New investment creates over 2000 jobs to clean up waterways

A package of 23 projects across the country will clean up waterways and deliver over 2000 jobs Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Environment Minister David Parker announced today.

The $162 million dollar package will see 22 water clean-up projects put forward by local councils receiving $62 million and the Kaipara Moana Remediation Programme to halt degradation of the Kaipara harbour receiving $100 million. 

The projects are funded from the $1.1 billion Jobs for Nature package in the 2020 Budget that will create a total of 11,000 environment jobs in our regions in response to Covid-19. $433 million of that fund has been allocated to regional environmental projects such as these.

“We are stepping up the pace of getting New Zealanders into work in the wake of Covid-19. These 23 projects will deliver over 2000 jobs across the country that also help to deliver the Government’s goal of cleaning up our waterways,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“These projects will help restore wetlands, rivers and streams, regenerate native bush and control pests and weeds while creating much needed jobs in the regions.

“Many of these jobs do not require extensive training for new workers, so they are good to go. Previous jobs for nature projects have matched workers displaced from the tourism sector and the same can happen here.

“People visit New Zealand and buy our produce because of our clean green image; it’s how we market ourselves to the world so we need to protect it.

“Clean water is crucial to our environmental and economic reputations. The Government’s economic plan in response to Covid is focused on creating work in areas that enhance our reputation so we can maximise our trade and tourism assets,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“The initiatives include $11.2m towards restoring Lake Horowhenua wetlands and $9m towards Mahurangi East River and land restoration projects,” David Parker said.

“Together the 22 projects and the Kaipara programme will create an estimated 500 jobs within the first year and over 2000 jobs over the lifetime of the projects and provide significant environmental benefits.

“These 22 projects were selected because they deliver clear and immediate job creation, significant environmental outcomes, regional spread, and because of engagement in them by iwi and community groups.

“The projects were chosen from a list of more than 300 projects submitted by regional councils.

“An expert panel from Ministry for the Environment, Department of Conservation and Ministry for Primary Industries assessed the projects,” David Parker said.