$1.7M funding for fencing, planting

31 Aug 2023, 12:23 PM

Funding of $1.7 million is available over the next three years for the fencing of grazed ‘Highly Erodible Land’ in Northland and the planting of native establishment tree species.

The funding, from the Sustainable Land Management Hill Country Erosion Programme (administered by the Ministry for Primary Industries), will enable the Northland Regional Council to subsidise the planting of 36 hectares around the region annually.

Regional councillor Amy Macdonald, who chairs the NRC’s Natural Resources Working Party, says the funding aims to change land use to native bush from marginal hill country grazing that is generating large volumes of sediment.

Councillor Macdonald says sediment going into our rivers and coastal environment can have a number of adverse effects.

“Sediment can reduce light levels in the water, which affects plant growth, and hinder the ability of animals to find prey and avoid predators. It can also smother marine plants and animals, and cause sandy environments to change into shallow, turbid, muddy environments.”

Councillor Macdonald says the contestable funding is already generating a lot of interest and approval of applications is based on a project’s environmental benefit.

“This is ranked on criteria like size of area retired, the level of erosion present and the potential for future erosion.” She says to qualify for funding, the minimum planting size is two hectares, “but this can be made up of multiple sites on the property”.

“Funding is $4000 per hectare paid in two instalments; landowners will need to do their own research into suitable species for their site and we advise contacting a registered forestry advisor.”

For advice on establishing a forest visit: www.mpi.govt.nz/forestry/getting-started-forestry/forestry-advisory-service

Funding is also available for fencing of retirement areas on Highly Erodible Land that will naturally revert to native bush and to fence off grazed native bush in hill country. Minimum fence length that can be applied for is 200 metres.

To enquire about making an application call your local land management adviser or call 0800 002 004 and ask to speak to a land management adviser or email [email protected]

An aerial shot of erosion on hill country

File photo: An aerial shot of erosion on hill country at Tautoro, south of Kaikohe.