Incentives to protect Southland waterways

BRIDGET RAILTON
Last updated 08:36 09/05/2014
ross cockburn
JOHN HAWKINS/ Fairfax NZ
ROSS COCKBURN: Regional Service chairman

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Environment Southland is relaxing grant restrictions to encourage landowners to do more fencing and riparian planting.

At the council's regional services committee meeting this week, councillors agreed to change the subsidy criteria in the Living Streams programme for landowners in the Waihopai and Waikawa catchments.

This means less restrictions on landowners wanting to apply for the Living Stream grant towards stock fencing within the two catchments.

Council has agreed to move from a 25 per cent fencing subsidy to 50 per cent, which existed in 2012. A $5000 cap per property was also removed.

Landowners also needed to have an approved riparian management plan in order to qualify for the grant.

The changes were more in line with an older version of the programmes.

Senior programme leader Amy Kirk said the grant was an incentive for landowners wanting to put up fencing to protect waterways.

Regional Services chairman Ross Cockburn said the decision to change back was about encouraging people to do something about water quality.

Land sustainability officers will work with landowners who want to apply for a grant.

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