Kaimahi for Nature

Discover Waitomo was able to save ~30 jobs, whilst giving the crew a chance to gain new conservation skills and knowledge, after receiving two rounds of funding from the Department of Conservation for the Kaimahi for Nature programme – $500,000 in 2021 and $650,000 in 2022. This has allowed the crew to stay local within their community and with their hapū.

The Kaimahi crew completed ~27,000 hours of conservation work to date throughout FY22, maintaining ~18km of tracks and reserves within the Maniapoto region and undertaking weed management, predator control, and riparian native tree planting. The team planted ~7,500 native trees in 2021 and have planned to plant ~12,000 native trees in the 2022 tree planting season. They have made a solid start with 9,000 trees in the ground in June 2022.

The crew have connected with community groups, supported local Marae by keeping the grounds maintained and partnered with the Waikato Regional Council, Waipa Renenoa Trust, and Waitomo Catchment Board to assist with tree planting, tree releasing, pest plant, and pest animal control.