Boost in funding to deliver jobs while restoring Central Otago’s lakes and waterways

Land Information

The Government is significantly increasing its investment in restoring Central Otago’s waterways while at the same time delivering jobs to the region hard-hit by the economic impact of Covid-19, says Land Information Minister, Damien O’Connor. 

 Mr O’Connor says two new community projects under the Jobs for Nature funding programme will deliver more than 23 jobs in the region over the next four years, while contributing to the restoration of the region’s precious waterways.    

Aspiring Biodiversity Trust – up to $321,000 over four years

The Aspiring Biodiversity Trust will carry out monitoring, pest and weed management, and restoration on the Wilkins and Makarora rivers which flow into Lake Wānaka.

The work will deliver 13 part time roles and includes education and community outreach to support ongoing protection of biodiversity in the waterways feeding into Lake Wānaka.

“By helping to restore the tributaries leading into Lake Wānaka we also support our work in the lake controlling the invasive water weed, lagarosiphon and the effort the community is making to help manage this pest plant,” said Damien O’Connor.   


Lake Dunstan Charitable Trust (formerly Guardians of Lake Dunstan) – up to $953,000 over four years 

The Dunstan community group project will deliver 10 jobs over four years and include landscape restoration, community outreach, and the development of a shared community vision and plan for Lake Dunstan.

 “This project will provide huge support to the work and significant investment LINZ makes annually to control lakeweed and maintain the Lake Dunstan shoreline and surrounds,” said Damien O’Connor.

Both projects are funded through the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme, which is creating nature-based jobs to benefit the environment and support the economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr O’Connor says the projects complement increased funding to LINZ control programme combatting lagarosiphon on Lake Wānaka, Lake Dunstan and the Kawarau River, made possible through recent budget increases.

“This boost in funding for our waterways and investment in the communities that live around them will help protect and secure their future for generations to come,” said Damien O’Connor.