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Figures released by Te Uru Rakau (Forestry New Zealand) this week show 228 grant applications were received for funding under the Government’s One Billion Trees Programme this year, a total of $42.55 million being allocated across 42 projects.
Te Uru Rakau acting deputy director-general Sam Keenan said $22.2 million of that had been approved across 10,758.4 hectares of new planting.
"To date approximately 17,056,165 trees comprised of 9,785,067 native and 7,271,098 exotic trees have been funded."
Mr Keenan said a key aspect of many of the billion trees project was "reliable science", with $499,321 of funding going to AUT’s Living Laboratories Project for research about integrating native canopy tree species such as rimu within agricultural landscapes.
Another $376,850 had gone to Manaaki Whenua — Landcare Research to build understanding about how New Zealanders perceive forestry.
Tane’s Tree Trust has received $165,863 to devise ways of upscaling cost-effective planting and native forest reversion, while New Zealand Plant Producers Inc received $100,000 to develop industry standards around the risk of spreading pests and pathogens through plant product systems.
A further $39,500 was allocated to the New Zealand Nursery Practice Guidelines Project, which allows experienced nurserymen and scientists to share their expertise.
One Billion Trees Programme grants and partnership funding of $800,000 has also been allocated to the Waikato Regional Council to expand its riparian restoration project programme, which is working to improve the region’s water quality by integrating trees into farm settings.
The Tararua District Council received $145,000 for its decision-support tool that gives landowners information about planting options on farms, and to strategically plan future forestry in the area.
An additional $95,000 went towards laying the foundations for Rotary’s 100 Forests of Peace and Remembrance Project.
Mr Keenan said summer was a great time to prepare an application for next year.