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Educational trust threatened by local council fees

Educational trust threatened by local council fees

15 July 2014 - Whitianga

The Wilderland Trust has been issued a notice by the local council threatening forced sale of their land if $30,203.63 is not paid within a month. The council fees came after the trust was granted a resource consent for its learning center, established before the legislation governing consents was empowered.

Wilderland trust chair Russel Mooyman said the community committed all its efforts and resources toward growing Wilderland “day by day”.

“The council's threat to force a land sale could put an end to 50 years of inspiring people to grow a better world.”

The trust has been paying the bill slowly over the past two years while they tried to reach a compromise that was acceptable to both themselves and the council. Trust treasurer Simeon McLean said $5000 of the fees had been paid off.

"Our income isn't huge and we can only do so much.

“We are a non-profit charitable trust which seeks to expand peoples understanding of sustainability and community through hands on experience."

The trust’s income is sourced from sale of organic produce, honey and crafts through a roadside shop and local markets. The money is used to maintain the farm and support volunteers who come to learn about organic farming and sustainability.

In an effort to raise the money quickly the trust has started a crowd-funding campaign, they hope will provide the required funds in the necessary time. Numerous volunteers have been working hard on the campaign.

"On top of what we have to do every day to continue the trust’s work this is just a huge added burden,” McLean said.

If you want to help the Wilderland community continue its work check out their crowd funding online now at www.igg.me/at/wilderland.

For more information about the Wilderland Trust and their activities check out www.wilderland.org.nz

ends

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