The government announces $118 million grant to help plant one billion trees by 2028

The government has announced a financial boost for farmers and organisations wanting to plant trees. 

The boost is a $118 million dollar grant from the provincial growth fund to help landowners and organisation plant trees. 

It's all part of their goal of planting one billion trees by 2028. 

"In 30 years' time I will be known as 'hanakoko' Father Christmas of fiscal assistance to the forest sector thank you very much," said Forestry Minister Shane Jones.

Add to that another $120 million dollars to help reduce barriers to tree planting.

"This one billion tree fund that were announcing today is building on the fact that that it's not purely about pine, it's not purely about native it's about the right tree at the right place at the right time," said Mr Jones. 

It's being touted as a way for entice farmers to dabble in tree planting and earn lucrative carbon cheques.  

Agricultural Minister Damien O'Connor says: "I think farmers are looking for multiple land use options. I think the specialisation that's left their income from one sector alone has left them at risk.

"I think they're looking for a variation of that going forward. I think a few trees at the corner of the farm or at a steep slope is a sensible option for them." 

Encouraging farmers to diversify into forestry is Warwick James, and his family has been farming this land for six generations 

"The trees were already here and so we've built on that and we've got the profits from that and we've reinvested into other forests on other land and then growing other forests and we plan to continue to do that."

The Government says they're on track to hit their target of one billion trees by 2028 - this year planning sixty million alone. 

The grants can be applied for year-round for the next three years.