Posted By QEII National Trust | October 16, 2020

We have teamed up with the Hawkes Bay Regional Council to give landowners financial incentives and on-farm support to protect and enhance areas with biodiversity values on their farms.

To do this, we’ve signed a memorandum of understanding with the Council which means that we can work together and offer funding to landowners to establish covenants to enhance and support healthy ecosystems in Hawke’s Bay. The memorandum is effective from July 1 this year.

The programme will provide funding for retirement fencing for new covenant areas with biodiversity values and some support for activities in covenants such as planting and pest plant and animal control. A key focus will be on deer fencing, to combat the significant impact feral deer are having on native bush remnants across the region.

QEII chief executive Dan Coup says that the programme will provide a boost for biodiversity protection in the region and ensure those areas are protected forever.

“Almost 70% of New Zealand is in private land ownership, so there are many wonderful opportunities for private landowners, especially farmers, to make a difference in conserving rare species and habitats,” said Dan.

“Areas protected by a QEII open space covenant are protected in perpetuity, so not only does this programme provide an increased financial incentive to landowners to protect their special areas, it also ensures the Regional Council’s investment in protecting this biodiversity is secured for the future. The robust legal protection afforded by a QEII covenant ensures these special areas will be there for future generations, despite changes in ownership or surrounding land use.”

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council chief executive James Palmer says he was pleased to partner with us as we share the same values and aspirations to develop healthy ecosystems in the region.

“We look forward to seeing this programme turn into action on the farm and working together to protect our most at-risk natural areas. Carrying out pest plant control work is the key to long term ecosystem survival,” he said.

Under the programme the Council will continue to support landowners to control possum numbers on covenanted land.

Photo credits: Michael Schultz Photography