Environmental investment ‘no-brainer’

John and Joanne Fotheringhame have fenced a kilometre of their stream margins and are planting more than 8000 native trees and shrubs on their Busby Rd property in Katikati next month.

John Fotheringhame discusses the benefits of fencing stream margins with Bay of Plenty Regional Council land management officer Braden Rowson.

John says subsidies and incentives from Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Western Bay of Plenty District Council have made the investment a no-brainer.

“I didn’t realise my property was eligible.

The subsidies and help regional council offers make it easy to get the work done.

“Fencing and planting the stream will make it better for my family to take water from and swim in. It’ll make the stream more attractive to look at, reduce stock loss and will be paid for by the increased resale price of the land.”

John signed up to a Riparian Management Plan with BOPRC last year, after a chance conversation with council land management officer Braden Rowson.

Braden helped John to develop his fencing and planting plan and to find out about transferable development right options and incentives.

John has owned his 11.3 hectare Katikati property for about 25 years. He also owns a well-known earthmoving machinery business, which has seen him involved in many subdivision projects in the Bay of Plenty region.

“We’ve got a great stand of native rata, rimu and puriri trees beside the stream. I’d been thinking about protecting it and exploring subdivision options for the kids but had been put off by surveyors I’d talked to about it.

“I didn’t think to check it out with regional council,” says John, who is now looking forward to seeing his plants grow along the stream bank during the next few years.

He’s committed to five years’ weed and rabbit control to help get the plants established.

“After that the plants should look after themselves. I’d like to see my neighbours down the road do the same.”

Braden says RMPs are one of the tools regional council is using to keep land, water and wildlife healthy in and around Tauranga Harbour.

“RMPs offer landowners an easy way of meeting their obligation to keep stock out of waterways.

“There’s a 25 per cent subsidy and no covenants or other strings attached. Why not fence stock out while it’s still voluntary and there’s a subsidy available?”

An action plan is in place for the Uretara catchment, where the Fotheringhame property is located.

It identifies about 24km of unprotected waterways and 600ha of steep land that could be better protected to reduce sediment and nutrient run-off into the stream and harbour.

Landowners can find out more about RMP funding and advice available to them by calling their local land management officer on 0800 884 880, emailing info@boprc.govt.nz or visiting www.boprc.govt.nz/landmanagement  


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