Government invests in new Jobs for Nature community catchment projects

The Government is investing more than $3 million in three new community-led catchment projects through its Jobs for Nature programme, said Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor.

 Damien O’Connor said at the heart of the $1.245 billion Jobs for Nature programme is improving social, environmental, and economic outcomes for communities across New Zealand.

 “Enabling riparian planting, enhancing wetlands, revitalising estuaries, and tackling Old Man’s Beard infestations feature strongly in these new projects,” said Damien O’Connor.  “These projects will also create new jobs.

 “The Government is investing $1.5 million into the Rangitikei Rivers Catchment Collective Environmental Restoration Project with the support of the Rangitikei Environment Group. 

 “This project will tackle Old Man’s Beard infestation in the Rangitikei River catchment and help support important riparian areas.

 “Old Man’s Beard is one of the biggest threats to our biodiversity by smothering native plants, and action is needed.”

 The project will create eight new full-time jobs per year over the 2.5-year life of the project.

 “In the Bay of Plenty, we’re investing more than $1.45 million in a 3-year project with Wai Kokopu Incorporated, which has its sights on revitalising the health of the Waihi Estuary,” said Damien O’Connor.

 “A key part of this project is to connect and harness the collective action and passion of the local communities, agencies, industries and landowners.  It will also create four jobs over its life.

 “This project will conduct scientific monitoring of the catchment to drive targeted land management practices and strategies to reduce environment impacts.”

 The Government is also investing $83,970 in a three-year project with Otago South River Care Incorporated.

 “This South Otago project will enhance local water quality and biodiversity in the Tokomairiro catchment by enabling the community to plant native plants in two wetlands and two riparian areas covering 2.6 hectares close to Toko Mouth.  It will also create three new jobs.

 “Boosting sustainability and jobs is a key theme in delivering Fit for a Better World – Accelerating our Economic Potential, our roadmap for the food and fibres sector.

 “These important projects will help to drive community-led action to protect and enhance water quality and our environment to leave a lasting legacy for our communities.”