement, skills, and employment options over time.”

The new funding builds on the Waikanae ki Uta ki Tai (WKUKT) ‘mountains to sea’ project established in 2019 to restore the river catchment’s health. Both initiatives are a partnership of Waikanae mana whenua Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai (ĀKW), Kāpiti Coast District Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and the Department of Conservation.

A goal of WKUKT is to create a long-term vehicle and legacy for the restoration of the Waikanae awa over decades.

“I am pleased that Jobs for Nature can support the aspirations of our Treaty partner Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai who are the mana whenua and kaitiaki of the Waikanae area,” Kiritapu Allan said.

“This investment supports their aspirations as set out in their Kaitiakitanga Plan, which is designed to express the intergenerational values of their tupuna.”

The new funding is to support work and employment in the Waikanae area. It includes commitments to support development of ĀKW, including on iwi-owned land.

“Jobs for Nature projects not only provide opportunities for local communities, but benefit the environment and ultimately all of Aotearoa New Zealand,” Kiritapu Allan said. 

MIL OSI New Zealand News