Jobs for Nature investments for regions

  • Hon Shane Jones

A $7.5 million injection into environmental projects in Otago-Southland, Manawatū-Whanganui, Tairāwhiti and Hawke’s Bay will unlock more employment opportunities and pump up the local economies, Forestry Minister Shane Jones says.

Around 90 jobs will be created across four projects that focus on planting trees to reduce erosion and clean up waterways. In total around 850,000 plants will be planted across 750ha, along with 100km of fencing, in these regions.

“We are delivering more jobs and investing in our regional economies to help improve our environment. Jobs for Nature is doing exactly what it says on the tin,” Shane Jones said.

The four projects being jointly funded by the One Billion Trees (1BT) fund and the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) are:

  • Pomahaka Corridor Planting project (Otago/Southland): $3.7 million over three years, creating around 19 jobs, planting 108,000 seedlings on riparian areas, with 50km of fencing. (Funding is $1.4m 1BT and $2.3m PGF)
  • Aorangi Whanau Trust’s Hiruharama Māori blocks (Manawatū/Whanganui): $1.1 million over two years, creating 10-20 full time jobs, planting 95,000 seedlings on 86ha of riparian areas, with 10km of fencing. (Funding is up to $500,000 1BT and $630,000 PGF)
  • Ūawanui Restoration Project (Tairāwhiti):  $1.3 million over three years, creating 12 jobs per year for three years, planting 504,000 seedlings on 500ha of riparian area with 30km of fencing. (Funding is $750,000 1BT and $550,000 PGF)
  • Waipuka Maori Land Blocks (Hawke’s Bay): $1.4 million over two years creating 20 fulltime jobs, planting 136,000 seedlings on 123ha of riparian areas, with 4km of fencing. (Funding is $885,000 1BT and $516,000 PGF)

“All of these projects are set to begin within six months,” Shane Jones said.

The total One Billion Trees investment of around $3.5 million covers seedlings and associated planting labour costs, and the PGF investment of around $4 million covers the cost of fencing materials and labour, water reticulation, project management and training.