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Environment Among The Big Winners

Taranaki Regional Council media release
6 June 2008

Environment Among The Big Winners

Well over 200,000 plants were distributed to farmers all over Taranaki this week – and today brought an additional special delivery to two of them.

Eric and Jeanine Fowler, of Urenui, and Kevin and Olwyn Duthie, of Eltham, were the big winners in a Fonterra prize draw aimed at encouraging land holders to fence and plant their waterways.

The environment is also a big winner because of the efforts of the Fowlers, the Duthies and the hundreds of other farmers involved in the Taranaki Regional Council’s riparian management programme, says the Council Chairman, David MacLeod.

“These farmers are taking the lead in fencing and planting their streambanks to protect and enhance water quality,” says Mr MacLeod. “It’s a big undertaking to get every streambank on the Taranaki ring plain fenced and planted and we need others to be inspired to take up the challenge.”

John Hutchings, Fonterra’s General Manager of Sustainable Production, congratulated Taranaki farmers for their sustained progress in planting riparian margins and challenged the region to take it a step further.

“Taranaki farmers, with the support of the Council, have achieved outstanding results to date in meeting the Clean Streams Accord targets and in developing riparian management plans.

“But I challenge the region to take a leadership role and become a model of best practice nationally in every area of environmental performance.”

Today’s prize presentation concluded the distribution of this year’s round of riparian plant orders. Nearly 75% of Taranaki dairy farms have had riparian management plans prepared for free by the Council. Plants are supplied at cost and to be eligible for the prize draw, land holders had to order at least 300 by 1 May.

The Fowlers’ prize was 700 riparian plants, part of a $3,500 package that also includes pre-planting preparation, planting and subsequent maintenance.

These plants will have an apt home – a block the Fowlers have just protected with a QEII National Trust covenant.

The couple recently retired to Urenui from a dairy farm at Ohangai, where they won a Taranaki Regional Council Environmental Award in 2003 for their sustainable land management practices including the protection and enhancement of a wetland.

The Duthies won a widescreen TV and home theatre system worth $5,700. They are into their third winter of riparian fencing and planting on their 96 hectare farm where they milk 250 cows.

Kevin’s happy with progress so far and sees more than environmental advantages in the work. “With creeks fenced off, it’s safer for stock and that’s important considering the price they are now.”

Besides the two big prizes, RD1 vouchers worth $50 were awarded to the first 100 land holders to order 400 or more riparian plants.

Farmers wanting more information on riparian management can call the Taranaki Regional Council on 0800 736 222 and ask to speak to a Land Management Officer.


© Scoop Media

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