Projects in Northland targeting pest control, kauri protection and ecological restoration have been earmarked for an expansion of the Jobs for Nature programme.
Conservation Minister Kiri Allan announced this morning more than $20 million would be invested to establish 324 jobs over three years across 12 projects in Northland.
The bulk of funding would go to six projects focused on predator and pest control.
Four projects target restoration of dunes, wetlands, rivers, and key sites of significance would also benefit along with two projects to safeguard kauri trees across Bay of Islands including Russell, Puketi, Whangaroa, Omahuta, Rakaumangamanga and Opua Forests.
"The projects will help build skills and confidence for opportunities beyond these projects, especially in some of the most remote areas in Northland/Te Tai Tokerau like Mitimiti, Panguru and Te Hapua," Allan said.
Breakdown of projects:
- Te Rūnanga-Ā-Iwi O Ngāpuhi's Kaitiaki Kauri project ($0.84M) to safeguard kauri across the Bay of Islands including Russell, Puketi, Whangaroa, Omahuta, Rakaumangamanga and Opua Forests.
- Moemoea Puketi/Omahuta ($3.01m) predator and pest control, empowering ngā hapu of Puketi/Omahuta and the Puketi Forest Trust in the management of the forest.
- Bay Bush Action project ($0.7m) expand biodiversity protection of Ōpua Forest from 500ha to the whole of the 2000ha using best practice multispecies pest control.
- Te Komanga Whangaroa ($2.06m) project involves working closely with local youth to provide training and enable 2,300 ha of pest control via trapping and bait stations targeting stoats, cats, possums, pigs, and wilding pines in support of wider community working towards Predator Free 2050.
- Forest Health Plan for the Russell ngāhere ($1.57m) 20-year plan will take the community closer to its long-term aim of eradication of predators.
- Ngā Mana O Te Wai north of Kaitaia ($2.64m) expand restoration efforts in dune lakes, wetlands, rivers, and dune systems in the rohe of Ngāi Takoto.
- Te Aupoūri (Two projects - $2.99m) address ecological pressures at key sites of cultural, social, and environmental significance, home to internationally significant plants, snails, and birds including the truly phenomenal kuaka (godwit).
- Te Haumihi o Ngāti Kuri ($2.64m) support restoration and protection of vulnerable tāonga species and habitats; establish biosecurity management across Te Haumihi and Te Ara Whānui which includes the very tip of the North, the Three Kings and Motuopao Islands, and surrounding marine environment.
- Warawara Whakaora Ake ($2.21m) expand predator control efforts in the Warawara Forest ecosystem by a further 7000 ha, totalling 9000 ha under active management.
- The Taiororua o Waipoua Project ($0.76m) deliver a sustained and well-planned weed management plan for the Waipoua river, which is heavily burdened with pest plants such as ginger, tobacco weed, wilding pines, and more.
- The Whirinaki Awa Catchment project ($0.96m) deliver ecological restoration outcomes and local employment opportunities in Whirinaki.