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Twenty Projects Win Working For Nature/Mahi Mō Te Taiao Funding

In its inaugural year, the Working for Nature/Mahi mō te Taiao fund has awarded environment grants to 20 projects across Marlborough to protect and restore native habitats.

In November, the Council received 34 applications from community groups and landowners from small-scale plantings in forgotten vineyard corners to wide scale goat control in the Marlborough Sounds.

Four projects were fully funded with the other 16 co-funded by other sources. Overall, more than $200,000 was requested which exceeded the $70,000 fund in its first year. The next round of applications will open in the second half of 2021 and see the fund increased to $90,000.

Environmental Science and Monitoring Manager Alan Johnson said these grants were created to build on the success of the Tui to Town and Greening Marlborough programmes, which were replaced by the new, expanded scheme.

“With the broadening of these programmes, it was encouraging to see the expanded interest from the community to enhance and protect our natural environment in Marlborough. While we were unable to fund all applicants, it demonstrates the interest across Marlborough to create enduring outcomes for native biodiversity,” Mr Johnson said.

“The fund is expected to grow in line with the Council’s Long Term Plan. We will continue to look at other opportunities to grow this scheme in the future,” he said.

Grants were awarded under two categories, Habitat Marlborough and Protecting Marlborough, with applications assessed by a subcommittee of councillors, the Environment Committee Rural Representative and a representative from the Marlborough Landscape Group. The Habitat Marlborough projects will restore native habitats, improving biodiversity and freshwater quality. The Protecting Marlborough category is to control animal and plant pests that threaten native wildlife and habitats.

The subcommittee awarded grants based on a project’s merits, including biodiversity benefit; a clear project plan and outcomes; level of co-funding and in-kind contributions; long-term viability and community support. Successful applicants will complete their work by 1 November 2021, with verification by the Council.

Marlborough has been identified as one of five centres of biodiversity in Aotearoa New Zealand, due to the concentration of native species, some found only in Marlborough.

The Working for Nature/Mahi mō te Taiao grant fund was created in September 2019 to expand opportunities for community-led projects to protect and restore native biodiversity.

Grants were allocated to the following:

Habitat Marlborough

Cinders Vineyard Restoration............................................................ $2,000

Morven Dell Native Planting Project ................................................. $2,500

Jentree Native Planting .................................................................... $2,000

Odyssey Native Corner..................................................................... $2,000

The Coterie Riparian Restoration ...................................................... $2,000

Brawn Vineyards Ōpaoa River Restoration ........................................ $4,000

Ōpaoa Loop Restoration .................................................................. $2,000

School Creek Renwick Plantings........................................................ $2,000

Dumgree Swamp Restoration........................................................... $4,500

Rakau Hau ...................................................................................... $2,000

Protecting Marlborough

Tirimoana Anakiwa Pest Control ....................................................... $1,820

Exotic species control....................................................................... $2,517

Weed control at Kaipupu and surrounds ........................................... $3,000

Sounds Ungulate Control Project ...................................................... $4,000

Avon Valley Catchment Restoration.................................................. $7,000

Maungatapu Pest Control ............................................................ $6,553.50

Pest Free Okiwi ............................................................................... $3,000

Pest Free Ngakuta Bay extension ................................................. $6,286.25

Havelock - Wattles out Natives in ..................................................... $3,000

Wairangi Bay Pest Eradication .......................................................... $7,487

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