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Funding for Wairakei environmental projects

Funding for Wairakei environmental projects

Contact Energy Limited, the Department of Conservation, and Fish and Game New Zealand (Eastern Region) are now seeking applications for environmental enhancement projects under the Wairakei Environmental Mitigation Charitable Trust.

The WEMCT administers $1 million of funding, made available by Contact Energy to develop and manage a range of environmental projects in the Taupo region. The Trust includes members from Fish and Game, the Department of Conservation and Contact Energy.

Contact Energy’s representative on the Trust, Craig Stephenson, said applications were welcomed from individuals and groups for environmental projects associated with the Upper Waikato River and geothermal areas in the Taupo region.

This is the second funding round from the $1 million Trust, with around $250,000 already spent on projects to enhance the natural environment, including a large-scale wild pine eradication project at the unique Te Kopia Reserve.

"The fund provides fantastic opportunities for significant enhancements to the unique environments of the Upper Waikato River and world-renowned Taupo geothermal area, and we encourage people with good ideas to make applications," said Mr Stephenson.

The Trust invites applications for environmental projects that will enhance, protect or research:

• The variety of geothermal characteristics within the volcanic plateau geothermal resource, located within Environment Waikato’s regional boundary

• The variety of geothermal characteristics within protected geothermal systems (as defined in the Waikato Regional Plan), and other geothermal systems within Environment Waikato’s regional boundary

• The aquatic habitat and amenity, water quality or fishery values in the Upper Waikato River Catchment area (Lake Taupo Outlet to Ohakuri Dam).

Contact Energy has provided $1 million to fund the Trust, which was established as part of Contact Energy's consultation process in support of its application for the renewal of resource consents for its Wairakei Geothermal Power Plant.

Full application details are available on the Trust’s website www.wemct.co.nz or from Craig Stephenson on 07 376 0517, email craig.stephenson@contact-energy.co.nz.

The closing date for applications is 31 August 2006.

Ends

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