Lake Rotorua

Lake Rotorua

Low Nitrogen Land Use Fund

$1.5million for low nitrogen land use trials – Round Two Funding

We are seeking applications to trial new and alternative low nitrogen land uses in the Lake Rotorua Catchment. Expressions of interest are open until 28 September 2018 for the $1.5 million fund.


The fund’s purpose is to help set-up practical small or large scale working examples of low nitrogen land use to develop new income streams for farmers other than traditional farming.

It is for landowners to try new crops or ventures on the land and to build knowledge to share with all landowners in the catchment. It will help determine what does and doesn’t work in the catchment, what can be profitable, what are the pitfalls and other learnings.

Landowners will be able to use all the information from the trials to help make decisions on converting part, or all, of their land to low nitrogen land uses which will benefit water quality in the catchment.

What type of alternatives land uses will be considered for the Fund?

This funding round is not for research projects. It is for practical applications on the land, for land use ideas that have already been vetted as possible in the catchment.

Work has already been done to identify the various low nitrogen land diversification options in Rotorua. This information is available in the Rotorua Land Use Directory here or as a booklet from the Regional Council offices.

The sorts of trials or investigation which could be supported include:

·       Kakakawa plantations for traditional Maori medicine

·       Crops not yet trialled in the catchment

·       Mānuka oil or honey plantations

·       Further work on developing a sheep milking industry (subject to enough interest being expressed)

·       Agri tourism ventures which can replace income from farming

·       New models of farming

·       Any other entrepreneurial venture which generates on-farm income and is a low nitrogen land use

The above are examples only and any funding applications which meet the Funding Criteria are welcome.

What can the fund be used for?

The funding is about removing the financial barriers to help people give alternative land uses a go.

Some examples of what the funding can be used for include:

·       Set-up costs of the new land use

·       Consultancy and expert support to get the new land use operational

·       Marketing costs for the new venture

·       Purchase of plant and or equipment essential for new land use.

These are intended as examples only and any applications which meet the Funding Criteria are welcome.

Do I need to sell my nitrogen?

This fund is for land use trials. It is not about selling nitrogen and does not change or reduce a property’s Nitrogen Discharge Allowance. Landowners have that option under the separate Lake Rotorua Incentives Fund.

How much can I apply for?

The fund has a minimum funding level of $10,000. Any applications more than $200,000 will need to have other sources of funding to contribute to the project.

What is the application process?

The first stage is to complete the Expression of Interest form by 28 September 2018. This provides the assessment panel with a high-level overview of what the land use is and what amount of funding is needed to get the small or large scale trial up and running.

Expressions of Interest will be assessed by Regional Council staff. Those that are considered promising and meet the funding criteria will be invited to submit a full application by 2 November 2018.

Expression of Interest Form.

Full Application Form.

Low Nitrogen Land Use Investment Plan.

Support will be available to help people complete the expression of interest, full application form and to develop their idea.