Sustainable Land Management Hill Country Erosion Fund

About the fund

SLM Hill Country Erosion Fund - through regional initiatives, provides targeted government support to communities that need to protect erosion-prone hill country while recognising that, wherever possible, farmers seek to retain the maximum practical production from their land.

Regional councils and unitary authorities may apply for funding for projects that assist hill-country farmers to treat erosion-prone land and implement sustainable management practices.

Through the fund, $2 million per year is available for regional initiatives. Projects may be funded for up to four years. The actual annual funds available will depend on the value of grants awarded in previous years. There is no minimum or maximum annual grant.

A Hill Country Erosion Fund grant will not cover the full cost of a project. Regional councils and landowners are also expected to provide some financial support to the proposed project. Landowners' support may include an "in-kind" contribution.

What the fund can be used for

Funds can be used for regional initiatives that:

  • protect unstable or potentially unstable land;
  • protect stream beds;
  • support community catchment facilitation groups;
  • plan or implement erosion protection programmes;
  • educate owners of hill country;
  • provide resources for protection programmes; and
  • forestry planting up to 5 hectares per ownership entity (funding for greater then 5 hectares can be applied for from other funds, e.g. Afforestation Grant Scheme).

What the fund cannot be used for

The fund cannot be used for projects that primarily focus on:

  • purchasing land;
  • commercial forestry;
  • lower catchment infrastructure (roads, stop banks);
  • water quality improvement;
  • carbon sequestration;
  • biodiversity;
  • land management programmes covering an area of less than 10 000 hectares;
  • retrospective costs;
  • activities more appropriately funded by other funds or organisations;
  • local or central government fees or charges;
  • participation in statutory processes, litigation or resource inventory work; and
  • East Coast Forestry Project target land.

There are other funds that may be more suitable for supporting these types of work.

Who can apply to the fund

Regional councils and unitary authorities may submit applications for funding.

Community groups and landowners are not eligible to apply to the fund, but can participate in regional initiatives that are supported by the fund.

How to apply for funding

Regional councils and unitary authorities can request an application pack by contacting:

David O’Dea
Senior Project Adviser
Growth and Innovation
Ministry for Primary Industries
PO Box 2526
Wellington 6140


The application pack contains information about the application process, assessment criteria and administration requirements for successful applications.

Application process

Application to the SLM Hill Country Erosion Fund is a two stage process.

Stage 1: Assesses the proposal against the eligibility criteria. Those applicants that meet the criteria and provide a strong case for further consideration will be asked to submit a Stage 2 application. View the eligibility criteria.

Stage 2: Evaluates the application with focus on the definition of the problem, how the programme will be implemented, consideration of alternatives, the level of support and how the proposal relates to local and central government policies and rules. View the assessment criteria.

Application timeline - No funding round will  be held in 2011

Late February
Stage 1 applications close
Mid March
Stage 1 shortlist invited to submit Stage 2 applications
Late April
Stage 2 applications close
Applicants notified of final decisions

Funded projects

Grant No. Project title Name of Applicant Group
07/01 Sustainable Land Use Initiative
Horizons Regional Council
08/02 Poplar & Willow Breeding Programme
Plant & Food Research
08/03 Wairoa Sediment Reduction Initiative and Catchment Facilitation Programme
Hawkes Bay Regional Council
09/04 South Taranaki Regional Erosion Support Scheme
Taranaki Regional Council
09/05 Wellington Regional Erosion Control Initiative
Wellington Regional Council
10/06 Waipaoa River Catchment Works Facilitation
Gisborne District Council


Last Updated: 23 October 2012

Contact MPI

for general enquiries phone

0800 00 83 33