Projects aimed at protecting taonga species, including kiwi, kokako and hihi, are among a number of Taranaki-based initiatives receiving a boost through the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme, Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says.
“The projects focus on pest control, native plant propagation and revegetation work and species protection, and will support 58 jobs over a three year programme,” Kiri Allan said.
“Four projects – Taranaki Kiwi Trust, Tiaki te Mauri o Parininihi Trust, Rotokare Scenic Reserve Trust and Te Kohanga Ahuru – are about ensuring some of our most iconic birds are not lost to the next generation.
“Each of these organisations have solid records in conservation and habitat management programmes and it is vital their work protecting the habitats and populations of kiwi, pāteke, hihi and North Island kōkako in particular, continues.
“New roles being created will see recruits receive training in kiwi monitoring and handling, the use of tracing equipment, safety in bush terrain – including using ATVs – alongside predator control, freshwater monitoring and vegetation plot establishment.
“The Rotokare Scenic Reserve Trust faces significant challenges due to the impact of COVID-19. Its Jobs for Nature funding ensures the trust’s significant conservation successes are not lost, including management of a pest-free sanctuary which is a focal point for species restoration, education, and community engagement with nature, including threatened species work.
“Meanwhile the Tupu Rawa project will see a comprehensive programme of environmental restoration for waterways and wetlands developed. It will focus on work to ensure the survival of taonga species, and will include fencing, riparian planting and related biodiversity work.
Several of the projects will incorporate Mātauranga Māori and tikanga Maori approaches to environmental protection and enhancement, coupled with conventional conservation science methodology.
“These initiatives are part of our wider election promise to create jobs in regional New Zealand to restore our environment while also accelerating our COVID-19 economic recovery.
“They are fantastic examples of how we are continuing to engage with local communities to support nature-based solutions that have positive outcomes for each and every one of us,” Kiri Allan said.
Today’s investment of $9.98 million follows another $1.59m Jobs for Nature Community Fund and Private Land Biodiversity funding for Taranaki announced in July.