Manawatū River Leaders’ Accord community grants open for applications

Applications for the Manawatū River Leaders’ Accord community grants programme open today, Wednesday 1 July.

Applications for the Manawatū River Leaders’ Accord community grants programme open today, Wednesday 1 July.

The grants aim to assist non-profit organisations such as community groups, schools, catchment care groups and iwi/hapū with projects that will help increase engagement with Manawatū waterways and improve water quality in the catchment.

Manawatū River Leaders’ Forum Chair Richard Thompson says the standard of previous applications has been exceptional.

“I’m looking forward to more projects being supported that will engage communities while improving the Manawatū River and its tributaries,” he says.

“Previous applicants have received funding to complete stream fencing, riparian planting, wetland enhancement, educational projects and longfin eel repatriation.

“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 Regional Council’s freshwater team to discuss your project,” says Mr Thompson.

Horizons freshwater and partnerships manager Logan Brown says application forms are now available online at www.manawaturiver.co.nz.

“We are pleased to be able to support projects ranging from community groups to individual landowners. Recently Horizons attended a planting day from one of last year’s recipients north of Cheltenham where 5,500 natives were funded to be planted in a retired gully.

“This gully is the headwaters of one of the streams that flows into the Kiwitea Stream and then the Ōroua River, so these plants will help reduce sediment, nutrients and E. coli entering the waterway. It’s also a pretty special place as it has some regenerated bush including rewarewa, rimu and tōtara.

“The landowners engaged with their local community, school and Higgins on three separate planting days so are an excellent example of the type of applications we are after.”

Mr Brown says this year’s 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 Manawatū River Leaders’ Accord community grants close 4pm on Friday, 2 October.  The amount granted depends on the merits of the applications and there is a total funding pool of $90,000.  

Application forms are available via the Manawatū River website or by contacting Horizons’ freshwater team on freephone 0508 800 800.