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Citywide Community Grants Announced

5 December 2000


Over 200 community groups are better off following the allocation of funding under the new Community Group Assistance Policy.

Two different grants were available: Citywide Projects and Operational Grants. Applications were assessed by Auckland City Council’s leisure and community advisers and the grants were decided by the Community Development Committee.

Committee chairperson Councillor Penny Sefuiva says: “A total of $408,066 was allocated during the funding round. There were 223 applications for operational grants funding and 165 applications for Citywide projects funding. This represents an increase of $250,000 over previous years and should be paid before Christmas.”

Councillor Sefuiva noted that the total amount requested by all applicant groups was just over $4.6 million. “The difference between what we had available for disbursement and what was being asked for is quite astronomical.” She also says that only a few applications eligible for funding were allocated the total amount requested.

In order for an application to be eligible it had to meet strict criteria and fall into specific priority areas outlined under the assistance policy. “We took into account a number of areas that addressed the values stated within the policy. These included participation, volunteerism, sustainability, equity, biculturalism, innovation and diversity.”

With these values in mind, the applications then had to display their commitment in at least one of the five main priority areas. “We identified specific areas where funding assistance could greatly enhance the long term benefit to their respective communities in Auckland City. These included our Tangata Whenua, Taurahere and the Treaty of Waitangi, Youth issues, Pacific Peoples, Asian, New Migrant and Refugee communities and Education and Employment Opportunity initiatives,” she said. Groups also needed to prove their ability to manage a grant and account for the use of public money and show there was community support for their groups.

Important in the criteria for applications for Operational Grants was the ability to demonstrate how the grant would contribute to building the capacity of the group. Councillor Sefuiva explained that building capacity is where a group develops and strengthens it purpose. “It is where the funds help a group to do more of what they are already doing and also helps them to do it better.”
Also taken into consideration were groups either in Panmure, Avondale or Glen Innes, where Growth Management Plans are being developed.

“This was a marathon effort by staff and showed the extraordinary range and diversity of groups in Auckland City. It has given us invaluable information that will help us to analyse major issues and areas of need for voluntary and community groups. This sector is under extreme pressure, and I hope that discussions with other funders may help to clarify how best to support the energy and goodwill our community and volunteers provide,” said Councillor Sefuiva.

The policy will be reviewed before the next funding rounds in 2001.

ENDS
For more information please contact:
Councillor Penny Sefuiva, tel: 8460861
Chairperson, Community Development Committee

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