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Buller planting project a success

03 Aug 2022

A Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), shovel ready project which saw over 67,000 native trees and shrubs planted on over 34 hectares in Buller has reached completion this June.

The Worker Redeployment Buller Planting Project focused on degraded or vulnerable coastal land in the Buller district over the last 18-months.

The planting was initiated in June 2020 when council was awarded $900,000 as part of the Ministry for Business Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) COVID-19 response redeployment and acceleration package.

WestReef Services Ltd oversaw the project and employed a total of seven people, with five of these previously being unemployed or displaced because of COVID-19.

Buller District Council acting group manager community services Krissy Trigg says: “Council is pleased that the funding from MBIE has enabled such positive outcomes for our district.

Council would like to pass on a huge thanks to the WestReef team for the fantastic work they have done.”

This project has long-term positive impacts with three of the staff obtaining permanent jobs at WestReef Services Ltd, as well as the long-term environmental value of the planting.

The COVID-19 response redeployment and acceleration package aimed to:

reduce the economic impacts of COVID-19
contribute to climate change commitments and environmental sustainability
increase resilience through diversification of economy
create meaningful employment
increase social inclusion.
Ms Trigg says: “This is another great example of council’s strategy incorporated in the 2021-2031 Long Term Plan, to bring external funding into the district for the benefit of the community.”

WestReef project coordinator, Jim McIlraith says: “We have achieved an enormous amount over the last 18-months and made a considerable difference to coastal areas in Buller.

Not only in terms of revitalisation of some neglected ground by planting thousands of native species, but also in some of the coastal areas where in time, the plants will assist with mitigation of coastal erosion.

Furthermore, the project gave some much needed opportunities for locals to secure gainful employment.”


In May 2020, the Buller District Council was awarded $900,000 as part of MBIE’s COVID-19 response – redeployment and acceleration package.


For more information contact:
Acting Group Manager Community Services
Krissy Trigg