More regions acting on erosion control with extra funding awarded

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The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has welcomed the Nelson City and Marlborough District councils into the Hill Country Erosion Fund (HCEF) following a special funding boost round held in June.

"The extra $1.7 million and broader criteria has succeeded in getting more councils doing this work, treating affected land, and preventing erosion in prone areas. Every tree they plant makes a difference in reducing the many costs of erosion, as well as the wider benefits of trees in our landscapes," said Julie Collins, head of Te Uru Rākau (Forestry New Zealand).

Greater Wellington, Horizons and Northland regional councils also benefited from the fund.

The extra funding was announced earlier in the year as part of Budget 2018 announcements. This saw MPI announcing several changes including:

  • inviting all regions to apply to the boost round in June 2018, for 2018-19 planting
  • adding alpine and coastal erosion areas to eligibility
  • removing the 5 hectare limit on areas that can be treated.

The broadened criteria will also apply in the regular (4-yearly) funding round due to open in October, which also has an increase in funding of $34 million available.

"This year's enhancements bring a virtually 4-fold increase over previous rounds. The more we can invest now, the better the long-term outcomes are going to be for those communities and landowners," Julie Collins said.

"By backing regional investment in sustainable land management practices, this fund enables local councils and landowners to design and implement solutions locally, in keeping with their economic, social, and environmental goals," Julie Collins said.

Projects funded in the HCEF boost round

Nelson City Council (new participant)

  • Tree planting on erosion-prone land.
  • Strengthening expertise for both landowners and within the council.
  • Sustainable land management planning pilot programme.

Marlborough District Council (new participant)

  • Land assessment and management planning.
  • Strengthening expertise for both landowners and within the council.

Greater Wellington Regional Council

  • Tree planting on erosion-prone land.
  • Expand existing erosion control work.
  • Strengthen land advisory services to achieve the right trees in the right places.

Northland Regional Council

  • Tree planting and soil conservation to protect erosion-prone land.
  • Undertake analysis and assessment work relating to ongoing soil conservation activities.

Horizons Regional Council

  • Pole planting of poplars and willows on storm-damaged land in Ruapehu District.
  • Planting in riparian zones on approximately 500 hectares of hill country.
  • Assessments of eligibility of plantings of willow and poplar poles planted for erosion control for entry into the Emissions Trading Scheme.

The applications were assessed by subject matter experts at MPI and also by a cross-agency advisory panel with a range of skills and experience including from MPI, the Ministry for the Environment, Te Puni Kokiri, AgResearch and Landcare Research. 

Trees planted through the HCEF contribute to the Government's one billion trees target.

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