One Billion Trees Fund offers new opportunities

Forestry Minister Shane Jones and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor have today launched the One Billion Trees Fund – a crucial step toward achieving the goal of planting at least one billion trees by 2028.

Led by Te Uru Rākau – Forestry New Zealand, the Fund provides $118 million for simple and accessible grants to landowners and organisations looking to plant trees.

It also provides $120 million for partnership projects that aim to reduce the barriers to tree planting through innovation, research and sector development initiatives.

“The One Billion Trees Programme sets an ambitious target, but brings with it the huge opportunity to revitalise our regions and create real economic, social and environmental benefits across the country. It will also support Māori to realise the potential of their land,” Shane Jones said.

“The Government is committed to achieving these benefits for New Zealanders who have already shown an impressive amount of interest and goodwill in the programme. This year we exceeded the planting goal, with over 60 million trees planted.

“The new Fund will build on this early momentum by supporting planting to reduce erosion, improve water quality, achieve regional development goals, enhance biodiversity, develop Māori-owned land and diversify productive land use.

“Officials will monitor the rollout of the new grant scheme to ensure our focus remains on putting the right tree in the right place for the right purpose,” Shane Jones said.

“This is another example of the Coalition Government’s partnership with farmers to help them extract more value from their businesses because we recognise the significant contribution they make to the wellbeing of New Zealand and our economy,” Damien O’Connor said.

The key to any sustainable business is diversification and I encourage those interested to take up these grants that reflect our ambition to work in partnership with farmers to get more from what they do,” Damien O’Connor said.

It brings the total for the One Billion Trees Programme, funded from the Provincial Growth Fund, to $480 million, with other initiatives including joint ventures between landowners and Crown Forestry to plant commercial forestry, and the community planting programme Matariki Tu Rākau.

Applications to the new Fund are now open through Te Uru Rākau and can be submitted all year round.