With more Government funding and more rain events expected, Horizons Regional Council wants better take-up of its Sustainable Land Use Initiative and is easing requirements.

More action is needed on the region's erosion-prone land, with 260,000ha of it still in pasture. At Horizons' June catchment operations committee meeting, councillors made changes to eligibility for Sustainable Land Use Initiative (SLUI) funding.

Committee chairman David Cotton said the changes fit with the Government's move toward new water policy, including its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways.

Horizons can now offer funding for one-off jobs on priority land on farms that do not have a SLUI Whole Farm Plan. It also has more funding for farms that do have those plans or have Whanganui Catchment Strategy plans.

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"These new funding avenues will make it a lot easier for landowners to be part of the SLUI programme," Horizons natural resources and partnerships manager Jon Roygard said.

Horizons has extra SLUI funding available because the Government is giving the council $6.4 million over four years from its Hill Country Erosion Fund. Its staff want to do more Whole Farm Plans and nearly 14,000ha of new erosion control work over that time.

To find out more, email slui@horizons.govt.nz, ring 0508 800 800 or look at the Horizons website.

Horizons region
• 260,000ha of erodible hill country in pasture
• 200,000ha of erodible hill country in scrub or forest

Sustainable land use initiative
• started in 2006
• $79 million invested so far
• 740 Whole Farm Plans done
• covering 552,000ha
• 36,000ha erosion control work done
• 16 million trees planted
• will reduce sediment in rivers 27 per cent by 2043
• but only 5 per cent reduction if extreme climate change

SLUI in the past year
• 570 erosion control jobs done
• on 3600ha
• 2.3 million trees planted
• 156km fencing done

Aim for the next four years
• another 90,000ha covered in Whole Farm Plans
• another 13,665ha of erosion control work