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Funding changes set to seriously impact ‘community funds’

4th April 2019

Government funding changes set to seriously impact ‘community funds’

Changes in government funding for both emergency response and key social services, will leave community funders to make up the shortfall advises Central Lakes Trust Chief Executive, Susan Finlay.

“Government funding changes mean it is on the community to raise the significant funds to maintain vital emergency response services and address the growing demand from social service agencies,” she says.

Last year was the first time in the Trust’s history it was oversubscribed. “Looking forward, it won’t be the last,” Susan states.

The Trust approved 27 applications for funding this round, the most approved in a funding round since December 2005. “Many of these were emergency response oriented, or from social service agencies, experiencing increased demand in our region, alongside reductions in government funding.”

Lakes District Air Rescue Trust receive $200,000 to ensure mandatory on-going training requirements are met at the Queenstown base. Changes at a government level mean the level of funding required to keep this service operational has significantly increased.

The previous low cost helicopter service model as a semi-dedicated service now requires a single contract for the whole of the South Island with bases specified at Nelson, Greymouth, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown only.

All helicopters are now to be dedicated solely for emergency use, available on a 24/7 basis. “Being a critical service for our region, it is important we provide funding to maintain the required level of service,” Susan says.

New Zealand Red Cross receive funding for a light tower for the Queenstown area, to use in emergencies to light the location and enable emergency responders to provide services outside daylight hours.

Aspiring Avalanche Dogs receive funds towards the purchase of a replacement vehicle and fit-out, for the dogs and handlers. The group provide emergency response and rescue year round, plus ski and mountain safety education via local schools.

Central Otago District Council receive support for the purchase of a portable generator for its office as the emergency response centre for Central Otago in a state of emergency.

“The upshot is less funds will be available for community-driven projects, as we contend with changes in government funding models, and the increased demand from our changing demographic and growing population,” she says.

Other’s to receive support include, Roxburgh’s Skate Park which is now a step closer to fruition.

Originally championed by children from the Roxburgh area school, the skate park has been many years in the making. Having since been picked up by a local committee, “the group has put a lot of effort and fundraising into getting us to where we are today, including displays and fundraising at the local Mt Benger A&P shows, as well as school discos, raffles, merchandise sales and mufti days which have all contributed to fundraising,” says project coordinator, James Buchan.

Research was completed to settle on an end design, with children visiting various other skateparks throughout the region, but settling on a modified, slightly narrower version of the Wanaka skate park. The local kids ‘Just can’t wait!’

The park will be located alongside the current playground, large greenspace, toilets, and King George Memorial walk, creating another reason to stop and spend a little more time enjoying the valley.

“The Trust’s annual grants budget was $8.50m to the 31st March 2019, the latest round of grants takes the total approved for this financial year to $8.55m, inclusive of year one of the five year tracks and trails commitment,” Susan says.

GRANTS APPROVED – MARCH 2019

Project grants

Alexandra Contract Bridge Club (Inc) Alexandra Contract Bridge Club Building $25,000

Aspiring Avalanche Dogs New Vehicle $25,000

Central Otago Whitewater Replacement Canoe Polo Equipment $4,786
CODC - Emergency Management* Generator $69,960
Cromwell Early Learning Centre Bathroom upgrade $30,327
Forest & Bird Satellite Monitored Trapping System $27,450
Kidsfirst Kindergartens – Terrace Playground $37,000
LUMA Event: LUMA $70,000
N.Z. Red Cross Incorporated Queenstown light tower $3,533
Otago Outdoor Education Trust Bannockburn Camp house $10,000
QLDC - Corporate Services** Shanahan's Cottage $9,600
Queenstown Bowls Club Bowls Green Replacement Carpet $33,500
Showbiz Queenstown Production: Avenue Q $15,000
Teviot Prospects Roxburgh Skate Park $50,000
The Cromwell Museum Trust Project Plan for Museum Displays $4,500
Wheels at Wanaka Event: Wheels at Wanaka $20,000

Operational / Programme grants

Alexandra Community Advice Network Inc. Operational Grant 2019/20 $8,500
Cancer Society of NZ, Otago and Southland Division Operational Grant 2019/20 $66,000
CO Compassionate Friends Operational Grant 2019/20 $16,765

Disability Information Service Operational Grant 2019/20 $11,300

Royal New Zealand Plunket Trust Operational Grant 2019/20 $50,000

Volunteering Central Operational Grant 2019/20 $53,872

Arts On Tour NZ Operational Grant 2019/20 $14,000

Community Networks Wanaka Programme Grant – Community Resilience $6,000

Lakes District Air Rescue Trust Programme Grant - Training $200,000

Wanaka Primary School Programme Grant - COPSSA Sports Director $50,000

Ratifications

Youth Trusts ¼ year funding $43,438

TOTAL: $955,531

ENDS

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