Greater Wellington awarded funding to secure hillsides

  • Published Date 15 May 2023
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Greater Wellington has been awarded $3.6 million from the Ministry for Primary Industry’s (MPI) Hill Country Erosion Fund for the regional council’s Wellington Erosion Control Initiative (WRECI).

“This is great news for the stability of erosion prone land, the quality of water in our streams and rivers and the aquatic habitats they support,” said Greater Wellington Catchment Management General Manager Wayne O’Donnell.

Now in its thirteenth year, WRECI aims to build community resilience and land-use sustainability. It  protects erosion-prone land through a range of farm planning tools such as poplar and willow space planting, reversion to native vegetation, and native or exotic afforestation. The MPI funding enables WRECI to operate for the next four years

Greater Wellington also contributes rate funding to the initiative, which offers landowners a 50 percent rate subsidy for planting or fencing erosion prone land.

“It’s an extensive scheme that delivers commercial value for participating landowners and environmental benefits for the community. We aim to treat 2800ha over the next four years,” Mr O’Donnell said.

In 2021/22, 810ha of erosion prone land was treated through WRECI. So far in 2022/23 782ha have been treated, 341ha with afforestation and reversion, and 441ha with poplar and willow space planting.

“Greater Wellington has been working with landowners for the last 50 years to combat hill country erosion,” Mr O’Donnell said.

“WRECI maintains that support while developing our tree supply and increasing engagement with hapu and marae. It also provides farm management services in line with anticipated Certified Freshwater Farm Plans.”

More information on erosion control and WRECI can be found on the Greater Wellington website.

Updated May 15, 2023 at 1:22 PM

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