1 Billion Tree Fund

Posted on February 1, 2019

The Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) has launched a revised Afforestation Grant Scheme (AFS) for forestry plantations. This scheme is now known as the 1 Billion Trees Fund (1BT fund).

The 1BT fund offers financial grants for Indigenous species, Manuka/Kanuka, Reversion and Radiata Pine & Exotic species.

Each of these Tree type categories have a base rate, top ups for erosion prone land or land that supports regional development goals, top ups for fencing on indigenous forests, and top up for an indigenous plantation that has specific ecological outcome especially if the plantation requires greater planting density and weed and pest control.

The grant rates are as follows.

Tree species must be able to grow to more than 5m in height and the plant density must exceed 750 live plants per ha.

Applications must include either a GIS shapefile or a Google Earth Pro .kml file, or an aerial photograph of the proposed areas for planting. Applications must also include photographs of the proposed planting areas plus photographs of existing plant cover and erosion. Photographs should be geotagged or GPS enabled and dated. It is also an advantage to include a farm plan or report from your Regional Council which supports an application for a planting or indigenous reversion.

An Indigenous planting can include a significant percentage of Manuka and Kanuka, especially as these two species are recognized as being colonizing species for native revegetation. At least 25% of an indigenous planting should include large podocarps such as Kahikatea, Totara, Rewarewa, Beech, Rimu, and/or Kauri. An indigenous planting must be allowed to revert to a natural indigenous forest over time.

Plantations under the 1BT fund can not be cut down for a minimum of 10 years. Mitigation and Ecological restoration plantings on subdivisions may qualify for the 1BT fund so long as the plantation exceeds 1ha in area, and  a large percentage of the plantation is in tree species that exceed 5m in height. There will also be a requirement to covenant the planting to protect the planting from any removal of any of the trees by future owners of subdivided Lots.

Any planting may be registered in the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and indeed it is financially prudent to do so for any Manuka/Kanuka and Indigenous plantations. Carbon Credits are a legitimate income stream from an indigenous plantation. Carbon Credits are currently worth approx $25/NZU.

Click on https://www.mpi.govt.nz/funding-and-programmes/forestry/emissions-trading-scheme/ for further information on the Emissions Trading Scheme.

Contact Kauri Park Nurseries to assist you with your application for 1BT funding for your Manuka/Kanuka and Indigenous Forest plantations.

By Andrew Wearmouth