Jobs for Nature

In mid-2021 the Fiordland Trails Trust was granted $973,000 in funding through the Department of Conservation’s Jobs for Nature programme.

The funding has enabled a three-year project, to enable the enhancement and extension of the trail network in Fiordland, a significant and positive programme of weed and predator control and native plantings throughout the area, and will create employment in Fiordland.

The project
The project includes five sub-projects:

Noxious weed control (gorse and broom)
A weed control programme alongside the trail corridor will be in place. This will include the existing Lake 2 Lake trail, and the new trail which is under construction.  

Planting enhancement
Selected native species will be planted on the Lake 2 Lake trail corridor, to assist with erosion control, improve the visual amenity and foster native wildlife.

On the Lower Upukerora River delta
Exotic plants will be cleared, and replaced with native plant species, which will be maintained on an ongoing basis.

A predator control programme across a 345ha area will also take place in the area, to protect rare, braided river bird nesting areas of the delta and riverbed. Restoration of the Patience Bay wetland will also be undertaken, and habitation will be improved for braided river birds by removing weeds from the riverbed.

Interpretive panels
Interpretive panels will be developed in consultation with iwi, and will be placed along the trail netwo

Trail extension
A 6km extension of the existing trail will take place, with part-funding towards legs one and two of the Te Anau to Te Anau Downs trail. There are plans to extend the existing trail out towards Patience Bay through to Sinclair Road.

Sub-project: trail bridge
Construction of a trail bridge across the Upukerora River is within the project but is managed and funded by Waka Kotahi. This was complete in July 2021.


How many jobs will this create?
The project will employ 15.1 full time equivalent employees across the term, equating to approximately 50 part-time positions. The work is seasonal and employees will be from businesses within the Te Anau/Manapouri communities.

Where is the extension of the trail being developed?
The extension of the trail will form the first part (legs one and two) of the Te Anau to Te Anau Downs trail.It will run from the end of the existing trail, at the shoreline, up to the highway, cross over the newly-formed bridge over the Upukerora River, head back towards Lake Te Anau, around Patience Bay into Department of Conservation land and then up to Sinclair Road. This work is part-funded by the Jobs for Nature initiative.

Subject to consents, the extension is likely to be complete within the three-year project and will be further enhanced by the native plantings in the area.

What is the timeframe on the work?
The timeframe is as follows (note this may be subject to slight changes)

Year 1

  • Trail bridge across the Upukerora River to be constructed (complete July 2021)
  • Weed control and native plantings along existing Lake 2 Lake trail will start
  • 2km of new trail will be constructed (from the shoreline to the new trail bridge)
  • Upukerora delta bird monitoring and predator control programme will be established
  • Priority exotic species will be removed from the Upukerora delta and Patience Bay wetland

Year 2

  • Weed control and native planting maintenance will be undertaken along the existing Lake 2 Lake trail
  • Root raking of bird breeding area will take place within the Upukerora delta
  • Interpretation signage will be drafted in consultation with iwi
  • Native planting on the Upukerora Delta will be 90 percent complete
  • Work will continue on construction of new trail

Year 3

  • The remainder of the new trail will be complete
  • An effective maintenance programme will be underway for all native planting areas across the project

Can I or my business get involved with this project?
We are really keen to hear from anyone wanting to be involved. Email us at