All Wairarapa landowners now eligible for erosion control funding

  • Published Date 29 Jan 2016

Last week the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) confirmed details of $1.15 million for erosion control work in the Wellington region. The area for grant funding under the Wellington Regional Erosion Control Initiative (WRECI) has been expanded and higher grant rates will mean GWRC can now target erosion prone land more effectively.

The original WRECI funding focussed attention on five hill country areas in the Wairarapa: Awhea/Opouawe, Upper Taueru, and Whareama catchments, the coastal area around Flatpoint and isolated hotspots. The expanded grant programme now covers the entire Wellington region, but the main focus will remain on the Wairarapa including the Ruamahanga whaitua.

A 60% grant rate can now be applied to all works on land that meet the target criteria. Erosion control planting will continue to be a mainstay of the erosion prevention work but grants will now be considered for other erosion control works such as slump drainage, creating sediment traps or stream bank erosion control.

“Many landowners have worked with GWRC and its predecessor the Wairarapa Catchment Board to mitigate erosion problems for generations. They will be familiar with the funding programme but we urge them to get in touch with their GWRC Land Management Advisor to understand the enhanced erosion control opportunities available to them,” says David Cameron GWRC Manager Land Management.

Wairarapa landowners that have not previously been eligible should contact the GWRC Land Management team on 06 378 2484.

“GWRC is committed to this long-term, sustainable erosion control programme. The annual cost of hill country erosion to our economy amounts to millions of dollars. Soil lost into our waterways has a significant negative environmental impact.”

”Erosion control solutions are long-term investments, the higher grant rate and expected increased in erosion control work by individual landowners can only have a positive economic and environmental impact. The success of the first six years of the WRECI programme suggests that the higher grant rates should increase the amount of erosion control work undertaken on farms joining the programme.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

1. Nationally* annual costs associated with hill country erosion are estimated at $100 million to $150 million from:

• loss of soil and nutrients

• lost production

• damage to houses, fences, roads, phone, and power lines

• damage to waterways.

Heavy rain and other adverse weather events can increase the risk of erosion in the hill country. Erosion leads to flooding, which in turn can devastate farm production. Under heavy rainfall, up to 10% of erosion-prone land under pasture can be lost.

*https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/88m-erosion-grants-awarded

 

2. The Wellington Regional Erosion Control Initiative was established in 2009 through central government funding as a response to 2004 flood events in the lower North Island. Greater Wellington Regional Council is one of six regions to receive a share of $8.8 for erosion control work from the government’s Hill Country Erosion Fund (HCEF).

 

3. Erosion control programmes aim to reduce sediment loss to waterways, keep topsoil on the land and maintain productivity, protect property and infrastructure, as well as work to moderate flood risk for the wider community. Poplar and willow planting programmes are a core part of this activity. GWRC has been committed to supplying poplar and willows through the Akura Conservation Centre for over thirty years.

ENDS Contact: Media phone: 021 914 266

 

Updated November 12, 2020 at 12:24 AM

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