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Source: New Zealand Government

Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced two One Billion Trees programme grants of more than $1.18 million to help hapu and iwi in Northland restore whenua and moana.

“Many communities around Aotearoa have benefited from One Billion Trees funding since the programme was launched in 2018. I’m delighted that these two projects will support Northland environmentally, economically and socially,” Shane Jones said.

Te Waka Pūpuri Pūtea Trust has been granted $499,200 for its new Kahutia-a-Nuku Afforestation Hub to boost native tree planting on around 1000ha land from northern Hokianga to Kaitaia. The hub has been set up to be a one-stop shop for forestry knowledge and skills, supported by the latest technologies.

More planting in the rohe is expected to deliver environmental benefits including more habitats for native plant and bird species; enhanced indigenous biodiversity in significant areas, improved water quality within and around the Hokianga, Whāngāpe and Ōwhata harbours and reduced erosion into the harbours.

Funding of $688,800 from One Billion Trees has also been allocated to the Integrated Kaipara Harbour Management Group (IKHMG), Te Uri o Hau/Ngāti Whātua, to plant native trees on land surrounding Kaipara Harbour.

The two-year Kaipara Restoration Initiative seeks to plant about 2500ha around the Kaipara Harbour and focus on engaging with Kaipara landowners who want to prepare and submit applications to the 1BT Fund for direct landowner grants. 

“This project will enable mana whenua to be kaitiaki of the lands and waters that are their home.  It will contribute to halting sediment runoff into the waterways in the Kaipara and the restoration of the harbour, including Māori cultural values, ecosystem renewal, fish stock development and kaimoana restoration,” Shane Jones says.

“These projects are among the many revitalising Northland, bringing jobs, skills and know-how back to the region. Improving the wellbeing of all Kiwis is a top priority, something the One Billion Trees programme is helping achieve.”

Notes to editors

• Planting trees is a key way of reducing sediment and improving aquatic biodiversity, with around 700,000 tonnes of sediment entering Kaipara Harbour each year from its catchment

• Kahutia-a-Nuku Afforestation Hub is also set to enable Māori to identify sites of significance using GIS (geographical information system) technology, so they can fully engage with whenua

• IKHMG pioneered environmental leadership around the Kaipara Harbour when it was initiated back in 1996 and formally established in 2005, by Te Uri o Hau and kaumatua and kuia of Ngāti Whātua.

MIL OSI