News from NZ 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.
News from Kāpiti Coast District Council
The Kāpiti Coast District Council is delighted an unprecedented $8.5 million in Jobs for Nature funding will be coming to the district over the next four years.
The Department of Conservation has awarded funding to create 92 jobs for environmental restoration in the Waikanae River catchment. Work on native afforestation, fencing and pest animal and weed control will kick off in 2021 and the Council has been invited to put forward proposals for work on council-owned land.
A bid for funding was made by the local Department of Conservation office with support from Kāpiti Coast District Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council and Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai.
Kāpiti Mayor K Gurunathan says the investment comes at a crucial time for both ecological and employment benefit.
“We’ve never seen such a significant central Government investment in conservation in Kāpiti so this is huge win for the coast,” Mayor Gurunathan says. “This will supercharge work to restore our native ecosystem and provide an important employment boost. Half of the 92 jobs are earmarked for iwi and will provide opportunities at all skill levels.
“The outcomes of this investment will help enhance the mana of our land and people. I can’t wait to see this work begin.”
Council Biodiversity Programme Manager Rob Cross says the success of the bid was founded on the Waikanae ki Uta ki Tai (Waikanae Mountains to the Sea) programme initiated last year.
“Across the district a number of agencies including the Council, volunteer groups and individuals are working to enhance our natural environment. In some cases, projects have been active for many years,” Mr Cross says. “This investment will take the tremendous efforts of volunteers and workers to another level in what is an important natural asset. The Waikanae River catchment is a nationally important taonga and the potential for its ongoing improvement is significant.
“We can expect to see improved water quality, a thriving natural landscape and greater biodiversity as a result of this work.”
Kāpiti Coast District Council will work with its partners to identify suitable land for planting, including on some Council-owned land.
Visit doc.govt.nz/our-work/jobs-for-nature–mahi-mo-te-taiao/  for more information about the Jobs for Nature programme, and doc.govt.nz/our-work/freshwater-restoration/nga-awa/waikanae-river-restoration/  for more on Waikanae ki Uta ki Tai.