For the first time ever, Horizons Regional Council have opened applications for community projects specifically within the Whangaehu Catchment.
The programme aims to assist non-profit organisations such as community groups, schools, catchment care groups and iwi/hapu with projects that will help increase engagement with Whangaehu waterways and its tributaries to improve water quality in the catchment.
Local Horizons councillor and chair of Ngā Wai Ora o te Whangaehu Governance Group Bruce Rollinson says as a result of a successful application to the Ministry for the Environment’s Freshwater Improvement Fund and co-funding from Horizons, we have been able to target community grants specifically for the Whangaehu Catchment.
“I’m looking forward to supporting projects in their efforts to engage communities while improving the Whangaehu River and its tributaries,” he says.
“We know there are some fantastic ideas out there that may need a bit of help to get off the ground or grow. If you or someone you know has a project in mind please get in touch with Horizons’ freshwater team,” says Mr Rollinson.
Horizons freshwater and partnerships manager Logan Brown says eligibility information and application forms are now available on Horizons grants and sponsorship page at www.horizons.govt.nz.
“We’re really pleased to be able have funding available for the catchment, as it will compliment work undertaken over the last few years – for which we are starting to see improvement in water quality.” he says.
“This was reflected in a River Award in 2017 for an improving trend in E.coli concentrations, with the Whangaehu River the most improved in our region, and also the fourth most improved nationally.
“Now the local community has a chance to access external funding to speed up these interventions and be a part of positive change.”
Mr Brown says applications will be assessed based on environmental benefits, feasibility, community involvement and long-term benefits to the catchment. There is also likely to be a strong preference towards ‘on the ground’ work.
“In addition to funding, the grants provide an opportunity for groups to tap into the support and technical advice available at Horizons. We can’t wait to see what ideas are brought to the table through this new funding round.”
Applications for the Whangaehu Catchment community grants close 4pm Tuesday 23 October 2018. The amount granted depends on the merits of the applications and there is a total funding pool of $33,000.