One million native plants have been distributed to Taranaki farmers this year through Taranaki Regional Council's long-running Riparian Management Programme.
This has been made possible thanks to a $5 million boost in Jobs for Nature funding from Ministry for the Environment.
In the past, landowners had been paying for the plants at cost, and planting them themselves.
This year the funding has meant farmers paid just $1 per plant, which included contractors to do the planting. The record number of native plants this year was a 400,000 increase from the previous.
The funding has also provided a boost to local employment opportunities.
"Because of the Jobs for Nature funding, we're looking at employing about 20 staff this season. For these young guys to get out there and look after the land, that is really special to us, and to them and to all their whānau," says Dave Hare, from Tree Machine.
Joe Churchman, director of Farm Environment Services, says he has been able to employ at least five extra staff this year thanks to the Jobs for Nature funding.
Ministry for the Environment sustainable land use delivery deputy secretary Nadeine Dommisse says it's wonderful to see landowners across Taranaki so engaged in the programme.
"We are really pleased to be able to support such a successful and long-standing initiative that is generating employment in the region and leaving a healthier environment for future generations."
"The Transforming Taranaki programme has been so successful because of the relationship that Taranaki Regional Council has with the rural community. It's all about collaboration," said Dan Harrison, director of operations at Taranaki Regional Council.
"With the programme we now have 99.7 per cent of dairy farmers [in the region] involved, 80 per cent of our rivers and streams planted, and over 90 per cent are fenced."
For dairy farmer Bede Kissick, the programme is bringing back the bird life.
"You see the diversity in the bird life that's coming through here, we get the tūīs and we've seen wood pigeons and kingfishers. It's fantastic when you hear the birdsong around the farm," Bede says.
Taranaki Regional Council has been running the Transforming Taranaki through Riparian Management programme for the past 25 years.
The $1.219 billion Jobs for Nature programme is a Government initiative, creating nature-based jobs to benefit the environment and support the economic recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic.