Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay Conservation Cadets – Tauira Mahi programme in Tauranga.
About 70 people are at the Oropi Hall for the announcement.
The programme, supported by a grant of $3.5 million, is part of the Government's Jobs for Nature scheme launched in the 2020 Budget to boost employment, protect and enhance the environment while accelerating the recovery from the impact of Covid-19.
"When we were putting the Jobs for Nature package together we believed it was crucial to also focus on providing training and skills, so that our people learn skills they can carry with them for the rest of their lives," Parker said.
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"We want to grow a cohort of people across New Zealand that have environmental management skills; from pest control, freshwater restoration, environmental monitoring and planting, to conservation work and more.
"We are also focused on improving New Zealand's natural environment by creating enduring benefits for our freshwater and biodiversity, mitigating the impact of climate change, and protecting cultural values, like gathering kai."
The Jobs for Nature programme also supports sustainable land use practices and the implementation of new regulations, like the Essential Freshwater package announced last year.
Much of the cadets' learning and work will take place at community conservation sites and alongside partners, providing additional resourcing to these projects.
"I wish this intake of cadets, and those who follow, the best of luck in your endeavours. I hope that over the 12 week courses you develop your skills and grow your passion for nature," Parker said.
"I also hope this is just the start of a long, fulfilling career protecting our environment. This is vitally important work."
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