Funding helps provide employment and improve biodiversity and freshwater quality
Thames/Coromandel/Waihi environmental, restoration and educational initiatives have been given $211,536.00 from Waikato Regional Council’s Environmental Initiatives Fund (EIF), out of a total of $418,000 for the whole Waikato region.
Committee Chair Councillor Fred Lichtwark said there were many worthwhile projects which had sought funding and decision making was always a hard task.
“We have people out their planting, trapping, getting rid of pest plants, and collectively, these actions help improve our biodiversity by improving habitats, and with spinoffs for fresh water.
“Funding is helping to provide employment for local project coordinators, hapū and rangitahi as well as specialist contractors to undertake plan and animal pest control. This work is then protecting our taonga species such as Coromandel brown kiwi, whio, bittern and New Zealand dotterel, and providing habitat for our native birds, reptiles and insects.”
The EIF is one of three funds the council has for community and landowner environmental and restoraton projects.
In July, the council gave $1.63 million in Natural Heritage Fund grants to five community groups working on landscape scale predator control projects. In August, 48 pest animal and plant control projects were given a total of $149,984 from the Small Scale Community Initiatives Fund.
Thames Coromandel/Hauraki Projects funded by the EIF.
Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust $7990
Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust (MTSCT) is a Northland-based charitable organisation established in 2002 to deliver the Experiencing Marine Reserves marine education and Whitebait Connection freshwater education programmes around NZ. This funding will go to the delivery of wananga in Coromandel in April 2021.
Whiritoa Conservation Trust Board is a volunteer organisation with the purpose of protecting the natural environment within public reserves of the Whiritoa area. This funding will go towards the eradication of target plant and predator species and to undertake restoration planting within the reserve, riparian and cliff areas of Whiritoa.
Coromandel Independent Living Trust $39,900
Coromandel Independent Living Trust is a broad-based community services provider for the upper Coromandel Peninsula with a current focus on providing education, training and employment opportunities for youth and the less advantaged. This funding is for the establishment of a native plant nursery, growing eco-sourced plants for local projects and providing training and employment for local rangitahi.
Habitat Tuateawa $23,754.56
Habitat Tuateawa is a voluntary community group in Tuateawa, northern Coromandel, with aim of restoring biodiversity in the local area mainly through predator control. This funding is for the wages of the project coordinator and contractors for track maintenance and GIS mapping.
McGregor Bay Wetland Society for Conservation $12,210.00
McGregor Bay Wetland Society (MWS) is a local community groups based in Coromandel town with the purpose of promoting the protection and restoration of the McGregor Bay wetland at Long Bay. This funding is for a project coordinator for two years to undertake educational projects.
Rings Beach Wetland Group $15,507.60
The Rings Beach Wetland Group is a voluntary conservation group based at Rings Beach near Matarangi. This funding is to extend the predator control network within the Matarangi Bluff Scenic Reserve to protect a newly discovered kiwi population.
Upper Coromandel Forest & Bird Society $27,078.42
The Upper Coromandel Branch of Forest & Bird is a conservation group based around Coromandel town. This funding is for pest plant and animal control in 24 hectares of reserve land with significant coastal kauri and nikau forest at Long Bay, Coromandel.
Mercury Bay Environmental Trust $17,850
Mercury Bay Environmental Trust is a community trust operating in Whitianga which focuses on a range of environmental activities. This funding is for nursery-related costs.
Kapowai Kiwi Care Group $18,720
The Kapowai Kiwi Care Group is a small group of landowners who undertake predator control to protect a small kiwi population in the Kapowai Valley. This funding is for a contractor to undertake trap clearing and baiting.
Turua Domain and Hall Committee $10,000
The Turua Hall and Domain Committee provides general community support for the residents of Turua township. This funding will help the restoration of a small kahikatea remnant located in the Turua domain.
Western Firth Catchment Group Trust for Miranda Stream Headwaters Biosecurity Area $15,966.50
Western Firth Catchment Group (WFCGT) is a charitable trust comprising farmers and landowners with the objective of improving water quality and biosecurity in the 1500 hectare Western Firth catchment near Miranda. This funding is for bait stations and bait for a community predator control scheme.