Hill Country Erosion Programme for councils

The Hill Country Erosion Programme helps protect erosion-prone hill country. It provides leadership and targeted support to regional and unitary (territorial) councils and authorities. Find out how the programme works and why it's needed.

About the Hill Country Erosion (HCE) Programme

The HCE Programme is a partnership between the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), councils and landowners. It provides funding support to regional erosion-control projects that are beyond the capacity of councils to address on their own.

The HCE Programme supports councils to:

  • work with landowners in mapping and identifying erosion-prone land
  • deliver catchment initiatives and sustainable land management projects
  • build their technical capacity to deliver erosion-control work.

It also supports councils to plan for and treat erosion-prone land, usually with trees as the main treatment, through:

  • space planting of trees (far enough apart that pasture can grow between them for grazing stock)
  • land retirement and reversion to native vegetative cover
  • forestry.

Loss of productive land through erosion has a significant impact on the environment, and the economy. Erosion and its effects in hill country areas alone are estimated to cost New Zealand's economy $100 million to $150 million a year. Reducing erosion in the upper areas of a catchment costs less than the cost of flooding and of flood-control structures in the lower areas.

Who can apply for funding?

The HCE Programme provides funding to regional councils and unitary (territorial) authorities. It runs funding rounds every four years and is currently supporting 12 active programmes around the country.

Landowners should make contact with their council's land management officers to find out about current programmes in their area.

Hill Country Erosion Programmes in your region

If you have questions about the Hill Country Erosion Programme:

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