The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) today opened the 2018 funding round for the Gisborne district’s Erosion Control Funding Programme (ECFP).
“The East Coast is the most erosion-prone region in New Zealand and leaving eroded land untreated has a negative impact on the sustainability of hill country farms, infrastructure, rivers, water quality, people and communities,” says Steve Penno, MPI's director of investment programmes.
“The region has such great potential for further sustainable primary sector growth but in many cases erosion adversely affects land productivity. We need to address the region's most severe erosion issues now to help plan for the prosperity of future generations."
The ECFP is designed to help Gisborne district landowners with the worst eroding or erosion-prone land by providing funding to treat their land. Funding can be provided to plant exotic and indigenous trees and in some cases allows for the regeneration of native bush.
Since 1992 when the fund opened, MPI has provided $49 million in funding for erosion control and has treated 42,000 hectares of erodible land. Through the ECFP, eligible landowners can receive up to $2,000 per hectare for tree planting and reversion treatments and up to $26 per pole for poplar and willow treatments.
"We're here to help Gisborne district landowners with their erosion-prone land. The opportunity to access MPI funding for erosion control is running out. Last applications will be taken in 2020 if funding remains unallocated by then. We want people to apply as soon as they can," says Mr Penno.
"We made changes to the ECFP last year to provide funding upfront to reduce the financial burden on landowners and widen the land categories eligible so more landowners can be supported with moderate to severe erosion issues," he said. All Overlay 3A land and Land Use Capability classes VIe, VIIe and VIIIe are now eligible for the ECFP."
MPI has staff in Gisborne and surrounding areas to help people through the application process.
The ECFP applications close 29 June 2018. ECFP supports the Government's One Billion Trees programme
Funding is also available to community groups in the Gisborne district to lead projects that not only improve erosion but generate wider environmental, economic, and social benefits for the region. Applications for community funding is available all year.