On 14 May, Prime Minister Ardern’s Government announced a $1.1 billion environmental jobs package. The package is expected to create 11,000 new jobs in regional NZ, including displaced tourism workers. The program was rolled out quickly, creating new jobs within weeks in hard-hit tourism areas.
In his budget speech, Finance Minister Grant Robinson highlighted this initiative as one of six priority initiatives in response to COVID-19 economic impacts.
“Our rebuild from COVID-19 provides an opportunity to address some of the long-standing sustainability and environmental challenges facing New Zealand. Our $1 billion Environmental Jobs package announced today will create thousands of jobs that will at the same time support habitat protection, pest control and biodiversity on our public lands."
The NZ package represents a compelling illustration of the multiple benefits of a conservation and land management employment package: timely and targeted employment in hard-hit regional areas; important benefits for the environment, farmers and local communities; broad stakeholder support; and, a practical and easily understood way to provide work where and when it is needed most.