The Waikanae Jobs for Nature project is a 4-year project committing $8.5 million to providing employment of 92 full time equivalents (an average of 23 employees per annum).
The Waikanae Jobs for Nature (WJFN) project is being aligned with the Waikanae Ki Uta Ki Tai (WKUKT) programme with the aim of providing a long term coordinated voice and programme of action for the river. Both initiatives are a partnership of Waikanae mana whenua Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai (ĀKW), Kāpiti Coast District Council (KCDC), Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and the Department of Conservation / Te Papa Atawhai. Both are founded in the same six key kaupapa of Whakapapa, Wairua, Mana, Māramatanga,Te Ao Tūroa, and Mauri.
The WJFN project aims to build capacity and employment within the Iwi Ātiawa Ki Whakarongotai and the Kapiti community and to achieve environmental improvements. With regular training programmes, education classes and a nursery, this project is further activating Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai (ĀKW) as Kaitiaki. A vision of the project is to develop teams that can work across the rohe, helping to restore the awa, the ngahere, and ngā tamariki a Tāne that reside within.
Members of the Waikanae community may have seen Jobs for Nature work already unfolding in the Waikanae Estuary, Hemi Matenga Historic Scenic Reserve or Paraparaumu Scenic Reserve. Riparian management and sustainable land management work is unfolding on iwi-owned and private land in the middle and upper catchment. A new training centre and nursery site was recently opened at Otaraua Park. First coordinated plant and animal pest management strategies are being developed for the whole Waikanae catchment.
WJFN is lead by Paekakariki-based Groundtruth Limited. Founded in 2003, Groundtruth is based in Paekākāriki on the Kāpiti Coast. They provide services and technology to primary industry and conservation sectors. Their specialty is combining sustainable land management practices with innovative technologies. They have expertise in the management of forests, agriculture, soil, water, biodiversity and technology systems. Their belief that the health of our ecosystems is inseparable from the health of the people and communities that live within them is a great fit for our kaupapa. For all enquiries firstname.lastname@example.org.