Erosion Control Funding Programme

MPI provides grants from its Erosion Control Funding Programme (ECFP) to Gisborne district landholders to help reduce wide-scale erosion problems in the Gisborne district.

Update:  28 February 2017

Changes to the Erosion Control Funding Programme

On 28 February 2017, changes were announced to the Erosion Control Funding Programme to allow a wider range of measures to manage erosion in the Gisborne region. The changes will support the Tairawhiti economic action plan also launched on 28 February.

The changes involve widening the scope of what can be funded by the ECFP, meaning there will be funding available for a wider range of measures which support and contribute to forestry and erosion control. The fund will be able to assist community groups, iwi and other organisations with innovative ideas to reduce erosion.

Applications under the new scope will be accepted from April 2017 and new criteria and guidance documents will be available by late March. 

The funding round for standard Erosion Control Funding Programme applications (for forestry, pole or reversion treatments on erosion prone land) will be open from mid-May to the end of June 2017.

Changes to land eligibility and the funding payment structure were approved in late 2016 and these will be in place for this upcoming funding round. More information will be available by the end of March.

If you have any questions, email

Gisborne district prone to severe erosion

The Gisborne district has a severe erosion problem – 26% of Gisborne district's land is susceptible to severe erosion, compared with only 8% of all land in New Zealand.

Severe erosion causes long-term damage to the productivity of rural land. It threatens communities and rural businesses, including farms and orchards, roads and bridges. It lowers water quality by contributing large amounts of sediment to river systems, and it harms the natural and cultural values of the land and the coastal environment.

This results in a negative economic impact to the district's hill country farms, infrastructure, and high-quality land that is on floodplains.

Gisborne district is susceptible to regular high-intensity weather events that cause soil erosion and downstream flooding. These weather events are likely to be more extreme and/or more frequent. For a mid-range global greenhouse gas emission scenario, a 1-in-100 year event now could become a 1-in-50 year event by the end of the century.

Severe erosion includes large-scale gully erosion, earthflow erosion and deep-seated slumps.

Funding programme to help control erosion

The ECFP was established in 1992 because the Government considered it important to address the wide-scale erosion problems in the Gisborne district.

MPI provides ECFP grants to landowners to fund treatments that control erosion on the worst eroding or erosion-prone land in the district. MPI refers to this type of land as target land. Landholders can use the grants to pay for planting trees or encouraging natural reversion to native bush.

Erosion treatments eligible for funding are the establishment of exotic forests, indigenous forestry (including mānuka), retirement of grazing land to allow regrowth of indigenous vegetation (reversion), and space-planted poplars and willows.

ECFP funding

About the funding

Applicants for an ECFP grant must own or have an interest in target land. Grants cover a significant part of the costs of an erosion control treatment. More details about applications and eligible land are available in these documents:

Applying for an ECFP grant

2016 applications have now closed. The next application round is planned for May-June 2017.

To apply for an ECFP grant, complete the ECFP grant application form.

You can submit your application by email or post.

  • Email to:
  • Post to: 
    Erosion Control Funding Programme
    Ministry for Primary Industries
    PO Box 2122
    Gisborne 4040

New grant rate and schedule

For applications approved after 1 July 2015, MPI has approved a new grant rate and payment schedule for the ECFP. The new schedule has a simplified grant and payment structure while continuing to provide landowners with a substantial incentive to undertake erosion treatment plantings. The recommended higher planting rate in the new schedule recognises that some seedlings will die soon after establishment.

Make a claim for payment

To make a claim for payment, you will need to complete an ECFP Claim for Payment Form.

Consultation completed and changes made

MPI sought feedback from stakeholders and tangata whenua on proposed operational changes to the East Coast Forestry Project (ECFP) during February and March 2014. A summary of submissions was developed. Feedback from consultation was considered and changes have been agreed by Cabinet. The guide for applicants and Q&As documents highlight the agreed approach.

In response to a number of public submissions, the East Coast Forestry Project has been rebranded the Erosion Control Funding Programme (East Coast) to reflect the primary purpose of the scheme, which is sustainable land management on eroding and erosion-prone land, rather than simply encouraging the expansion of planted forests.

For more information about the consultation, read:

For more information, download:

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