STRESS (erosion scheme)

The Council has secured a further $3.9 million over the four years to June 2023 for the South Taranaki and Regional Erosion Support Scheme (STRESS).

Administered by the Council, STRESS funding comes from Government’s Ministry for Primary Industries Sustainable Land Management Hill Country Erosion Fund.

STRESS supports soil conservation projects that will reduce the risk of accelerated erosion in the eastern hillcountry and the subsequent sediment that ends up in our waterways and marine environment.


Studies show that compared to pasture, 90% less erosion occurs under bush/forestry plantation, 80% less under scrub cover and up to 70% less where soil conservation trees are planted.

Soil conservation measures can take six to eight years to establish before they can provide adequate protection against erosion and reduce the sediment generated and delivered to waterways. Extreme storm events resulting in flooding and slips are likely to occur somewhere in Taranaki about once every five to six years. This highlights the need for landowners to take preventative measures to minimise the effects of soil loss.

Who can apply?

Hillcountry farmers can apply for STRESS funding to undertake soil conservation projects that meet project and funding criteria.

To be eligible, farmers need to have a Council farm plan in place on their property. Once the agreed plan is developed, the farmer is eligible to apply for STRESS assistance to implement works that qualify.

To request a Council farm plan or to apply for STRESS funding, call the Council on 0800 736 222 and ask for a Land Management Officer, or email

Making progress

Farm plans with STRESS implementation

Farm plans with implemented works supported by the STRESS programme on areas prone to erosion in the hillcountry

STRESS funding has enabled implementation of farm plan recommendations in large areas of the eastern hill country (see map). In the past five years, farmers have planted over 20,000 poplar poles, established 203 hectares of forestry and erected 116.8 km of fencing to retire 3,333 hectares of marginal land.