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Contestable funding rewards community biodiversity projects


14 December 2019


Nine community groups have collectively received funding of $129,000 over three years through a Greater Wellington Regional Council contestable fund to help restore and protect local biodiversity. This brings the total number of community restoration projects being supported through this fund this year to fifteen.

“We received a record number of applications that met the criteria this year and we couldn’t choose between them – so we decided to award all of them!” says Jo Fagan, Senior Biodiversity Advisor.

Projects range from wasp control to track development to school children growing plants, with restoration sites varying from established native bush to degraded urban streams.

The successful applicants of Greater Wellington’s Collaborative Project Contestable Fund 2018 are:

· Friends of Tawa Bush Reserves – to collect seed, grow and plant out native forest plants in the Forest of Tawa in partnership with Tawa College

· Aotea Conservation Volunteers – to control weeds and restore native plants to the banks of the Kenepuru Stream in Bothamley Park

· Friends of Taupō Swamp and Catchment – to engage the local community in guardianship, advocacy and lobbying, restoration, pest animal trapping and monitoring of the Taupō Swamp

· Asert Tātou Development Trust – to restore native riparian vegetation to the banks of Mitchell Stream at their new premises using a chemical-free weed control approach

· Pukerua Bay Predator Free – to reduce pest animals including rats, stoats, weasels and wasps in the Pukerua Bay Scientific Reserve and other local public areas important for biodiversity values

· Ngā Uruora – to make some of the tracks being used to access pest animal traps on the Paekakariki escarpment safer for volunteers

· Ranui Residents Association – to plant the banks of the Mungavin Stream in Porirua East

· Nature Schools – to involve local children in collecting seed and growing their own native plants to plant in local bush spaces

· South Wairarapa Biodiversity Group – to restore native plants to the shores of the Ōkorewa Lagoon in south Wairarapa

The fund was established to support community groups to restore, maintain or protect native ecosystems in Te Awarua-o-Porirua Harbour wider area (which stretches south to Johnsonville and as far north as Pukerua Bay) and the Wairarapa Moana area.

The fund can be used to purchase native plants, plant protectors, fertiliser, materials to grow native plants and tools; provide pest plant and animal control; and supply refreshments for working bees.

Members of Greater Wellington’s Biodiversity team will be available to provide advice and support if required.

“This work will ultimately make each of these communities a better place for everyone to enjoy and we look forward to supporting each group to realise their vision,” says Jo.

ENDS

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