Further funding for erosion control in Horizons Region

Horizons Regional Council is pleased to learn it will receive a further $300,000 for erosion control works undertaken as part of the Sustainable Land Use Initiative (SLUI).

This is courtesy of the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) announcing a special funding boost round held in June under the Hill Country Erosion Fund (HCEF).

Group manager natural resources and partnerships Dr Jon Roygard says the successful application is great news.
“This funding will provide poplar and willow poles for storm-damaged land in Ruapehu District, and planting in riparian zones on approximately 500 hectares of hill country throughout the region.

“There will also be assessments of the eligibility of poplar and willow poles planted for erosion control for entry into the Emissions Trading Scheme.”

Dr Roygard says central government’s continued and additional support of SLUI is appreciated.

“Following the March storm event we have a number of land owners who will really benefit from the pole plantings in particular. We had previously been approached by the Rural Support Trust who highlighted issues farmers in the Ruapehu District were facing.

“We offered to provide advice and support around building resilience at the appropriate time and, with uncanny timing, attended a number of community meetings to discuss that this week. It was fantastic to be able to tell them of this extra funding that had become available.”

Dr Roygard says the pole funding will provide a one-off grant for Ruapehu farmers impacted by the storm to receive the poles at no cost.

“As part of the SLUI programme we can also offer further plantings at a subsidised rate and ongoing advice around building resilience through Whole Farm Plans and erosion control works on farm.”

Chair of Horizons catchment operations committee, David Cotton, says it was great to see the interest from farmers at the meetings.

“We have allocated all the trees following the meetings and are looking forward to working with these landowners to build resilience across the district. Planting the right tree in the right place is extremely important for achieving this, as well as contributing to improved water quality and keeping soil out of river channels so they can retain flood carrying capacity.”

Horizons councillor for Ruapehu, Bruce Rollinson adds while the new funding will see the poles planted over the next couple of months, there are other options for landowners who want to look at options for their farms.

“If there is anyone who couldn’t make the meeting and are interested in learning more about SLUI, subsidised planting or forestry appraisals, we’d love to hear from you.

“I’d also like to reassure landowners that Horizons is not here to tell you what to do – many of the solutions to erosion issues are coming from landowners with their specific on farm knowledge. Our role is to support them where possible and provide additional advice about what options are available.”

Horizons was one of four councils to be successful with their bid. Trees planted through the HCEF contribute to the Government's one billion trees target. A key part of the successful bid is Horizons’ ability to support forestry implementation, being on track to plant 1.35 million trees this season with over a half of them native Mānuka.

The funding also provides for free, no obligation, independent advice to framers considering forestry to be part of their farm. Again, Horizons encourages landowners with an interest in this to contact Horizons’ land team on freephone 0508 800 800.