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Auckland City Grants Increase by $60,000

Auckland City Council

Grants to community organisations totalling $240,000 have been approved by Auckland City Council, an increase of $60,000 over last year.

Chairperson of the Council’s Community Development Committee, Cr Penny Sefuiva, says they range from $500, to assist the Widows’ and Widowers’ Association to hold a Christmas party, to $20,000 to the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust.

The grant categories were arts and culture, crime prevention, heritage preservation, nature conservation, sport and recreation and others.

"Even with a substantial increase, we have been able to meet only a fraction of the 117 requests, totalling $825,000."

She says the Council’s grants programme is designed to support the community infrastructure of the city, and to assist with specific projects rather than operating costs.

It supplements community boards’ discretionary grants to local community groups.

Cr Sefuiva says she believes the increase in requests reflects the pressure on, and withdrawal of other funding sources, and the paucity of funds available for arts and culture in particular.

In response, the Council would organise funding seminars to provide community groups with information about other funding sources and the criteria for them. It would also hold a sponsorship seminar, to assist groups for whom sponsorship may be an option.

"Both seminars will target the key people in Maori, Pacific Island and other ethnic groups who can pass on the information to wider audiences. This will ensure better funding equity across a range of groups and activities."

Cr Sefuiva says Auckland City will also look at its criteria for approving grants, so that more emphasis is placed where the community sees the greatest needs. "There is a perception that the city is well served for sports and recreation, but that we need to facilitate more involvement in the creative life of the city and to reflect the cultural diversity of our communities.

"In particular, we want to add value to the community’s efforts, through partinerships and a more flexible approach so that we can respond as opportunities present themselves."

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