A tree-felling job using Covid-19 recovery funding in the Ngongotahā catchment is highlighting the link between Bay of Plenty Regional Council Toi Moana's flood mitigation works and new employment opportunities.
The funding from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has allowed the contractor undertaking the work to employ two new workers and several subcontractors, many of whom had been made redundant or were facing redundancy as a result of Covid-19.
The council is removing problematic trees in the upper Paradise Valley near Rotorua - a priority for removal because of the risk they could fall into the Ngongotahā Stream potentially creating debris dams, downstream flooding or river bank erosion.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council's General Manager, Integrated Catchments Chris Ingle said the project highlighted the council's awareness of climate change and how that impacted on its core service delivery.
"The impacts of climate change will mean more frequent extreme weather events, so it is even more important that our flood mitigation measures are robust and resilient.
"This project takes a longer term view and shows the benefits of working with the local community to identify risks before they occur," Ingle said.
"As our projects across the Bay of Plenty gain pace, we'll see more and more of these projects that help with Covid-19 recovery. These include wilding tree removal, wetland restoration, track maintenance for pest control, and regional park upgrades."