Trees for Manawatū-Whanganui

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will provide almost $1 million to see 1,350,000 trees planted on private land this winter in the Manawatū-Whanganui region, Forestry and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today.

The PGF will provide $970,600 which will be used to plant a range of tree species on 1000 hectares of erosion-prone farm land in the region.

“We have the landowners, the land and the seedlings and the Horizons Regional Council has the right relationships with landowners in their region so a partnership of this kind makes perfect sense,” Shane Jones said.

“The regional council will work with up to 40 landowners through their sustainable land use initiative to get trees into the ground in the next few months.

“The funding will also provide for up to 20 customised forest land appraisals for landowners considering planting trees on more than 50 hectares of their land – which would result in a significant change in land use on the farm.

“The establishment of more trees in the region will further lift productivity, incomes and help diversify land use. From this additional planting alone we expect at least ten permanent jobs to be created over the trees’ lifecycle.

“Some of these jobs will be situated in some of the most remote and isolated communities in the region where unemployment is high.

“Environmentally, the tree planting will reduce erosion and sedimentation in the area and enhance climate change mitigation and improved water quality.

“This is about more than an investment in trees – it’s an investment in people, our regional communities and our environment,” Shane Jones said.

Notes to editors:

Forestry is very important for the Manawatū-Whanganui’s economic and environmental viability. Since 2006, the Horizons Regional Council has planted over 15 million trees.

The region has the largest area of farmed hill country in New Zealand and has the biggest hill country erosion programme. The 1000 hectares will be in addition to the tree planting the regional council already does.

The total cost of planting the 1000 hectares is just over $1.9 million. Additional funding of just under $392,000 will be provided by the Horizons Regional Council and landowners will contribute just under $563,000.