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Tree planting launches Environmental Cadetship Programme

Tree planting in Cannons Creek Park

Over the next three years, the new Environmental Cadetship Programme in eastern Porirua will help local residents gain new qualifications and on-the-job training, with more than 100,000 native plants planted through Bothamley and Cannons Creek parks under the programme.

The Environmental Cadetship Programme is a collaboration of Te Rā Nui – Eastern Porirua Development partners (Kāinga Ora, Porirua City Council and Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira) along with local jobs and skills providers Le Fale, Mahi Toa and Rāranga Building Careers.

“This programme will see around 30 local residents gain qualifications and training to support them into current and future employment, while significantly improving the local environment, something the whole community can benefit from,” says Te Rā Nui Project Director, Will Pennington.

Each year, Le Fale Jobs and Skills Hub and Mahi Toa will be referring around 10 local residents to the programme, who will then be supported by the Porirua City Council Parks team and local iwi business Rāranga Building Careers to earn NZQA qualifications and on-the-job training.

“Te Rā Nui has always been so much more than building warmer, drier homes for eastern Porirua,” says Will. “It’s about working in partnership to also help enhance things like education, job opportunities and training, public transport, water infrastructure and local amenities, so our local residents can live their best lives.”

The recent removal of non-indigenous pine trees from both Bothamley and Cannons Creek parks provided an opportunity to create a local cadetship programme to help revegetate both areas with a range of native plants primarily sourced from the local Porirua City Council nursery.

“The revegetation work undertaken by the local cadets, along with stormwater, wastewater and drinking water upgrades, will significantly improve the local environment, something the community has felt very strongly about since the formation of the large-scale project,” says Will.

There are still spaces available in the cadetship programme. If anyone in eastern Porirua is interested in learning more about being a part of the Environmental Cadetship Programme, or other local employment opportunities, we encourage them to reach out to Le Fale – Jobs and Skills Hub, Mahi Toa or Rāranga Building Careers.

“Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira enthusiastically supports the upskilling of our people and enhancement of the mana and wellbeing of our taiao. This initiative accomplishes both and is an example of what’s possible when we work together. Historically, residential development in Porirua was detrimental to our environment, and this is an opportunity to remedy those harms and set an example of how to do better for both people and place,” says Helmut Modlik, Chief Executive Te Rūnanga o Tao Rangatira.

Porirua Mayor Anita Baker says the cadetship programme is already an all-round success story – for the Te Rā Nui partnership, for our local jobs and skills providers, for eastern Porirua, and for the region as a whole.

"The programme provides training and employment for local residents, enhances our environment, and uses plants from the Porirua City Council Sievers Grove Nursery in eastern Porirua. One of the cadets has already moved into a full-time role with the Parks team in Porirua City, which is a fantastic outcome," she says.

11 Apr 2024