Te Arawa Lakes Trust will receive $2.5 million in the Government's Jobs for Nature fund.

Conservation and Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage made the announcement at Ohinemutu in Rotorua today.

City leaders such as mayor Steve Chadwick as well as kaumatua Toby Curtis and Monty Morrison and Waiariki MP Tamati Coffey were in attendance.

The funding would go into an environmental programme called Mauri Tu Mauri Ora Te Arawa that would create 40 nature-based jobs for those impacted by Covid-19.

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Land, lakes and rivers in the central North Island would benefit from increased habitat protection with new biosecurity investment across iwi and Crown-managed lands and lakes.

Some of the funding announced will go towards helping eradicate catfish from the lake. Photo / File
Some of the funding announced will go towards helping eradicate catfish from the lake. Photo / File

"The project will see wetland restoration, catfish and aquatic weed control, pest eradication, monitoring water takes and discharges, and beehive management work take place across Te Arawa's rohe, creating nature-based jobs which improve the health of the whenua land and freshwater," Sage said.

She said Covid-19 had "severely impacted tourism in the district" and" about a third of the workforce Te Arawa employs through its commercial ventures".

The funding would provide relief and create jobs, while benefiting nature, she said.

Te Arawa Lakes Trust was involved in a number of key environmental kaupapa, working with partners across its rohe (area).

Te Arawa kaumatua Sir Toby Curtis. Photo / Andrew Warner
Te Arawa kaumatua Sir Toby Curtis. Photo / Andrew Warner

Funding for the project comes from the more than $500 million allocated to the Department of Conservation as part of the Government's $1.3 billion Jobs for Nature investment in response to Covid-19 announced today at Rotorua's Tamatekapua Marae.

The extra funding would ramp up a programme underway at the southern end of Lake Ōkataina targeting aquatic weeds. Photo / File
The extra funding would ramp up a programme underway at the southern end of Lake Ōkataina targeting aquatic weeds. Photo / File

Sage outlined the biosecurity and biodiversity work that Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) can achieve as a result of the Covid-19 recovery and Budget 2020 package.

The funding put LINZ's biosecurity budget up to $70 million over four years.

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It included $40 million over four years for their national biosecurity programme, plus nearly $6.9 million toward the agency's land-based biosecurity programme, she said.

In the Te Arawa lakes, the extra funding meant LINZ could ramp up an existing programme underway at the southern end of Lake Ōkataina targeting aquatic weeds, she said.

"These investments are a win-win for jobs and the mauri of lakes, wetlands and forests in the Te Arawa rohe," Sage said.

LINZ and the Department of Conservation were working closely with the Ministry of Primary Industries, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, the Te Arawa Trust and iwi landowners.

It was hoped the collaborative nature of this project would provide a blueprint for other regional collaborations in the future.