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Jobs for Nature: Funding for improving freshwater

Budget 2020 provided the Ministry for the Environment $433 million for regional environmental projects targeted at freshwater improvement and a further $67 million for the freshwater improvement fund and at risk catchments.

The Provincial Growth Fund also has up to $100 million for landowners to fence off sensitive waterways and for riparian planting.

Find out about:

Council-submitted quick-start projects

In July 2020, the Government announced $61,980,287 funding of $61,980,287 for 22 quick-start projects to improve freshwater quality. 

Job seekers

If you’re a job seeker, check out the projects below managed by councils and other organisations that have been funded as part of the Jobs for Nature programme in your area. We have provided links to their websites or direct to project pages where they exist. We suggest you monitor the councils’ current vacancies or careers pages. They may have jobs being advertised now or in the near future.

Recipient Project Title New Jobs expected Over Life of project Crown FunDing
Auckland Council Mahurangi East land restoration 55 $5,000,000
Mahurangi River Restoration Trust Restoring our River 50 $4,064,237
Bay of Plenty Regional Council Bay Conservation Cadets 170 $3,500,000
Environment Southland Expand our Action on the Ground projects to increasingly protect and restore Southlands Biodiversity  60 $4,250,000
Environment Southland Expansion of Regional Fish Passage Restoration  12 $385,000
Tairawhiti Environment Centre Tairawhiti Agroecology Recovery Project (TARP) 70 $4,848,250
Greater Wellington Regional Council Riparian management major rivers 50 $2,500,000
Greater Wellington Regional Council Wairarapa Moana Wetlands Project 100 $3,500,000
Horizons Regional Council Riparian planting and stream fencing 125 $4,681,000
Horizons Regional Council Lake Horowhenua wetlands 45 $11,200,000
Horizons Regional Council Enhancing indigenous fish populations through fish passage remediation 15 $2,572,000
         Marlborough District Council Catchment Care Programme      15 $600,000
Nelson City Council Riparian management major rivers 30 $1,700,000
Northland Regional Council Whangārei urban awa (blue/green) project 8 $524,800
Taranaki Regional Council 'Transforming Taranaki' through Riparian Management 120 $5,000,000
Tasman District Council Waimea Inlet enhancement project 6 $500,000
Tasman District Council Waimea Inlet Billion Trees Project (Phase 2) 14 $1,100,000
Waikato Regional Council Lake Kimihia lake level restoration project 4 $740,000
Waikato Regional Council Restoration of Opuatia Wetland 4 $230,000
Waikato Regional Council The Piako River Green Corridor 47 $2,825,000
Waikato Regional Council Upper Waioumu Willow and Poplar Removal and Habitat Enhancement 21 $1,740,000
West Coast Regional Council Karamea riparian restoration 22 $520,000
  Totals 1043 $61,980,287

Kaipara Moana Remediation Programme

This programme will halt degradation of the Kaipara harbour. Funding of $100 million has been provided to kick-start the $200 million six-year Kaipara Moana Remediation Programme. 

Funding for landowners

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing up to $100 million to fence waterways and undertake companion riparian planting and stock water reticulation to help create jobs and encourage landowners to fence off sensitive waterways from stock to improve water quality.  This not only gets people into jobs now, it will reap environmental benefits for years to come.

Regional councils will provide some support for fencing that the PGF can augment by contracting local firms to redeploy workers to undertake the work. 

Read the Ministers release on the Beehive website.

The fund is open. Landowners can apply through the Grow Regions website [PDF, 629 KB].

Projects most likely to be considered will creates employment outcomes, including working with the Ministry of Social Development to employ displaced workers; meet the criteria of improving water quality and associated activities, such as riparian planting and stock water reticulation; are in surge regions with the greatest water quality issues; benefits multiple landowners, particularly Māori land owners; benefits the wider community; have had costs scoped; and are able to commence within three to six months.

This programme is part of a broader government programme of fencing waterways work and will complement the sustainable land use work programme being progressed by the Ministry of Primary Industries and the Ministry for the Environment.

Proposals will be evaluated against the criteria and applicants assessed to ensure they have the capability and rights to practically deliver the projects at pace.