A charitable trust set up in 2017 to improve the health of the Hokianga Harbour by improving the waterways and catchments that flow into the harbour has received a $2 million funding boost from the government.
Environment Minister David Parker announced on February 14 that the Jobs for Nature fund will provide the funding over four years and the project is expected to create 24.5 full time jobs.
The trust grows eco sourced native trees to supply to landowners so that they can plant along waterways, recreate wetlands and stabilise erosion-prone hill country.
“We help with the mahi to do fencing, establish and maintain planting sites, and supplying labour and expertise to work alongside landowners and their aspirations,” says Project Manager Oliver Knox.
Oliver has been running Tiaki Nga Wai O Hokianga as its sole full time employee since 2020 and says the funding will mean that the trust can now employ more people and increase the number of projects it can complete in the Hokianga.
“With our funding confirmed we are now able to employ a full time workforce and resource them effectively with training, vehicles, plants, and equipment,” he said.
“Building capability and employment for tangata whenua and community is another important part of our mahi through engagement, education and the application of matauranga,”
The trust was set up in 2017 by local councillor Justin Blaikie. He realised that community-led catchment restoration was a model for improving the health of the Hokianga Harbour after talking to Fred Litchwark, the founder of Whaiangaroa (Raglan) Harbour Care.
The trust hopes that by the end of the four year period of funding significant improvements will have been made along the shores of the Hokianga Harbour.
“It’s really exciting to have our partners come on board and support this project. We now have a huge opportunity to assist landowners, hapu, and communities to protect their waterways and create employment” said Oliver.
Landowners or people interested in getting involved with the trust can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or through their website www.hokiangaharborcare.co.nz.
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