The Government’s announced it will re-boot its Afforestation Grant Scheme (AGS) around the country – and it’s set to bring real benefits to Taranaki-King Country.
The revamped scheme, a $22.5 million investment over six years, will encourage the planting of an anticipated 15,000 hectares of new forest.
“This is a real plus from Budget 2015 for the area,” says Ms Kuriger.
“The previous AGS saw more than 180 hectares of new forest planted in the Otorohanga District, and 298 in the Stratford District.
“Not only do you have the clear environmental positives of having more trees growing, but you also get economic benefits in the form of jobs, incomes and a general boost to the local economy,” Ms Kuriger says.
Between 2008 and 2013, over 12,000 hectares of new forest was planted around New Zealand under the previous AGS, much of it on land that was erosion-prone, and was underutilised.
The AGS led to an extra 1.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide stored in New Zealand forests, counting towards national emission reduction targets.
Successful AGS applicants will receive $1,300 per hectare for new forest planting. Priority will be given to applicants addressing environmental issues, such as erosion.
Entries are now open and close on June 30.
“This is a commitment to regional New Zealand. I’m glad we’ll see direct benefits of that throughout Taranaki-King Country,” Ms Kuriger says.