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Waitaki Community Gets Boost From Meridian Fund

Waitaki Community Gets Boost From Meridian Fund

Volunteers and organisations around the Waitaki will enjoy the support of $73,460 of funding from the Meridian Energy Waitaki Community Fund.

One of the groups to receive support was the Waitaki Lakes and River Committee, which applied for funds to help initiate a management programme to maintain the trees and plantings surrounding the Waitaki lakes.

The group, established in 1964, planted the area around the lakes to enhance its beauty. Forty years on, the group is looking at providing the community with a plan to manage a sustainable future to ensure visitors and holiday-makers love of the area continues to grow.

“This is a very special part of New Zealand and is loved not only by local people but thousands of visitors from across the country and overseas,” said Bill Penno, the chairman of the Waitaki Lakes and River Society

“Over the 40 years the knowledge of plantings has evolved and we think it is time to come up with a plan to maintain some of the existing trees and further develop the area, so younger generations can continue to use and enjoy the lakes for years to come.”

Mr Penno said he originally became involved after using the area for holidays and fishing trips. Later on in his life he became a councillor and joined the Society.

“There are many species of tree around the lakes, from poplars, willows and a number of native species. Some of the members of our society were around when the area was first planted, so we have a good historic knowledge of how the vegetation has coped in the area and we now know what to replace and what to maintain.

The ongoing maintenance is also an issue of safety too, some trees need taking out, so this project is an important one.”

Bill belongs to a group of 25 people who run the Waitaki Lakes and River Society incorporated. Some of the members have been around since the trees were originally planted, so the knowledge, history and enthusiasm for the project has great roots.

“We are really grateful to the Waitaki Community Fund. They’ve given us tremendous support in this funding and the panel has recognised this as a plan that will benefit thousands of people. We’re delighted.

“We see this funding as facilitating the important planning stage of the project that would eventually encourage people in our community, young and old, and visitors to the area, to actively work with us to maintain this beautiful place so we can all enjoy it for years to come” Mr Penno added.

If you would like to know more about the Meridian Energy Waitaki Community Fund, who it supports and how you can apply, you can go to www.meridianenergy.co.nz and click on Community Funds, or email community.fund@meridianenergy.co.nz . You can also call 03 357 9732 for more information.

Other groups to benefit from the recent funding round in Waitaki were:

Kurow Five 0’s - $482.07

The Club attended the Oamaru Field Day on 10 November 2007 and used this funding to assist with costs

Kurow Golf Club - $20,000

This contribution will help buy a mower to improve the rough at the Kurow Golf Club.

Cancer Society – Twizel Support Group - $3,000

Two Quikshade Shelters will be bought for community groups to use.

Aoraki Mount Cook School - $2,300

Support for the Aoraki Mount Cook School’s Bowen Bush project.

The school, in partnership with the Department of Conservation, plans to help maintain the 600 square metres of totara and celery pine forest, plus an abundance of wildlife and the walking track in the village. The project encourages children to be caretakers of the land and to educate others about healthy ecosystems.

Twizel Youth Centre - $6,986

Activities at the youth centre will be enhanced by the provision of a TV package, games and excursions.

Twizel Area School Crèche - $7,280

The purchase and installation of shade sails in the play area will complete the playground re-development.

Twizel Promotions and Development Association Inc (TPDA) - $1,088

Two promotional banners will be purchased for TPDA’s art and artists promotion and be available for use by other community groups in the region.

Twizel Promotions and Development Association Inc (TPDA) - $1,392

TPDA will repair, paint and refit the MacKenzie Basin model for use in the Twizel Events Centre.

Otematata Combined Sports Club - $6,932.50

The support will go towards helping encourage Otematata’s ‘Music in the Park’ to become an ongoing sustainable community event.

Lake Alexandrina Conservation Trust - $12,000

Enabling the NIWA research and pre-consenting work of the Trusts’ Lake Alexandrina, MacGregor and Tekapo Spawning Enhancement project to be undertaken.

Waitaki Lakes and Rivers Committee - $9,000

A tree evaluation and replacement strategy for the Waitaki Valley will ensure a unified approach to the planning and implementation of strategic vegetation management.

Kurow Community Centre - $3,000

With this contribution, a summer holiday programme will be run by the Kurow Community Centre in 2008.

ENDS

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