Māori-led conservation projects across Canterbury receive 'jobs for nature' funding boost

By Te Ao - Māori News
Photo / File

Six conservation projects, including several led by Māori, have received funding boosts for 'jobs for nature' across Canterbury.

Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan says the projects which will receive $12.64 million in funding will provide employment opportunities for more than 70 people.

“The six projects are diverse, ranging from establishing coastline trapping in Kaikōura, to setting up a native plant nursery, restoration planting at Lyttelton harbour, and increasing pest control across Banks Peninsula and Christchurch," Allan said in a statement Saturday. 

Whakaraupō - He Rau Ringa e Oti ai (the Helping Hands programme)

Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke has received $4.5 million to employ 20 people over the next three years to restore their ancestral harbour Whakaraupō/Lyttelton. Work will involve restoring three main sites through planting and the control of predators, pests and weeds

“This is a fantastic example of a mana whenua led collaborative partnership that is guided by tikanga and kaupapa Māori values.” 

Te Rākau Kōhanga

The $2.7 million Te Rākau Kōhanga project will create a plant nursery at Arowhenua Marae near Temuka that will employ 15 people and provide training and qualifications in growing natives. The nursery will grow about 180,000 eco-sourced native plants over three years.

Some of the plants will be used to restore the nearby Rangitata River, a braided river which has significant cultural and conservation values.

Te Tau Wairehu o Marokura

The Te Tau Wairehu o Marokura Predator Control Project will employ up to 13 people for three years in an area affected by the international tourism downturn due to COVID-19. Allan says it will support whānau to remain in Kaikōura and stay connected to their tūrangawaewae.

Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura will receive $2.1 million to establish and maintain a trapline to protect native birds from predators along 127 kilometres of coastline between the Awatere River in Marlborough and Oaro River in North Canterbury.

Te Makuru

This is a training scheme for whānau from five local rūnanga to raise native plants. It will employ six people for 18 months at DOC’s nursery in Motukarara, near Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere.

Taumutu Rūnanaga will receive $710,000 on behalf of five rūnanga (Wairewa Rūnanga, Onuku Rūnanga, Te Taumutu Rūnanga, Te Hapu o Ngāti Wheke, and Te Rūnanga o Koukourata).

The project aims to give workers hands-on experience that can be shared with whānau and encourage them to run community native plant nurseries for their hāpu.

Te Ara Kākāriki Kaimahi Greenway Project

This project which will employ four people for three years involves planting a green corridor across Selwyn, including the restoration of two large legacy sites in the Te Waihora catchment that will also benefit from predator and weed control.

Ōtautahi and Te Pātaka o Rākaihautū Pest Control

This is a Christchurch City Council project for animal pest and weed control work in parks, mahinga kai sites and wetlands across Otautahi/Christchurch, Te Pataka o Rakaihautu/Banks Peninsula and the Port Hills. The project will employ 10 people for three years.