John Treanor: Jobs for Nature Profile

Department of Conservation —  02/08/2021

Last year when Aotearoa went into lockdown John Treanor could not have predicted that he would sit down and write an environmental plan…

He says he knew nothing about conservation. What he did know was that he wasn’t going to sit around and do nothing while in lockdown for 6 weeks.

From left: John Treanor, Reina Treanor project creators, Jason Wright Director of Kaitiaki Adventures.

Fast forward to today, having gathered the resources he needed to write the plan and get subsequent funding from the Jobs for Nature programme, the whenua/land belonging to Ngāti Hinerangi and Ngāti Hinekiri at Taheke near Okere in the Bay of Plenty has been transformed.

Restoring nature by removing noxious weeds

John says, “We were one of the first recipients of the fund and have been able to complete actions that were planned for three years down the track. It’s brought the community together and created confidence in the project that has had a knock-on effect with more plans evolving for the surrounding areas and people”.

Harakeke planting on the wetland area known as Okereru

The project is redeploying workers from local tourism business Kaitiaki Adventures, based in Rotorua, to remove noxious weeds including a blackberry infestation, construct a communal garden, eliminate predator species, build a boundary fence around the sites and plant 21,000 native plants.

School children from Te Wharekura o Ngati Rongomai planting young mānuka plants with seed sourced from the whenua so far

Approximately 3000 plants (mainly mānuka) have been planted to re-establish the manuka plantation that was historically on the land.

“We are bringing the land back to what it used to be before Europeans came. We have been blessed with this project, and we have COVID-19 to thank for it.” says John.

John Treanor instructing school kids and sharing stories about the whenua

Jobs for Nature – Mahi mō te Taiao

The Jobs for Nature programme helps revitalise communities through nature-based employment and stimulate the economy post COVID-19.

Find out more about the programme.