Horizons' land management work focuses on reducing erosion, protecting soil health and encouraging sustainable use of our land resources. To carry out this work we lead and support a number of work programmes across the Region including the Sustainable Land Use Initiative (SLUI).

All Regional Councils and Unitary Authorities across New Zealand contribute towards Land Air Water Aotearoa (LAWA). This is a national platfom where currently all of our water data feeds into, so the general public are able to access the status of each body of water around the country and compare the quality between different regions. In addition to viewing the status of water bodies, members of the public are also able to view information and data regarding water-related consents. LAWA originally held information regarding just rivers, which then expanded to include all water types and has recently expanded to include air quality information.

Sustainable Land Use Initiative (SLUI)

Over  half our Region’s land is classified as hill country and, in an economy defined by agriculture, it is vital to manage this land sustainably. Our Sustainable Land Use Initiative (SLUI) takes a 'mountains to the sea' approach to protecting our valuable hill country soils where they are at risk of moderate to severe erosion. By keeping this soil on our hills and out of our waterways we can enhance water quality and increase productivity.

SLUI uses a variety of tools, but the programme is based around the development of Whole Farm Plans (WFPs) with individual farmers. These plans are voluntary and once developed are followed up with a works and incentive programme aimed at reducing erosion. If you are interested in learning more about WFPs, please see our SLUI fact sheet.

Everyone in Horizons' Region benefits from SLUI either through increased flood protection, better water quality, or protection of hill country and native habitats. For this reason all ratepayers pay a Uniform Annual Charge to fund the programme. Central Government also contributes.

Industry partnerships

We recognise the need to work alongside others involved in the farming industry to develop sustainable land use.

We support the Ballance Farm Environment Awards, Poplar and Willow Research Trust , forestry industry research, Beef & Lamb programmes and various Sustainable Farming Fund programmes.

Please click on the links above for more information about these organisations.

Whanganui Catchment Strategy (WCS)

Since 1997, we have been working in the Whanganui catchment with a specific focus on erosion and sustainable land use in the upper catchment. Since 2006, we have been fortunate to have a funding relationship with the Whanganui River Enhancement Trust (WRET) who provides funding to farmers, via Horizons, for environmental work programmes. If you have property in the Whanganui catchment and are interested in learning more please contact us.


A major part of the environmental work programme in hill country is the planting of poplar and willow poles for erosion control. As well as reducing erosion, these trees provide shade, shelter and drought fodder. We source appropriate pole material for farmers from a mix of our own and commercial nurseries throughout the Region and can provide grants to establish these poles for erosion control. For information on pole plantings see the factsheets below.

Land in the One Plan

The One Plan is a consolidated Regional Resources Plan which combines all of our previous plans into one. It generally allows cultivation, forestry, land disturbance and vegetation clearance as a permitted activity provided certain standards are met.

If cultivation, vegetation clearance or land disturbance is taking place on land with a slope over 20 degrees, resource consent will be needed. However, the consent process is simple with our friendly Land Management Officers (LMOs) able to complete infield consents. The consent is also at no cost provided the risk of sediment getting into water or wetlands is low. Further information about the consent process can be found in the factsheet below.

National Environmental Standard - Plantation Forestry

The Horizons Region has around 130,000 hectares of plantation forestry. It is an important land use in the region - making good economic use of marginal land as well as delivering environmental benefits such as erosion control.
To date plantation forestry in the region has operated under Horizons’ One Plan rules. This will change when the new National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry (NES-PF) take effect on 1 May 2018. The NES provide a new set of rules for plantation forestry activities in the region.
Horizons is responsible for implementing the NES in the region and will receive notifications, request management plans, monitor permitted activities, process and issue resource consents, and carry out compliance duties. To ensure that you are ready for the NES you should:

  • Notify Horizons of any notifiable forestry activities that you will be carrying out from 1 May;
  • If you are already carrying out a forestry activities on 1 May you should check with Horizons to see if these activities are covered by existing use rights under the RMA;
  • If you have an existing resource consent for forestry activities you should check with Horizons that your consent gives full effect to the NES; and
  • You should familiarise yourself with the new rules under the NES and ensure that future forestry activities met the permitted activity standards. If not you will need to apply for a resource consent to carry out these activities. 
All information and queries regarding Horizons’ role can be sent to Further information about the NES can be found on the MPI website and any specific questions about the NES can be directed to the Ministry for Primary Industries at or 0800 00 83 33 (select option 3).
Horizons is holding two workshops with the forest industry on the implementation of the NES in: Further details are on each workshop are outlined in this invitation. Please RSVP to and note which workshop and session(s) you would like to attend.


Who's your local LMA?


Find the names and contact details of your local Land Management Advisor.

LMA Boundaries


Find out which of our Land Management Advisors cover your area before getting in touch.

Whole Farm Plans


Tunnel Gully Erosion


Growing Poplars


Vegetation Clearance




Land Disturbance