More of record $1.25 million Environment Fund allocated

21 Sep 2016

Five new projects worth almost $117,000 have been approved from a record Northland Regional Council Environment Fund expected to reach just under $1.25 million for the year.

The latest projects – approved by councillors yesterday – mean council has now allocated $871,737 for 190 projects, with another $375,138 of the $1,246,875 fund still up for grabs.

Bruce Howse, the council’s Group Manager - Environmental Services, says the fund has been helping Northlanders enhance and protect the region’s environment since 1996 and recognises the effort and commitment people put into addressing environmental issues.

“Funding is provided through five different funding streams; soil conservation, biodiversity, coastal, water quality and exceptional projects and typically covers up to 50 percent of a project’s total cost.”

Landowners must be able to provide the remainder of the cost through funding of their own time, other funding sources, or in-kind contributions such as materials.

While the funding itself runs year-round, the cut-off date for applications varies depending on how much money is available and whether there’s enough time for projects to be completed by the end of the council’s financial year on 30 June.

Mr Howse says of the 190 projects funded so far this financial year, 132 of them are land management projects and 58 biosecurity.

The latest recipients are:

  • Tangihua Community pest Control Area (CPCA); $40,000 for a project covering more than 3000 hectares of open pasture, scrubland and native forest surrounding the Tangihua Forest and Tangihua Lions Lodge.  (The Tangihua funding is subject to the Department of Conservation agreeing to undertake an effective pest management programme on public conservation land.)
  • Lake Waiporohita water quality improvement project; $27,650 for a variety of work to improve water quality at one of Northland’s 12 outstanding lakes on Landcorp’s Rangiputa Station
  • Lake Rotokawau and Puwheke Beach fencing; $25,200 to protect Northland’s 15th ranked top wetland at the northern end of Rangiputa Station
  • Kowhairoa (Whangaroa) CPCA; $14,000 for an iwi-led project to control introduced pest and weeds – and eventually reintroduce kiwi – on a peninsula the iwi owns there
  • Te Toa Whenua – Wild Ginger Control; $10,000 for a community project led by Te Roroa attempting to control wild ginger over about 900ha of private iwi-owned land adjoining the Waipoua Forest.

Mr Howse says the council is now keen to hear from those interested in securing some of the roughly $375,000 still to be allocated this year.

“Funding can be allocated to individuals and volunteer groups for eligible projects; this may include landowners, community and conservation groups, local Maori groups and schools.”

Projects must be of long-term benefit to the local environment and show evidence of good environmental management.

Mr Howse says projects designed for personal or commercial profit, required under resource consent or simply to beautify a site, are not eligible for funding.

“Projects must be consistent with the funding streams and associated targets to qualify for consideration of funding.”

He says those interested in learning more about the fund should visit www.nrc.govt.nz/environmentfund or contact council land management or biosecurity staff on (0800) 002 004.