Creating rural local employment, directly and indirectly, is a key objective of the Tinaku Project.
Overall, more than 30 people are employed on average a month directly and indirectly through the project thanks to the three-year funding through the Jobs for Nature programme from the Ministry of Primary Industries.
Five staff are directly involved in managing the project, which includes administration, planning restoration projects, collecting data, organising workshops and events and a multitude of other tasks.
The project also employs two full time restoration staff who are out in the field tackling weeds and planting native trees on farmers’ land. The restoration staff also gain valuable training and experience by working several days a week alongside DoC’s Weed Strike Force, around the edge of Te Waihora.
In addition, the restoration projects create indirect employment, with ecological contracting businesses managing over 35 active sites around the area. This work involves several Selwyn contractors clearing sites of weeds, planting native species and then maintaining the sites for another three years.
The Tinaku Project has partnered with a local plant provider Wai Ora Nursery to source thousands of native plants for the riparian planting projects, enabling the nursery to employ an extra full-time staff member. The nursery now has six full-time staff involved in growing the plants for ESAI’s ongoing restoration projects.
Local speakers, tutors and specialists are engaged for workshops and events for our members and others in the community, with a supplier from Leeston providing the catering.
The project also appointed an ecologist to carry out monthly water quality monitoring of waterways across the catchment.
On top of creating employment, the Tinaku Project also sponsors students at Ellesmere College in the Gateway programme, which gives young people the skills and knowledge to pursue a career in the rural sector.