Jobs For Nature

Strengthening our shared connections to land, water and ecology.

WAI Wānaka has received funding from Sustainable Business Network and the Ministry for Primary Industries to deliver measurable benefits for the environment alongside providing much-needed local employment.

The Upper Clutha community depends upon its natural resources for both economic and wellbeing reasons. The Community Catchment Plan sets out the Environmental and Land Management Challenges for our region, including climate change and pest management.

Jobs for Nature work programmes include

  • Planting and plant maintenance
  • Weed control
  • Pest management
  • Biodiversity monitoring
  • Carbon planning

All work is undertaken in a co-ordinated way, linking where possible with existing work on the ground to maximise beneficial environmental outcomes. Current funding supports 20+ full and part time workers, increasing to 30+ from 1 March 2021.

Find some frequently asked questions answered here: FAQ page.

Partnering to Plant

Sustainable Business Network is working in partnership with the Director-General of Conservation to contribute to Kaimahi for Nature by establishing the Partnering to Plant Aotearoa project with partners around the country. WAI Wānaka received funding for 14 full and part time workers between 21 September and 13 November 2020.

Key stakeholders  

Local landowners, catchment groups, ORC, QLDC, Iwi, Department of Conservation, Otago Conservation Board, Lake Wānaka Tourism, WAO, Fish & Game, Forest & Bird, Waterways Centre for Freshwater Management, Lincoln University, University of Otago, Alpine Lakes Research and Education Centre, Te Kākano Aotearoa Trust, Ignite Wānaka, Guardian groups, Wānaka Backyard Trapping and many industry, business and community groups.   


Sustainable Business NetworkMinistry for Primary Industries (MPI) /  Otago Regional Council (ORC) 


Jobs for Nature update 6 May 2021

Latest news: May 6th, 2021

Our seasonal team finishes up on Friday after seven weeks of work across the Upper Clutha catchment. During this time, together with our long term crew, they have: planted over 6,000 natives carried out a possum monitoring programme in the Cardrona Valley maintained rabbit fencing across 12 properties removed Nassella tussock (with ORC helping with

Jobs for Nature update 21 April 2021

Latest news: April 21st, 2021

Planting is in full swing and it’s great to see plants going in right throughout the catchment – Matukituki, Cardrona, Luggate, Hawea Flat and Maungawera have all had the WAI teams out planting. Possum monitoring continues up the Cardrona with a chew card system to assess possum distribution since OSPRI stopped control work in 2019.

Jobs for Nature Update 8 April 2021

Latest news: April 8th, 2021

Planting season has begun (albeit somewhat drier than desired) and, as well as getting new plants in the ground, the Jobs for Nature crew is helping out with weed competition around previous plantings – pre-spraying prep and spraying. Rabbit control continues – primarily fence checking, maintenance and a lot of new rabbit netting going on