You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
Minister for Agriculture Damien O'Connor made the announcement at the start of the WAO (We Are One) 2020 Reset Summit event "Food and Fibre for a better world at the Lake Wanaka Centre this evening.
Mr O'Connor said the WAI Wānaka Jobs for Nature project would provide much-needed work for those who have lost their jobs due to Covid-19.
“These jobs will involve a mix of environmental work, focused on farm properties in the Upper Clutha area, such as riparian planting, restoring wetlands, fencing, pest management, and projects to enhance biodiversity.
“In a region greatly affected by Covid-19, it’s fantastic to get in behind the WAI Wānaka Jobs for Nature project.
"This project will build on the work farmers are already doing to improve the health of their land and water,” Mr O'Connor said.
Over three years, the WAI Wānaka Jobs for Nature project was expected to deliver the training, plants, and equipment needed to implement extensive environmental activities, primarily on farms in the basin area, he said.
The WAI Wānaka Jobs for Nature environmental work would be primarily carried out on farming properties across the Cardrona, Luggate Creek, Lake Hāwea, Hāwea Flat, and Maungawera catchments and with farmers who have been working with the WAI Wānaka Trust to establish individual and community catchment plans.
Mr O’Connor said New Zealand’s food and fibres sector would continue to be relied upon to help drive New Zealand’s export returns and boost our Covid-19 recovery efforts.
"Taking greater action to improve environmental outcomes is essential for New Zealand to generate substantial economic and environmental benefits, and to boost human and cultural wellbeing," Mr O’Connor said.
Funding for the WAI Wānaka Jobs for Nature project was approved by the Ministry of Primary Industries on October 14.
The WAI Wānaka Jobs For Nature project would have three phases, the first phase was already underway with funding from other sources, employing 14 workers for eight weeks, undertaking initial tree planting and site maintenance work.
The second phase planned to increase the outreach of the programme, additional environmental activities, and creation of a project management team and work plan, with around 23 employees between October and February next year.
The third phase was for ongoing work and a further nine jobs with a mix of full and part-time roles, enabling workers to maintain their links with other employers such as local businesses operating at reduced levels ongoing until 2023.
The WAI Wānaka Jobs for Nature project (previously known as Wānaka Future Reset) was identified as one of five ready-to-start projects for Jobs for Nature funding.