Sustainable Land Management Hill Country Erosion Programme

2015-2016 Funding Round

The 2015-2016 funding round is now open.

All applications must be submitted by 3pm 5 December 2014

Full details on applying can be found in the applicant guidelines.

Full application form can be found here.

If you require further information please contact

Or call 0800 00 83 33 to speak to the HCEF Project Advisor

2015-2016 Round Key Dates




Fund round opens

Fund Round Opens.
Applicants can now submit applications to

20 October 2014

Fund round closes

Fund round closes. 
All applications must be submitted to in time before the round closes.

3pm 5 December 2014

Applicants notified of outcomes

All applicants will be notified on whether they have been successful.

March 2015

Successful projects contracted

All successful applicants have signed contracts in place with MPI

By 30 May 2015

Projects commence

All funded projects commence

1 July 2015

Two types of funding

The Hill Country Erosion Fund: $2.2 million a year is available through a contestable for regional projects that help hill-country farmers treat erosion-prone land and implement sustainable management practices. Regional councils and unitary authorities can apply for this funding.

Capacity Building initiatives: Strengthen the knowledge of regional council land sustainability officers. These officers have a critical role in providing information on land management practices to land owners and managers. Funding is also available for establishing or enhancing catchment facilitation groups. The programme supports these groups by funding facilitators through relevant regional councils.

Programme needed to prevent erosion damage

Protecting erosion-prone hill country prevents damage to both rural and urban businesses, communities and infrastructure.
Annual costs associated with hill country erosion are estimated at $100 million to $150 million from:

  • loss of soil and nutrients
  • lost production
  • damage to houses, fences, roads, phone and power lines
  • damage to waterways.

The SLM Hill Country Erosion Programme has been developed to reduce the risk of erosion and flooding.

Heavy rain and other adverse weather events can increase the risk of erosion in the hill country. Erosion leads to flooding, which in turn can devastate farm production.

Under heavy rainfall, up to 10 percent of erosion-prone land under pasture can be lost.

Serious floods place huge social and financial costs on rural and urban communities. For example, in February 2004, exceptionally heavy rain in the lower North Island caused severe erosion in the hill country and resulted in extensive flooding across much of the Manawatu-Wanganui region. A similar scenario played out in the Bay of Plenty in 2005. Following these floods, central government provided approximately $198 million to compensate farmers for lost production, to rebuild roads and bridges, and for rates relief. Stabilisation of land at risk of slipping will guard against this.

It is predicted that climate change will increase the risk and magnitude of extreme weather events.

Total catchment management and how it works

Under the Hill Country Erosion Programme, MPI takes a total catchment approach.

A total catchment approach to hill country erosion requires all landowners and community members to get involved in identifying issues and creating solutions within their own catchments. Reducing erosion in the upper areas of a catchment is more cost effective than bearing the cost of flooding and flood control structures in the lower areas.

Part of the SLM Hill Country Erosion Programme is to ensure those with the necessary community-facilitation skills are available to assist those in each catchment to find their own solutions.

Erosion-prone regions

Regions particularly prone to hill country erosion and a consequent high risk of flooding are:

  • Northland
  • Gisborne
  • Hawkes Bay
  • Wellington region
  • Manawatu-Wanganui
  • Taranaki
  • parts of the Eastern Bay of Plenty
  • parts of Waikato

Previously funded projects


Case studies


Last Updated: 20 October 2014

Contact MPI

for general enquiries phone

0800 00 83 33