11 May 2015

Boost for tree-planting scheme

5:10 pm on 11 May 2015

The Government has rebooted a scheme aimed at getting farmers and landowners to plant trees, particularly on erosion prone land.

Associate Minister for Primary Industries Jo Goodhew relaunched the Afforestation Grant Scheme at a farm near Masterton this morning.

She said between 2008 and 2013 the scheme led to more than 12,000 hectares of new forest being planted, and she hoped the reboot would achieve even more.

"We are targeting erosion prone land in particular, we want to see the environmental benefits of land planted in forestry species in lots of between five hectares and 300 hectares," she said.

"Priority will be given to applicants who are going to gain the most environmental benefits from the planting of the trees, so it is likely that it will be addressing erosion prone land, we see that as being a way of addressing water quality too."

Successful applicants will receive $1300 per hectare.

The new version of the scheme would result in $22.5 million being invested during the next six years, and applications would be open from 27 May until the end of June.

The scheme will be managed by the Ministry for Primary Industries with support from regional councils and iwi which will help identify under-utilised land best-suited for forest planting.

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