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).

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, with a key part of the programme being 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. SLUI funding criteria has broadened recently and more information on the changes can be found here

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.

Poplar Willow and Carbon Summary for Landowners

Continuous Cover Forestry

Horizons, through our SLUI programme, are looking for ways to support forestry on farm with the right tree in the right place for the right purpose. Much of the forest knowledge and debate is around traditional pines or alternate species, planted, grown, harvested and replanted. This case study looks at an alternative to that way of managing forests, and for some landowners the idea of small permanent woodlots will hold appeal.

Continous Cover Forestry: A case study


Continous Cover Forestry - What is it and why would you consider it?


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. Our friendly Land Management Advisors (LMAs) are able to give you advice about how to carry out work to meet Permitted Activity Standards, but where this is not possible they can help point you in the right direction in order to apply for a consent. Further information about the consent process can be found here.

Land Air Water Aotearoa Logo

All Regional Councils and Unitary Authorities across New Zealand contribute towards Land Air Water Aotearoa (LAWA). This is a national platform 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.


Map of Land Management Advisor Areas

Whole Farm Plans


Tunnel Gully Erosion


Trees for our Region (Book)


Growing Poplars