Whakaki land use study gets extra ministry funding

The Whakaki catchment area has had another boost, with the Government providing $100,000 from its Provincial Growth Fund (PGF).

The money is for “cultural land use and economic impact assessments” in the area.

Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) director of regional economic development Luke Southorn said the assessment would look at the best ways to improve the productivity and environmental sustainability of the land, while protecting historically-significant sites.

“The Whakaki catchment, east of Wairoa, has severe erosion and water quality issues that are impacting on the long-term social, environmental and economic sustainability of the area.

“MPI has been working with the community, in conjunction with Wairoa District Council and Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, to help them think about a transition for their land to more productive and sustainable methods of use.

“The community told us they want to further pinpoint where their resources and effort should be focused to deliver the greatest impact.

“The land use and economic assessment will inform landowners of high-risk land that needs to be treated, which land has the potential for improved productivity, and options for best sustainable land use.

“The cultural impact assessment will identify cultural and historically-important sites around the Whakaki catchment that need to be considered prior to making significant changes and improvements.

“If we get this right, we could stabilise erosion-prone farmland to minimise soil loss into waterways, improve water quality, trial viable alternative land use options, and enhance the overall living standard of the local community by generating job and income opportunities,” Mr Southorn said.

The assessments will contribute to other cross-agency initiatives under way in the Whakaki catchment, which include an ongoing Hill Country Erosion (HCE) project and a Freshwater Improvement Fund (FIF) proposal to restore the lake and wetland.

The Provincial Growth Fund also recently provided a further $100,000 funding to help establish manuka trees on land adjacent to the lake to support a reticulating wetland as part of the FIF work.

Through the PGF, the Government has committed to invest $1 billion a year, over three years, in economic development in the regions.

The Whakaki catchment area has had another boost, with the Government providing $100,000 from its Provincial Growth Fund (PGF).

The money is for “cultural land use and economic impact assessments” in the area.

Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) director of regional economic development Luke Southorn said the assessment would look at the best ways to improve the productivity and environmental sustainability of the land, while protecting historically-significant sites.

“The Whakaki catchment, east of Wairoa, has severe erosion and water quality issues that are impacting on the long-term social, environmental and economic sustainability of the area.

“MPI has been working with the community, in conjunction with Wairoa District Council and Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, to help them think about a transition for their land to more productive and sustainable methods of use.

“The community told us they want to further pinpoint where their resources and effort should be focused to deliver the greatest impact.

“The land use and economic assessment will inform landowners of high-risk land that needs to be treated, which land has the potential for improved productivity, and options for best sustainable land use.

“The cultural impact assessment will identify cultural and historically-important sites around the Whakaki catchment that need to be considered prior to making significant changes and improvements.

“If we get this right, we could stabilise erosion-prone farmland to minimise soil loss into waterways, improve water quality, trial viable alternative land use options, and enhance the overall living standard of the local community by generating job and income opportunities,” Mr Southorn said.

The assessments will contribute to other cross-agency initiatives under way in the Whakaki catchment, which include an ongoing Hill Country Erosion (HCE) project and a Freshwater Improvement Fund (FIF) proposal to restore the lake and wetland.

The Provincial Growth Fund also recently provided a further $100,000 funding to help establish manuka trees on land adjacent to the lake to support a reticulating wetland as part of the FIF work.

Through the PGF, the Government has committed to invest $1 billion a year, over three years, in economic development in the regions.

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