with Julie Collins
Te Uru Rākau – Forestry NZ
Here at Te Uru Rākau – Forestry New Zealand, we have an opportunity with the Government’s goal to plant one billion trees by 2028, to support individuals and groups across New Zealand to plant more trees and manage land sustainably.
Planting trees offers wide benefits, among them the ability to support Maori to realise the potential of their land, diversify income and improve land productivity, tackle environmental and erosion issues, reduce climate change effects, improve water quality, create jobs and provide important habitats for a range of native species.
Landowners have told us there are a number of barriers that are limiting their approach to tree planting. Te Uru Rākau’s role is to work in partnership directly with landowners and organisations to reduce those barriers and improve incentives for planting. The recently-launched One Billion Trees Fund aims to provide a more flexible grants system to help landowners to plant the right tree, in the right place, for the right purpose.
We’re focused on integrating trees into existing landscapes so the fund provides more targeted grant rates to encourage a mix of both exotic and native planting. There is, however, a target of two-thirds of trees planted being native. This acknowledges the fact that incentives for landowners to plant commercial trees, particularly radiata pine and Manuka, are already relatively high.
By contrast, indigenous tree planting for biodiversity, erosion control and water quality have higher barriers for landowners to overcome.
We’ve created a more flexible grants system, which includes the ability to apply for funding year-round. The minimum planting area needed is 1ha if you are planting a mix of indigenous species. For other species, including planting Manuka and exotic species as well as regeneration projects, you will need at least 5ha.
Planting along waterways is eligible for funding and there is additional funding if you’re planting on erosion-prone land or need to fence off an area to protect your regeneration project.
Your trees may also be eligible for inclusion in the Emissions Trading Scheme. More information on the fund, including eligibility criteria, is at: www.teururakau.govt.nz/1bt
This is about reintegrating trees, both native and exotic species, into our landscapes that create real benefits for all New Zealanders.
Te Uru Rākau – Forestry New Zealand is responsible for the Government’s One Billion Trees Programme. The programme aims to increase planting rates to reach at least one billion trees by 2028. Julie Collins is Head of Te Uru Rākau – Forestry NZ.