Conservation Volunteers New Zealand (CVNZ) has strengthened our ties with Landcorp by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 22nd September 2016. Our Chairman, Gerry Morvell and Landcorp’s General Manager Environment, Phil McKenzie signed the MoU at Landcorp’s Wellington office. The MoU allows for both parties to work together on a range of planting and conservation projects on Landcorp farms across the country.
Landcorp is a state-owned enterprise of the New Zealand government whose core business is pastoral farming. Landcorp manage 140 properties and 376,156 hectares of land across NZ. The partnership with CVNZ will support Landcorp’s goal to become carbon neutral and plant 10 million native trees and plants by 2025. The partnership supports Landcorp’s strategy of rejuvenating the environment, and working with its local communities. This partnership model is unique because it is bringing together the industry sector, conservation sector and local communities.
CVNZ conducted a successful pilot on two West Coast farms in late 2015/ early 2016 in which volunteers planted approximately 25,000 native plants in water tributaries. The project has expanded to other farms on the West Coast where we are currently planting an additional 45,000 native seedlings. CVNZ is planting the tributaries with native seedlings, such as manuka and flax. This will help stabilise the banks and will improve water quality in the region as the native plants help filter nutrients entering the water system.
Landcorp is committed to sourcing ‘ecosourced’ plants and as part of the partnership CVNZ volunteers will collect seeds either from Landcorp farms or nearby sites and propagate them in a community nursery in Punakaiki. The partnership has been a great way to engage with the community and links have been made with local primary schools, Tai Poutini Polytechnic students, local residents and international visitors. Volunteers are able to experience first-hand what life is like on a working farm and are given a tour as part of the experience. At the same time they are able to contribute to the environment.
While the partnership is currently targeted at farms on the West Coast of the South Island, both parties look forward to growing the partnership across all 140 farms.