Work on native afforestation, fencing and pest, animal and weed control will begin in 2021 and the KCDC has been invited to put forward proposals for work on council-owned land.

The Waikanae River drains a total catchment area of 125 sq km before reaching the Tasman Sea.

The river is a popular recreational spot for walking, cycling, fishing as well as swimming in summer. It is also the main drinking water supply for Waikanae and Paraparaumu/Raumati. 

Greater Wellington Regional Council monitors the environmental health of the river at four locations within the catchment, and recreational quality at two of these locations. 

A bid for funding was made by the local Department of Conservation office with support from the KCDC, GWRC and Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai.

Half of the expected 92 jobs are earmarked for iwi. [This aspect is cause for concern. —Eds]

KCDC Biodiversity Manager Rob Cross says the success of the bid was founded on the Waikanae ki Uta ki Tai (from the hinterland to the shore) program initiated last year.

“Across the district a number of agencies including Council, volunteer groups and individuals are working to enhance our natural environment. In some cases, projects have been active for many years,” Rob says.

“This investment will take the tremendous efforts of volunteers and workers to another level in what is an important natural asset.

“The Waikanae River catchment is a nationally important taonga and the potential for its ongoing improvement is significant.

“We can expect to see improved water quality, a thriving natural landscape and greater biodiversity as a result of this work.”

More information about the Jobs for Nature is here, and more on Waikanae ki Uta ki Tai is here.