People planting
Image: DOC


Kaimahi for Nature is part of the Jobs for Nature programme. It funds work with councils, iwi and local businesses to provide nature based jobs both on and off public land, through a regional alliance model.

This funding will be targeted towards helping businesses maintain their workforce and do conservation work as they move towards economic recovery.

Partnerships are at the heart of Jobs for Nature. We will be working with our Treaty partners, communities, businesses, local government and government agencies to support people through nature-based employment.

Kaimahi for Nature is the $200 million fund focused on working with businesses who are looking to make staff redundant. We aim to reach workers before they become unemployed – giving businesses battling COVID-19 an opportunity to temporarily redeploy their staff into environmental projects in their own region.

Benefits of the fund

The key benefits of Kaimahi for Nature include:

  • faster recovery for individual businesses and regions
  • avoid people becoming unemployed
  • people retain a strong sense of purpose and pride from restoring and keeping connected to their region
  • national gains for the environment. 

Kaimahi for Nature will be delivered through regional groups called “Alliances”

At a minimum Alliances will include Treaty partners, regional councils and our regional staff. Alliances hold the knowledge, relationships and tools in regions to deliver Kaimahi for nature at scale. A number of Alliances exist around Aotearoa, while others will need support to be set up.

Key principles guiding Alliances

  • Decisions made by people in their place.
  • Treaty partners and partnerships at the heart of how Alliances operate.
  • Funds out fast, equitably, and flexibly.

Alliances may choose to operate in different ways, however, the key principles will apply across all Alliances. They will prioritise environmental projects across their region, match workers from battling businesses to projects, and fund the temporary employment of these workers onto environmental projects.

More information on Alliances will be provided on this website or send specific enquiries to

Kaimahi for Nature scenario

Tama, Lucy, and Mary work in a retail store in a small town on a tourist trail. The reduction in tourism means the shop can no longer stay open, and they will lose their jobs.

Their employer redeploys them to an Alliance environmental project where they learn skills in fencing, trapping and horticulture. This means Tama, Lucy and Mary get to stay within their regional community, and the retail store has a window to get back up on its feet.

Kotahitanga mo te Taiao Alliance

There are some examples of existing Alliances doing great mahi.

The Kotahitanga mo te Taiao Alliance, for example, is a group consisting of the councils and most of the iwi in the top of the South Island, and DOC. It is focused on employing local people on landscape-scale environmental projects with social, economic and cultural benefits. Kotahitanga

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