A $240 million Government boost will see an additional 60 million new trees planted in New Zealand, addressing climate change and bringing sustainable job opportunities.
Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced that Cabinet has approved the creation of a new grants programme and partnership fund, part of the One Billion Trees programme, to get more trees in the ground and provide training and employment opportunities.
“Forestry is a fundamental part of this Government’s regional development programme and we need to work with everyday New Zealanders, because they are the key to achieving our tree planting target over the next ten years,” says Shane Jones.
“We’re allocating $240 million from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) to support tree planting in areas where wider social, environmental, and regional development goals can be achieved.”
Shane Jones says the new grants scheme will provide simple and accessible direct funding to landowners for the cost of planting and establishing trees and regenerating indigenous forest. Private landowners, government agencies, NGOs, and iwi will all be able to apply.
“The grants will be available for later this year and we’re aiming to encourage the planting of natives, trees for erosion control, and environmentally-focused planting – all ensuring we have the right tree in the right place for the right purpose.”
The new partnership fund will create a closer working relationship between Te Uru Rakau and regional councils, NGOs, training organisations, Maori landowners and community groups to leverage co-funding opportunities and existing know-how and experience.
“We’ll be looking at promoting innovation, securing sufficient labour to get the trees in the ground, and providing support and advice to landowners on how they can improve land use,” says Shane Jones.
The new initiatives will be funded through the PGF with about $118 million set aside for grants and a further $120 million for partnership projects over three years.