Wed, 16 Jun 2021

Connecting rangatahi to the soil

Beehive
09 Jun 2021, 16:38 GMT+10

A Jobs for Nature project to raise 480,000 native plants in nurseries across South Auckland will provide work for communities disproportionately affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19, Acting Conservation Minister Ayesha Verrall says.

The Mana in Kaimahi project is being run by Te Whāngai Trust Board and will establish employment opportunities to help manage native plant nurseries throughout South Auckland.

"Like many of the Jobs for Nature projects, Mana in Kaimahi has strong social benefits.

"We know COVID-19 has impacted already vulnerable communities and will continue to disproportionately impact some groups.

"Jobs for Nature support in South Auckland will create nature-based jobs and pathways for rangatahi to reconnect people with the whenua.

"Mana in Kaimahi uses a Matauranga Māori and Te Whare Tapa Wha framework and aims to address the need for green spaces in the targeted areas by training at risk youth through nature-based employment and training opportunities.

"Up to 72 full time equivalent (FTE) are expected to be created over the project's three years, with the goal of raising 480,000 native plants to be used for forestry revegetation, riparian planting, and urban landscaping.

"This mahi is an opportunity to integrate environmental and societal goals and establish a workforce that is skilled in conservation work. The economic and conservation benefits of Mana in Kaimahi will leave a legacy for the communities of South Auckland," Dr Ayesha Verrall said.

The $2.5 million project will encompass the Panmure, Takanini, and South Auckland Te Whāngai Hub areas and has more than 23 project partners.

Background information

The Government's Mahi mō te Taiao | Jobs for Nature programme is a $1.245 billion investment in the creation of thousands of nature-based jobs.

As a part of this programme the Department of Conservation will allocate $500 million to projects that will create nature-based job opportunities for approximately 6,000 people over a four-year period.

It is supercharging the conservation efforts of the Department of Conservation, iwi and hapū, councils, and the wider community to implement kaitiakitanga. This funding will help restore the mauri and mana of Te Taiao (our nature) by controlling pests and weeds, restoring wetlands, and returning native bush, rivers, and streams to health.

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