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Published: 2016-02-16 00:00:00

Coromandel landowners keen to protect the environment are being urged to contact Waikato Regional Council’s catchment management team to take advantage of funding assistance.

“Besides helping facilitate financial assistance, the team is skilled in providing advice around farm planning, managing soils, water quality and biodiversity opportunities that can benefit production on farm as well as environmental gains,” said Hauraki and Coromandel catchments manager Graeme Osborne.

More than 130 Coromandel landowners have already been involved with the catchment new works programme since it started operating. Last year more than 16 kilometres of fencing was completed and more than 19,000 eco-sourced native plants planted.

The fund is there to assist land owners who wish to:

  • fence off wetlands, coastal areas, bush or streams
  • do planting for soil conservation or habitat enhancement

Eligible land owners can receive up to 35 per cent of the total cost of the works from the council, which means that the landowner contribution is often just their time.

The council also runs a plant supply programme where eco-sourced native plants are purchased in bulk meaning landowners can get great plants at discounted prices delivered to their door.

“Staff will develop a property-specific plan that includes environmental protection options, farm plans and land use, and particular land management issues related to matters such as waterways and soils,” said Mr Osborne.

“The council’s team can help take the paper work pain off landowners’ shoulders and assist in the development of property-specific solutions.”

People interested should call the Whitianga office on 07 866 0172 or 0800 800 401 and speak to catchment management officers Rob Corkill or Elaine Iddon.

“The council’s catchment management team come from rural backgrounds so they understand the pressures on land owners and the issues they face,” said Mr Osborne.

Examples of projects that have benefitted from funding include developing:

  • a restoration plan in partnership with iwi Nga Whenua Rahui and the council for restoration of riparian margins, wetlands and coastal habitat.
  • a plan for managing erosion (active and potential) in steep hill country farms - this discussed soils, how pastures are managed and opportunities for maximising grass growth while retiring steep gullies with remnant forest.
  • vegetation control on stream banks to mitigate flooding and erosion.

 “This is an ideal opportunity for ratepayers and property owners to access guidance and financial assistance to achieve outcomes that benefit not only individuals but the district as well,” said local councillor Clyde Graf.