A project to breathe life back into the Styx River and create local jobs in Christchurch has received a significant boost from the Jobs for Nature initiative.
The Styx Living Laboratory (in partnership with Christchurch City Council, Environment Canterbury, Te Runanga o Ngai Tuahiriri and Kahu Kura Rongoā Māori Trust) will receive $4.12 million of Jobs for Nature funding to protect the Styx River (Pūharakekenui).
“A once polluted area now has resourcing and backing from the local community to allow for the catchment return to its natural state,” said Environment Minister, David Parker.
“This project encapsulates Te Mana o Te Wai, putting the health of freshwater first—a principle central to the freshwater work programme,” he said.
“It’s going to bring back the birds, fish, the invertebrates and the native plants. We can really get things happening with the river, and support local employment.”
To date, the project has controlled more than eight hectares of woody weeds such as grey willow and planted over 24,000 native plants in the catchment.
Over the next five years, the project will create around 43 full time equivalent jobs. The jobs will focus on eradicating pest plants and protecting freshwater quality.
Aperahama Kipa, from the Kahukura Rongoā Māori Trust said, “It makes me feel joyful because we are making a difference to the waterway and the banks of the river.”