The day was filled with positive encouragement and excitement as the new Bay Conservation Cadets – Tauira Mahi programme, launched in Tauranga on Monday. Facilitated by Bay Conservation Alliance, the programme is supported by a grant of $3.5 million, and is part of the Government’s Jobs for Nature scheme launched in the 2020 Budget to boost employment, protect and enhance the environment while accelerating therecovery from the impact of COVID-19. “We are very excited to finally welcome our first 10 cadets with a special launch event” said Michelle Elborn (CEO, Bay Conservation Alliance). “A real highlight was the heartfelt welcome from Reon Tuanau from Ngai Te Rangi and his reminder to us all that when the land is well, the people are well – ki te pai te whenua, he pai te iwi. We were also delighted to have our Environment Minister Hon. David Parker join the occasion along with staff from the Ministry for the Environment and a range of our partners including iwi, DOC and the Bay of Plenty Regional council.”
So, what is the cadetship aiming to achieve?
- It aims to grow the skill capability in our region, and this will be achieved through a very hands-on experiential learning work programme.
- It marks an opportunity for new nature-based employment in our region.
- It aims to highlight a diverse range of job opportunities that cadets may consider on completion of the cadetship and arms them with ‘practical’ skills and NZQA certifications that aim to increase employability and personal success.
- It aims to deliver environmental outcomes across our community conservation member group sites and various landowner sites through the work the cadets will undertake.
“We want to grow a cohort of people across New Zealand that have environmental management skills; from pest control, freshwater restoration, environmental monitoring and planting, to conservation work and more”, said Environment Minister David Parker. “We are also focussed on improving New Zealand’s natural environment by creating enduring benefits for our freshwater and biodiversity, mitigating the impact of climate change, and protecting cultural values, like gathering kai.”
The cadetship will run three times a year for the next 4.5 years and at the end of the 12 week programme the cadets will have an insight into a range of career options that support environmental outcomes ranging from data collection and GIS, through to water management, pest control, biodiversity monitoring, restoration planting and more. Good luck to our first round of cadets!