Animal Conservation

Government grant to fund more than 100 conservation jobs for the top of the south

The clear waters of the Te Hoiere Pelorus River are to be protected with a conservation grant announced Wednesday.

Ashleigh Monk / Stuff

The clear waters of the Te Hoiere Pelorus River are to be protected with a conservation grant announced Wednesday.

Three conservation projects will receive $ 7.5 million to create more than 100 jobs through the government’s Jobs for Nature program.

Conservation Minister Kiri Allan announced the funding on Wednesday during a visit to the Te Hoiere / Pelorus Watershed Restoration Project, one of three projects to receive funding from the grant.

“The community, including landowners, iwi, council, government agencies and businesses are already working together on the project, which covers more than 10,700 hectares of the Te Hoiere and Kaituna and Cullen Creek watersheds.” , Allan said.

“The area is one of the most scenic spots in the country, with the Pelorus River used as a backdrop when filming scenes for Peter Jackson’s second film Hobbit Trilogy. We want it to stay that way. “

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The Jobs for Nature program was a multi-agency initiative with the aim of creating nature-based jobs in response to the economic impact of Covid-19.

“A government investment of $ 7.5 million will allow the project team to move on to the next phase, speeding up river restoration, planting, weed control, pest control. and habitat enhancement for native species such as pekapeka / bats, mioweka / banded rail and short jaw. kōkopu. This will create housing starts for up to 79 people over four years, ”Allan said.

“A nursery will also be established on Ngāti Kuia land to propagate and grow eco-sourced natives that will be planted as part of the project. “

The second project was led by the global nonprofit The Nature Conservancy, in collaboration with DOC, the Tasman, Nelson City, Buller and Marlborough councils. It would involve large-scale organized weed management over 35,000 hectares in the north of the South Island and explore the possibility of extending the protection of some sites through the QEII commitment, Allan said.

“The $ 6 million funding through Jobs for Nature will employ 29 people with engaged teams who will be able to work across different sites and support public and private landowners in their goal of leaving an environmental legacy that we can all share.

“And last but not least, the Picton Dawn Chorus / Te Atiawa o Te Waka-a-Maui community group will receive $ 700,000, which will allow them to expand their predator trapping efforts from 415 ha to 4,815 ha.

SCOTT HAMMOND / Stuff.co.nz

Preschool children in Picton help set up traps to eradicate pests that destroy birds. Picton Dawn Chorus, President James Wilson leads the attack.

“In just five years, this group has encouraged more than 600 people to trap predators in their backyards and has a team of 165 volunteers working in the surrounding bush areas.

The Jobs for Nature funding would mean eight people could be employed over three years to help regenerate native birds, lizards, insects and forests.

“The summit of the South Island has a rich and diverse landscape. These projects intensify the efforts of the wider community to conserve this biodiversity and in doing so, we all benefit, ”said Allan.

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