Afforestation Grant Scheme could help with nutrient targets

Monday, May 11, 2015

Rotorua MP Todd McClay says local land owners and farmers could be in line for up to $1,300 per hectare of new forest planted to help meet nutrient reduction targets as part of the new Afforestation Grant Scheme (AGS) announced today.

Applications to the new AGS open soon and will add a further $22.5 million to the AGS which has already delivered 12,000 hectares of new trees planted under the scheme between 2008 and 2013.

The scheme will see a further 15,000 hectares of forest planted across New Zealand, providing both economic and environmental benefits to local communities. The scheme will reduce erosion, improve water quality and slow the frequency and severity of flooding. It will also lead to an additional 1.6 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide in our forests, further contributing towards our national emission reduction targets.

In addition to the environmental benefits, the scheme will take land which is currently underutilised and make it more profitable with the addition profitable forestry. This will create jobs and be a boost to our regional economy.

Successful applicants would receive $1,300 per hectare of new forest planted, with priority given to applications which address environmental issues such as erosion.

“Over the life cycle of these trees, I expect the AGS to make a significant contribution to the forestry industry and supporting services. I encourage local farmers and land owners to make applications to the grant, as it would provide a great boost to Rotorua’s already large forestry sector”

“Successful local land owners and farmers will receive $1,300 per hectare of new forest planted under the AGS. This would help provide more use for marginal land, and allow land owners to diversify their properties” says Mr McClay.

Applications for the scheme will open on May 27 and close on 30 June. For more information, please contact my electorate office on (07) 348 5871.