Changes to East Coast erosion grant schemePrimary Industries
Associate Primary Industries Minister Jo Goodhew has announced changes to the funding programme supporting East Coast landowners with erosion issues.
“The Gisborne region has a severe erosion problem. A quarter of the land is susceptible to severe erosion, compared with only eight per cent of all land in New Zealand,” says Mrs Goodhew.
“Since 1992 landowners have been able to use the funding programme to help treat soil erosion, but 60,000 hectares of eligible land remains prone to erosion across the region. It is clear landowners need a more user friendly funding programme to help them tackle this issue.”
The programme has undergone a transformation as a result of two reviews by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) in 2011 and 2012, and consultation held earlier this year.
“The changes aim to make the programme easier for landowners to participate. Unnecessary administrative requirements such as the covenant have been removed, and payments to grantees will be speed up to reduce the need for bridging finance,” says Mrs Goodhew.
“The changes also extend the establishment period to better cater for the seasonal nature and practicalities of planting programmes.”
“Current grantees have the option to change to the new agreements so they do not miss out.”
The funding programme is being renamed, changing from the East Coast Forestry Project to the Erosion Control Funding Programme.
“The new name more closely reflects the purpose of the scheme which is to prevent soil erosion through planting trees or indigenous regeneration, rather than encouraging the expansion of plantation forests.”
Landowners in the Waiapu catchment will be supported by Ministry for Primary Industries, Te Runanganui O Ngāti Porou and Gisborne District Council, who recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together to address erosion problems in the catchment.
“Erosion in the East Coast is a serious issue, and I believe these changes will go a long way in supporting affected landowners,” says Mrs Goodhew.
These changes come into effect on 28 August. Further information about the changes can be found at http://mpi.govt.nz/environment-natural-resources/funding-programmes/erosion-control-funding-programme-ecfp.