Bay of Plenty Regional Council has spent $1.67 million supporting 259 landowners to put Riparian Management Plans (RMP) in place.

Tauranga catchments manager Sarah Omundsen said money was spent during the 2012/13 and 2013/14 financial years with subsidies still available.

That expenditure meant 356km of river and stream margins were protected and 180ha of erosion-prone land converted to more sustainable use, she said.

The programmes were important to stop erosion and promote healthy waterways.

Advertisement

"Valuable, productive soil generates the best benefits for landowners if it can be retained on the property. Fencing and planting of waterways and steep land traps soil and reduces stream bank erosion so that less sediment and fewer nutrients are washed off the land into local waterways.

"Sediment and nutrients can have a negative impact on water quality and wildlife, so by managing erosion-prone areas more carefully, we'll have more productive pastures, cleaner water supply, safer swimming, healthier wildlife and more abundant kaimoana in our local rivers, streams and estuaries."

In November 2013 it was estimated stock had been excluded from about 87 per cent of the stream length within the Tauranga Harbour catchment however fencing was just one tool the Council used, she said.

John and Joanne Fotheringhame had fenced 1km of their stream margins and were planting more than 8000 native trees and shrubs on their 11.3ha Busby Rd, Katikati property next month.

Mr Fotheringhame said subsidies and incentives from the regional council and Western Bay of Plenty District Council made the investment a no-brainer.

"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."

The earthmoving machinery business operator was also thinking about subdividing.

"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."

Advertisement

Now he was looking forward to seeing his plants grow along the stream bank over the next few years and had committed to five years of 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."