A joint Government and Hawke’s Bay Regional Council project will invest $4.2 million to protect local waterways, enhance biodiversity and employ local people, Environment Minister David Parker announced today.
Over two years, the Hāpara Takatū Jobs for Nature project will fence 195km of private land to exclude stock from vulnerable slopes, riparian plantings, and local waterways. The project is expected to create 31 jobs over its lifetime.
Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and central Government are contributing $2.1 million each towards the project.
“It’s great to see the willingness of landowners, local and central government to work together, led by the guiding principle of Te Mana o Te Wai that prioritises the health and wellbeing of our freshwater,” David Parker said.
Te Mana o Te Wai is the guiding principle of the Essential Freshwater package, announced by the Government earlier this year. That package includes stock exclusion requirements.
Preventing stock from entering waterways is one of the simplest and most direct ways to reduce pollution, prevent fragile banks eroding, reduce sedimentation, and allow riparian plants to grow.
About 50 landowners have come forward to be part of the project and fence their land.
“We know how important the health of our waterways is to all New Zealanders. Our Essential Freshwater regulations aim to stop further degradation, show material improvements within five years and restore our waterways to health within a generation,” David Parker said.
“This project is a great example of people coming together to implement Essential Freshwater, create jobs and restore and protect the environment.”
The funding is part of the Government’s $1.3 billion Jobs for Nature programme, which is creating jobs to benefit the environment and support and speed up the economic recovery from COVID-19.