Budget 2020: Government promises thousands of new jobs in regions

The Government is promising to create thousands of new jobs in the regions, with a massive cash injection announced on Thursday in Budget 2020.

A package of $433 million will be spent on regional environmental projects, with 4000 new jobs expected to be created over five years.

The funding is a direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic and aims to accelerate regional economic recovery, Environmental Minister David Parker said on Thursday.

"This investment will contribute to improving the health of New Zealand's waterways and support economic recovery in partnership with local government and farmers.

"It will include restoring mini wetlands, stabilising river banks, removing sediment, and providing for fish passage. The funding will support employment across New Zealand, including the Kaipara catchment."

A $200 million fund to booster predator control efforts, restore wetlands, regenerate planting and improving tracks, huts and other recreation and visitor assets on public conservation land was also hoped to create jobs.

Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage said the Jobs for Nature Fund will allow the Department of Conservation to work with councils, iwi and local businesses such as tourism operators to provide nature-based jobs.

A further $315 million was earmarked for biosecurity, including enhanced weed and pest control, while $154 million was earmarked for creating 1800 new jobs enhancing biodiversity on public and private land across the country, Sage said.

The jobs will be primarily in the regions through agencies like QEII and Landcare Trust, regional councils and landowners groups, Sage said.

"The workers will help protect and restore indigenous biodiversity and habitat, help with revegetation of private and public conservation land and undertake riparian planting."

The Government said in total $1.1 billion would be spent and 11,000 new jobs created.