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Source: New Zealand Government

The Government is supporting a Whakatōhea-led project undertaking landscape scale restoration in forests and around vulnerable rivers within the Eastern Bay of Plenty, Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says.

“The Whakatōhea Tiaki Taiao project will employ four people to undertake pest and weed control, ecosystem restoration and monitoring over three years.

“The work has been initiated by the Whakatōhea Māori Trust Board on behalf of its six hapū, all of which are involved in conservation-related activities and have a desire to expand kaitiakitanga across their tribal rohe.

“Funding of $698,500 through the Jobs for Nature programme – designed to benefit the environment and provide employment in regions that have been adversely affected by COVID-19 –will help realise those aspirations.

“It comes on the back of significant Provincial Growth Fund investment in support of other local projects such as the mussel factory and harbour development.

“Employees receive the living wage and will help galvanise and inspire whānau and hapū to become kaitiaki within their respective areas. Activities include restoring local native plant species to vulnerable sites, predator control, track maintenance, and developing the capacity and capability to grow an environmental group within Whakatōhea.

“In turn, this will enable the iwi to participate further in decision-making across the environmental and biodiversity sectors. 

“These are jobs which will improve people’s physical, social and economic wellbeing, as well as improving the natural world that sustains us all.

“They are an investment in our people, our places and our future,” Kiri Allan said.

MIL OSI