What is the Lake Rotorua Incentive Scheme?

The Lake Rotorua Incentive Scheme aims to permanently remove 100 tonnes of nitrogen from entering Lake Rotorua, by incentivising land owners to adopt land use changes resulting in less nitrogen discharge. 

The $40 million fund has been set up for purchasing of nitrogen, and is for land owners who are willing to permanently reduce their nitrogen below their Nitrogen Discharge Allowance.

The scheme is voluntary and allows landowners to “sell” nitrogen to the board.


Who can sell nitrogen under the Incentives Scheme?

The scheme is now open to all land parcels in the Rotorua catchment, including small land block owners with 150kg – 1000kg of nitrogen to sell.


What low nitrogen loss land use options do I have to convert to?

It’s best to talk to a land management officer as a fund has been set aside to provide individual advice and support.


Does the dNITRO tool cost to use?

No, it’s a free land use change tool which lets landowners understand the benefits and financial implications of potential land use change for all or parts of their property to pinus radiata or Manuka for honey production.


Who do I talk to if I want to sell nitrogen under the Incentives Scheme?

Contact Jude Pani on 027 456 1504, or talk to your land management officer. The Lake Rotorua Incentives Scheme funds the farm consultants that will ascertain whether you’ve got any nitrogen to sell – and you can even choose which consultant you want to work with. If you’re unsure come talk to us at Bay of Plenty Regional Council, no strings attached.


What happens if I decide to sell nitrogen after July?

We are currently planning on doing expressions of interest rounds every 6 months, so if you decide to sell nitrogen after July, you haven’t missed out and another round is in the pipeline.


How does the sale process work?

We fund the farm consultants who will ascertain whether you’ve got any nitrogen to sell.

We then complete the paperwork and provide you with the written documentation.

It is recommended that you liaise with your lawyer regarding the agreement documentation.

Once you’re happy, you sign, make any necessary land use change and we put the money in your bank. We can make it more complicated if you like, but we’d rather you spent the time on real work.


How long does the process take and does it require a large commitment of time from me?

Complete the Expression of Interest Form and return them to us. You can get help to fill in the forms. These will be presented to the Incentives Committee for a decision. We will get back to you if your offer is successful.


How much do I get per kilogram of nitrogen?

There isn’t one set amount – it varies on several factors. However, to give you some idea an upper price cap for these small agreements has been set of $340/kg of nitrogen in-lake and a baseline of $275kg has been established for in-lake nitrogen.


If I sell my land, can the next landowner undertake activities above the new NDA set after the sale?

No, this is about permanent reductions. If you sell nitrogen to the board, landowners will have to sign an agreement which includes a deed that survives in perpetuity, and secures the nitrogen reductions.


Can I go through the Lake Rotorua Incentives Scheme as well as the Gorse Conversion Fund?



Where has the $40 million fund come from?

The Crown and the Regional Council have contributed equally to the $40 million incentives fund.


Who is managing the $40 million fund?

The Lake Rotorua Incentives Committee is charged with the responsible management of this fund.


Who is on the Lake Rotorua Incentives Committee?

The current committee is chaired by councillor Norm Bruning, with councillor Kevin Winters, Geoff Rice, Elizabeth Hughes, Dr Tanira Kingi and Dr Tony Petch on the committee.


Why is the Lake Rotorua Incentives Board purchasing nitrogen?

It is part of the Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Programme Integrated Framework, which ultimately seeks to reduce nitrogen from entering Lake Rotorua by 320 tonnes by 2022.