Local environment and economy to benefit from the Afforestation Grant Scheme

Kaikoura news
Friday, May 22, 2015

The Government has announced it will re-boot the Afforestation Grant Scheme (AGS) and MP Stuart Smith is looking forward to the boost the scheme might bring to local industry and environment.

The revamped scheme, a $22.5 million investment over six years, will encourage the planting of an anticipated 15,000 hectares of new forest.
“I warmly welcome this pre-budget announcement as the previous AGS saw more than 578 hectares of new forest planted in the Hurunui District, and 960 in the Marlborough District.

“Not only are more trees positive for our environment, but there are also strong economic benefits of the scheme through jobs, incomes and spending in the local economy,” MP Stuart Smith said.

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 under-utilised.

“This is a commitment to regional New Zealand and I’m hopeful we’ll see direct benefits of the scheme in the KaikĊura electorate with many applications and strong local uptake,” Stuart Smith said.

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.