A collaborative partnership to restore the Waiapu catchment in the Gisborne District has been announced by Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and Associate Minister Jo Goodhew.
“The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between MPI, Te Runanganui O Ngati Porou and Gisborne District Council demonstrates a long-term commitment to work together and with landowners to address the erosion control problems in the catchment,” says Nathan.
“The Waiapu River has the highest suspended sediment yield of any river in New Zealand and one of the highest in the world. If nothing is done, erosion and sedimentation could double by 2050.
“This is a great example of this Government working together with iwi and local councils to invest in and develop our regions. This long-term partnership will create significant environmental, cultural, social and economic benefits for iwi and the local community,” says Nathan.
Associate Minister Jo Goodhew says the Government recognises landowners need as much support as possible to treat erosion on their land, particularly in gullies where much soil loss and sedimentation occurs.
“That is why we recently consulted on operational improvements to the East Coast Forestry Project – a funding programme to assist landowners with their treatment of land to prevent soil erosion, through planting trees or indigenous regeneration.”
To date, about 42,000ha have been covered by erosion control treatments under the East Coast Forestry Project.
About 60,000ha of untreated land are eligible for ECFP funding across the Gisborne District, of which about 25,000ha is in the Waiapu catchment.
The East Coast Forestry Project has $26m available for new soil erosion projects until 2020.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank those of you who made a submission on the operational improvements to the ECFP,” says Jo.
The shared vision for the restoration of the Waiapu Catchment by 2113 is: ‘Ko te mana ko te hauora o te whenua; ko te hauora o nga awa; ko te hauora o te iwi – Healthy land, healthy rivers, healthy people’.