Deal re­duces Lake Ro­torua ni­tro­gen

Rotorua Review - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS -

The Lake Ro­torua In­cen­tives Scheme has se­cured 10 deals to date which will re­sult in re­mov­ing 10.7 tonnes of ni­tro­gen from Lake Ro­torua.

Ne­go­ti­a­tions are also near com­ple­tion with an­other large landowner, who has opted for land use and man­age­ment changes, which will re­move ap­prox­i­mately 8.5 tonnes of ni­tro­gen from the lake.

The $40 mil­lion In­cen­tives Scheme has been set up to buy ni­tro­gen from landown­ers who want to per­ma­nently lower their ni­tro­gen dis­charge to the lake, with the aim of buy­ing 100 tonnes of ni­tro­gen by 2022.

These 11 deals would bring the to­tal amount of ni­tro­gen re­moved from Lake Ro­torua to 19.2 tonnes.

Lake Ro­torua In­cen­tives Com­mit­tee chair­man Norm Brun­ing said be­ing able to se­cure al­most 20 per cent of the tar­get was a real mile­stone for the pro­gramme.

‘‘We have made some break­through deals so far and are de­vel­op­ing more mo­men­tum, with four new deals in the pipe­line.’’

For landown­ers who have signed up to the scheme it has been a win-win sit­u­a­tion for them and for Lake Ro­torua, he said.

‘‘It’s ex­cit­ing to see how open minded these landown­ers are be­ing with these new land use op­por­tu­ni­ties and the ben­e­fits they are get­ting back from the In­cen­tives Scheme.’’

The tar­get for the rest of this year was to se­cure an­other 15 tonnes of in-lake ni­tro­gen which would cross the one-third thresh­old, he said.

One landowner has al­ready sold all his cat­tle and is look­ing at sub-di­vi­sion and eco-tourism as new ven­tures for his prop­erty.

‘‘The in­cen­tives deal worked for me. It was a smart business de­ci­sion more than any­thing else. The eco-sys­tem is del­i­cate and a real pri­or­ity at the mo­ment, it is go­ing to be a bal­anc­ing act so we all have to do our part,’’ he said.

He en­cour­aged other big­ger landown­ers to make con­tact with the Re­gional Coun­cil to dis­cuss the scheme and what it could do for them.

‘‘I was sur­prised with what was on of­fer and think other landown­ers in the catch­ment would be too.

‘‘Low ni­tro­gen land uses are not nec­es­sar­ily less prof­itable, you just have to think more lat­er­ally and the money from the scheme makes these new business ven­tures more vi­able.

‘‘You just have to have to find some­thing that works for you.’’

CHRISTEL YARDLEY/STUFF

Lake Ro­torua.

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