This harbor restoration program just received $3 million to regenerate natural resources, jobs and the local economy

On April 7, 2022, a project to restore the health of Te Awarua-o-Porirua Harbour (also known as Porirua Harbour) received a significant boost from the Jobs for Nature initiative.

Porirua Harbour is a natural inlet in the south-western coast of the North Island of New Zealand (Aotearoa). It’s also a regional park, administered by Wellington Regional Council.

The harbor is within the main urban area of the Wellington Region, and is surrounded by the city of Porirua, with the city centere to south of the harbor.

Porirua City Council, Ngāti Toa and Sustainable Coastlines will receive $3 million from the Jobs for Nature program over five years towards their Restoring the mauri of the Porirua Harbour project.

Porirua Harbour is the largest estuary in the lower North Island and was once plentiful with pipi, mussels, oysters and tuna,” Environment Minister David Parker said.

The catchment (watershed) faces pressure from sediment and contaminants entering its waterways. Large-scale developments, both urban and rural, are also having an impact on the sensitive ecology and wildlife in the streams and harbour,” he added.

The project will see 30 full-time equivalent roles created, close to 630,000 plants planted, 92 hectares of riparian planting, 20 kilometers of riparian fencing and 880 hectares of plant and pest control.

An integral part of the Jobs for Nature programme is providing training and skills that our people can carry with them through their lives,” Parker added. “I look forward to seeing the progress this project makes over the coming years.”

The funding will also support the integrated catchment management plan developed by Porirua City Council and its partners. This will allow riparian planting, education and community capacity building to be significantly accelerated.

Funding comes from the Environment Ministry’s Jobs for Nature program, which aims to boost jobs, training and environmental benefits while accelerating the recovery from the impact of COVID-19. They say it’s “a win-win for our economy and our environment.”

As of the latest full update, over 380 projects have received funding and more than 7000 people have worked in, or are working in, Jobs for Nature-funded jobs.

Photo (by Karora via Wikipedia) shows the entrance of Porirua Harbour at sunset.

See Environment Ministry’s Jobs for Nature website.

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