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$700,000 Funding available for Outdoors People

$700,000 Funding available for Outdoors People


Today the NZ Outdoor Recreation Consortium announced that applications are open for three new funds that it manages to support volunteer-led work in New Zealand’s backcountry. Community groups and individuals interested in looking after huts, tracks and other facilities on public conservation land are invited to apply.

“Federated Mountain Clubs (FMC), New Zealand Deerstalkers’ Association (NZDA) and Trail Fund NZ are keen to get more people involved in the management of our backcountry, so if you are passionate about doing some work on that special hut or track – and you need some resources – then we would like to help you” said FMC President Robin McNeill.

The three funds are: the Huts and Tracks Fund, the Mountain Bike Fund and the Backcountry Recreation Fund. There is an opportunity for all users of the backcountry to apply for funding. The funds have been made possible by a $700,000 grant from the Department of Conservation’s Community Conservation Partnership fund.

Mr McNeill emphasises, “there are a large number of groups are already doing a significant amount of work – be it the remote hut and track maintenance group Permolat, mountain bikers in the Craigieburn area, or hunters in the Ruahine. There are plenty of people doing practical stuff that supports their pastime but we want to get more people out there getting the satisfaction of getting stuck in”.

NZDA president Bill O'Leary is confident the resulting work will be well received and will encourage more Kiwis to enjoy the outdoors, "these grants will kick-start practical, on-the-ground projects to maintain and restore our outdoor heritage. This could include track cutting, or helping maintain and repair backcountry huts, and will encourage more people to enjoy our natural environment”.

“These grants are geared towards giving back country users greater ownership of the facilities they care passionately about,” said Trail Fund NZ Chairperson Ben Wilde. “This is an exceptional opportunity for volunteer groups to get access to funding to support their good work.”

Outdoor Recreation Consortium fund application forms and guidelines are available from their website: www.hutsandtracks.org.nz

ends

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