Taranaki: Clear message in streamside scorecard
Clear message in streamside scorecard
21 March 2013
The latest progress report on Taranaki’s massive riparian (streamside) planting and fencing programme highlights a simple message for farmers: Plan ahead and do the work to finish the job – all farmers now need to be acting, as most are.
“Millions of plants and thousands of kilometres of fencing have already gone on to our riverbanks and streambanks – and the firm emphasis now is getting to the finish line,” says the Taranaki Regional Council Chairman, David MacLeod.
Riparian planting and fencing are key goals in a Dairying and Clean Streams Accord Regional Action Plan for Taranaki, which the Council reports on annually.
The latest scorecard shows that Taranaki has achieved targets relating to stream crossings, nutrient budgets, wetlands protection and resource consent coverage. But with riparian fencing at 75% completion and planting at 61% completion, considerable effort is needed to meet the 2015 targets of 90% respectively.
“Farmers deserve credit for the massive effort has gone in so far. Their work really is transforming the Taranaki landscape,” says Mr MacLeod. “But now more than ever, we need to focus on completion. As the Regional Action Plan annual report notes, the policy environment is changing, both regionally and locally, and we are likely to see greater expectations and requirements.
“Riparian protection in Taranaki is going to happen. For now, farmers have the opportunity to complete their riparian work voluntarily, at their pace, rather than having to be led by rules, with significant extra costs, as is happening in other regions.”
The Council’s Director-Operations, Stephen Hall, says the Council will supply more than 500,000 plants to farmers this year.
“We supply quality Taranaki eco-sourced riparian plants at cost. But the only way to supply the millions of plants required to complete the planting at this scale is by having them grown on contract by nurseries. To secure supply, farmers must order riparian plants at least a year in advance
“To complete your planting programme to meet possible future requirements, you need to plan and order ahead.”