INDEPENDENT NEWS

Report release on East Coast Forestry Project

Published: Thu 9 Nov 2006 02:22 PM
Hon Jim Anderton
Minister of Agriculture, Minister for Biosecurity, Minister of Fisheries, Minister of Forestry
Associate Minister of Health,
Associate Minister for Tertiary Education,
Minister Responsible for Public Trust
Progressive Leader
9th November 2006 Press release
Report release on East Coast Forestry Project
The Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Jim Anderton publicly released the review report of the East Coast Forestry Project (ECFP) today which was initiated in 1992 to counter erosion on the unstable hill country of the Gisborne-East Coast region.
“There is a huge regional-scale soil erosion problem in the East Coast which is a legacy of decades of poor sustainable land management practices, coupled with the effects of intense storms,” Jim Anderton said today.
"The Government has considered the report and agreed to its major recommendations. I consider that the recommended changes to the ECFP will make it more attractive to landowners.
"However, the changes will not be implemented until the Gisborne District Council notifies an effective regulation in its Combined Regional and District Plan to address the severe erosion in those areas targeted by the ECFP.
"The Government agreed to the major recommendations of the report because it recognised the need for the ECFP to adjust to changing circumstances and to incorporate recent research on erosion features.
"The ECFP has been operative for 14 years and has provided over $27 million (excluding GST) as incentives to landowners in the Gisborne District during this period. However, the ECFP incentive alone is not sufficient to address the remaining, and still very significant, erosion problem in the Gisborne District. There is an urgent need for a ‘stick’ to go along with the ‘carrot’.
"In 2000 the Government recognised the need for regulation and the Council agreed to introduce regulatory controls. The regulation is still not in place.
"I am pleased to note that the Council intends to notify an effective regulation before Christmas this year, and expect it will align with objectives of the ECFP. If the Council does not notify the rule the Government will have little choice but to reassess the future of the project, which would be disappointing.
"The Labour-Progressive Government views the ECFP, and the accompanying Council regulation, as an important model for sustainable land management initiatives in other regions of New Zealand where soil erosion is a major problem," Jim Anderton said.
The link for the report is: http://www.maf.govt.nz/forestry/publications/
2005-east-coast-forestry-review-report/2005-ecfp-review-report.pdf
ENDS

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