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Landowners get $3.7m in funding towards erosion control

Waikato Regional Council has secured $3.7 million in government funding for landowners to spend on hill country erosion management work.

The regional council applied for funding from the Hill Country Erosion Fund to contribute to landowners’ share of work across the region from 2019 to 2023.

The Hill Country Erosion Fund, which is available to regional councils, totalled $34m for the four year period. Applications for projects totalling more than $54m were lodged with the Ministry of Primary Primaries, and Waikato Regional Council was successful in getting $3.7m.

The money will go towards riparian and reversion work, willow and poplar pole planting, retirement and plantation forestry/mānuka planting in the Lower Waikato, Central, West Coast, Waipā and Coromandel zones.

Waikato Regional Council Waipā zone manager Grant Blackie said once specific details of the use of the funding had been confirmed with MPI then the council would let farmers in specific catchments know what increased funding would be available for them.

In 2015, the regional council got $630,000 from the Hill Country Erosion Fund to help landowners undertake hill country erosion work in a pilot project in the West Coast Zone from 2015-19.

Mr Blackie said the pilot was such a success that the regional council decided to apply for funding for other zones in the Waikato region.

“We had so many landowners wanting to do hill country erosion control on their properties that demand outstripped funding available, and that’s why we applied for more money for more zones this year.”

Waikato regional councillor Stu Kneebone, co-chair of the Integrated Catchment Management Committee, said the effects of hill country erosion were costly so control was extremely important.

“In New Zealand, the annual cost of hill country erosion is over a $100 million a year in lost soil, nutrients and production, and damage to trees, houses, infrastructure and waterways.

“It’s great to have the incentives to help those who are prepared to do something about it.”

© Scoop Media

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