The Thompsons Creek projects, part of the wider Manuherekia catchment programme in Central Otago, have been awarded Jobs for Nature funding to help improve water quality and restore freshwater habitats.
It is planned to create roughly eight full-time equivalent positions over the course of three years.
“The Thompsons Creek projects are based around community engagement, working with landowners, fencing and riparian planting, and protection of threatened, native freshwater fish,” Environment Minister David Parker said.
“What is learnt here can inform efforts across the wider Manuherekia catchment programme.”
Ministers David Parker and Damien O’Connor chose the Manuherekia catchment as an Exemplar project for the At-Risk Catchment Programme. Jobs for Nature will provide $2.9 million to the Thompsons Creek project.
“This approach brings together a range of stakeholders including famers, community groups and iwi, to stop the degradation of the Manuherekia catchment and undo past damage,” David Parker said.
“The Manuherekia rises between the St Bathans and Hawkdun ranges in the stunning landscape that has inspired artists such as painter Sir Grahame Sydney and poet Brian Turner,” David Parker said.
Anna Gillespie, co-chair of the Manuherekia Exemplar Project Governance Group, appreciated the willingness and support of farmers, agencies, iwi, and specialists to collaborate to get this project up and operating in a catchment with the intricacies of the Manuherekia.
“It’s the beginning of a journey which should see some very exciting initiatives for the catchment and community.”
The Thompsons Creek project manager, Nicola McGrouther, stated that work on the wetland will entail removing willows, building a meandering walkway for the river, and replacing with (locally obtained) native plants, including over 50,000 tussock (Prei/carex secta).