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Environment Centres To Receive New Funding

Nine environment centres throughout New Zealand will receive funding of up to $50,000, the Minister for the Environment, Marian Hobbs and Green Party co-leader, Rod Donald, announced today.

Ms Hobbs says the initial funding round was significantly over-subscribed with the Ministry for the Environment receiving 21 applications for funding. Of the initial $300,000 available, the nine successful applicants will receive between $10,000 and $50,000.

"This funding recognises the government's commitment to supporting environment centres providing environmental information and education to the community," Marian Hobbs said.

Rod Donald said he was very pleased this Green initiative had come to fruition.

"Many government departments already use existing environment centres to distribute material on conservation, biosecurity, energy efficiency and the Environment," Rod Donald said.

"This funding recognises that public service. I know the government will get good value from this new partnership."

Marian Hobbs said interest in this early round of funding was phenomenal.

"Many of these centres have been doing a great job in their community without any assistance, but have been struggling to makes ends meet. We think this funding will go a long way to redress that," she added.
Money has been allocated to support both existing centres, and to establish several new centres. Centres to receive funding include the Far North Environment Centre, the Christchurch Environment Centre, the Dunedin Environment Centre, and the South Coast Environment Centre (Riverton).

New centres will be established in Northland, Nelson, Tauranga, Raglan and Invercargill.

Ms Hobbs says grants made to the centres will generally be used to cover the basic costs, such as rent, power, phone and salaries.

"Being able to fund these basic administration costs means that the centres can spend more time providing information and education programmes to the community, and less time trying to fundraise. In some cases, it will ensure that the centre remains open."

Environment centres are places accessible to the general public that provide environmental information and education services for the community. The centres often act as a focus and meeting place for community action on environmental issues.

The second funding round closes at the end of August.

Ends

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