The Government’s Jobs for Nature programme continues to support local employment opportunities with an investment in a project that will significantly increase Ngāti Tūwharetoa’s capacity to engage in on-the-ground and strategic conservation activities.
“An investment of $500,000 to the Tūwharetoa Maori Trust Board’s Oranga Taiao, Oranga Tangata project over two years will provide full-time work for five people and contribute to the protection, restoration and enhancement of biodiversity around Taupō,” says Conservation Minister Kiri Allan.
“Its aim is two-fold; firstly it is about growing a tikanga-based workforce to provide restoration, pest management, and fencing skills to restore lands and tributaries across the rohe of Tūwharetoa.
“Secondly it will build capability within the Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board, allowing it to generate funding, employ staff, engage with landowners and Ahu Whenua Trusts, and develop a long-term environmental plan.
“Key to the project is supporting the iwi to fully participate in environmental decision-making, monitoring, research and other aspects of conservation.
“This work, along with other proposed environmental restoration of rivers and lake margins, will provide an ongoing legacy for the wider Taupō area which both Ngāti Tūwharetoa and the broader community will be able to take pride in and enjoy into the future,” Kiri Allan said.
As part of their commitment to looking after the whanau and therefore the wai, the board will work alongside the Tauhara Mountain Trust and their aspirations to trial a predator proof fence around the base of the mountain.
This is in conjunction with their wilding pine eradication, restoration planting and pest management.