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Creating jobs and cleaning up our rivers

New Zealanders deserve healthy rivers and lakes that are safe to swim in - but they have been getting worse for decades.

That's why, with our latest announcement, we're investing in projects that will help clean up our rivers and lakes and restore them to health, within a generation.

In Budget 2020, we announced the Jobs For Nature fund. It's a huge, $1.1 billion package designed to create a total of 11,000 environmental jobs in our regions. From restoring wetlands, to regenerating native bush and controlling pests and weeds, the projects we're investing in will get people into jobs post-COVID-19, while protecting and restoring our natural environment.

Now - we're announcing further details on 23 projects from the Jobs For Nature package, with all of these projects creating jobs in our regions while helping clean up our waterways.

See below for further detail of each of the projects, including the number of jobs each project will create.


Mahurangi East land restoration

Jobs: 55

Investment: $5 million

Extension of project to reduce sedimentation in the Mahurangi River catchment.

Mahurangi River restoration

Jobs: 50

Investment: $4.064 million

Restoration of the Mahurangi River to clean water, improve water flow and give greater access for boats.

Bay Conservation Cadets

Jobs: 170

Investment: $3.5 million

Programme to upskill unemployed or under-employed people through work experience on community conservation projects.

Expand ‘Action on the ground’ projects in Southland

Jobs: 60

Investment: $4.25 million

Expansion of Environment Southland’s work to protect approximately 300,000ha of Southland’s top priority biodiversity sites.

Southland regional fish passage restoration

Jobs: 12

Investment: $385,000

Project to fit fish ladders and remove barriers to restore fish passage and increase the sustainability of indigenous fish populations.

Tairawhiti Agroecology Recovery Project

Jobs: 70

Investment: $4.848 million

Catchment restoration, riparian planting, fencing construction and repair, tree planting for erosion mitigation, and predator control in the Tairawhiti region.

Greater Wellington riparian management

Jobs: 50

Investment: $2.5 million

Project to improve water quality and improve flood protection resilience by planting on either side of the upper Ruamahanga, Waingawa and Waipoua rivers.

Wairarapa Moana Wetlands Project

Jobs: 100

Investment: $3.5 million

Project to enhance the native ecology around Wairarapa Moana through 60+ha of native planning, wetland restoration, pest, plant and animal control, and development of visitor facilities.

Manawatū-Whanganui riparian management

Jobs: 125

Investment: $4.681 million

Expansion of the Horizons Regional Council’s stream fencing and planting programme, which will improve water quality in the Manawatū-Whanganui region.

Lake Horowhenua wetlands

Jobs: 45

Investment: $11.2 million

Project to improve water quality and health of Lake Horowhenua by building a wetland complex to reduce nitrogen levels.

Fish passage remediation – Horizons Regional Council

Jobs: 15

Investment: $2.572 million

Project to restore migratory pathways for native fish and improve aquatic habitats to increase native fish numbers in the Manawatū-Whanganui region.

Catchment Care Programme in Marlborough

Jobs: 15

Investment: $600,000

Expansion of Marlborough District Council’s programme to improve water quality and remove pest weeds through riparian fencing and planting, streambank restoration and creation of farm plans.

Maitai River riparian management

Jobs: 30

Investment: $1.7 million

Work to implement an ecological restoration plan for the Maitai River in Nelson.

Whangārei urban awa project

Jobs: 8

Investment: $524,800

Project to improve freshwater quality in the Whangārei urban area through riparian fencing and planting.

Transforming Taranaki riparian management

Jobs: 120

Investment: $5 million

Accelerating riparian planting of 1,000,000 plants to improve water quality and increase biodiversity.

Waimea Inlet enhancement project

Jobs: 6

Investment: $500,000

Project to improve water quality of Waimea Inlet tributaries, increase saltmarsh habitat, and undertake ongoing weed control to help protect significant migratory bird species.

Waimea Inlet Billion Trees Project – Phase 2

Jobs: 14

Investment: $1.1 million

Extension of project to plant 70,000 trees and fence along the Waimea Inlet.

Lake Kimihia restoration project

Jobs: 4

Investment: $740,000

Project to raise the water levels of Lake Kimihia to protect tuna habitats, along with fencing and native planting.

Opuatia Wetland restoration

Jobs: 4

Investment: $230,000

Restoration of the Opuatia Wetland in the lower Waikato River valley, and work to contain invasive plant pests willow and yellow flag.

Piako River Green Corridor

Jobs: 47

Investment: $2.825 million

Project to reconnect the Kopuatai wetland to the Firth of Thames to improve water quality and enhance habitats for native wildlife.

Upper Waioumu enhancement

Jobs: 21

Investment: $1.74 million

Removal of willow and poplar trees along the Upper Waioumu Stream, to be replaced with native plants, along with pest control, fencing, and weed management, to improve habitats for native species.

Karamea riparian restoration

Jobs: 22

Investment: $520,000

Project to plant 315,000 trees along 80km in Northern Buller to improve water quality.

Kaipara Moana remediation programme

Jobs: 94 (in year 1), and 1,094 over the life of the project

Investment: $100 million

Programme to stop further degradation of the Kaipara Harbour, the largest in New Zealand, through riparian planting, fencing and farm plans.