01 July 2020

A tree-felling job in the Ngongotahā catchment that uses COVID-19 Recovery funding provided by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is highlighting the vital link between Toi Moana’s flood mitigation works and new employment opportunities in the Bay of Plenty.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council is removing problematic trees in the upper Paradise Valley near Rotorua. These trees are a priority for removal because of the risk they could fall into the Ngongotahā Stream, potentially creating debris dams, downstream flooding or river bank erosion.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s General Manager, Integrated Catchments, Chris Ingle, said that the project highlighted Council's awareness of climate change and how that impacts on its core service delivery.

“The impacts of climate change will mean more frequent extreme weather events, so it is even more important that our flood mitigation measures are robust and resilient.

“This project takes a longer term view and shows the benefits of working with the local community to identify risks before they occur,” Mr Ingle said.

The contractor undertaking the work has employed two new workers and several subcontractors, many of whom had been made redundant or were facing redundancy as a result of COVID-19.

“As our projects across the Bay of Plenty gain pace, we’ll see more and more of these projects that help with COVID-19 recovery. These include wilding tree removal, wetland restoration, track maintenance for pest control, and regional park upgrades,” Mr Ingle said.