$3.3m fund seeks land use solutions

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Bay of Plenty Regional Council, on behalf of the Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Programme is asking for expressions of interest from landowners, researchers and the general public to help come up with solutions to reduce the amount of nitrogen entering Lake Rotorua from land use activities.

The Low Nitrogen Land Use Fund of $3.3 million is jointly funded by Regional Council and Ministry for the Environment (MfE) with $1.5 million of that offered in the first round. The fund will support landowners with making their required nitrogen reductions as part of the long term solution to protect Lake Rotorua water quality.

Anna Grayling, Regional Council's principal advisor Rotorua Catchments, invites individuals and groups with an idea or initiative that could make a difference to contact Regional Council.

"This could be landowners who have successfully reduced nitrogen on their farm or professionals who want to trial a proven crop or land use.

"We know there are people out there devoting much of their time to the science behind reducing the amount of nitrogen reaching waterways and we want to share that information with others," she said.

Proposals to promote initiatives that have already shown to be working in the Lake Rotorua catchment, research in to how initiatives working in other areas could be implemented in Rotorua, and new initiatives that haven't yet been formally investigated will be considered.

"Some landowners may need to make significant changes to what they are currently doing and we want to ensure that they are provided with credible information that enables them to make informed decisions about what they do on their land."

Staff will evaluate expressions of interest to ensure they meet the eligibility criteria and successful applicants will be asked to submit a full application for funding. Expressions of interest close on May 20, 2016.

More details and the expressions of interest form can be found at www.rotorualakes.co.nz/low-nitrogen-land-use-fund.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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