$10m from one billion trees fund for environmental improvements

By Te Ao - Māori News

The government plans to invest $10 million from its one billion trees fund for large-scale planting into improving the environment and supporting communities feeling the economic impact of Covid-19.

Forestry Minister Shane Jones says the funding changes, involving new flexible funding criteria for applications, will support communities wanting to make environmental and freshwater improvements and will also provide employment.

“Importantly, as we look to support those affected by the economic fallout from Covid-19, these large-scale planting and restoration initiatives will also provide employment in their communities and support the plant nursery sector.”

In a media release, Minister Jones says the revised funding criteria has been expanded to include suitable plants, such as grasses and shrubs, and planting of areas of less than 1ha to support planting along waterways and in wetlands.

Catchment groups will also be able to apply for funding for associated costs such as land preparation, labour and pest control.

The funding is in addition to the up to $100 million from the provincial growth fund announced recently for waterway fencing, riparian planting and stock water reticulation.