Manawatū Leaders’ Accord community grants open

Published 11 May 2022

The final year of the Manawatū River Leaders’ Accord community grants has opened.

The grants aim to assist non-profit organisations such as community groups, schools, catchment care groups and iwi/hapū with projects that will help increase engagement with the Manawatū River and improve water quality in the catchment.

Supporting these projects has been made possible through the support of Horizons Regional Council, Manawatū District Council, and money received from the Ministry for the Environment’s Freshwater Improvement Fund in 2017.

Manawatu River Leaders’ Accord co-chair Rachel Keedwell says it is always exciting to see the impressive work our communities are doing.

“We encourage any groups who feel they fit the criteria to apply. Enabling communities to look after their environment and watch it flourish over time is a rewarding feeling,” says Ms Keedwell

“There is a total funding pool of $80,000 available with projects funded depending on their alignment with the Manawatū River Accord goals. These include the awa becoming a source of regional pride and mana, and that the catchment and waterways are returned to a healthy condition.

“Applications close Friday 1 July at 4pm and projects must have a final completion date of no later than 20 June 2023.

“Last year one of the funding recipients was the Nguturoa Streams Restoration Project for riparian enhancement work including fencing, planting and weed control.

This work aligns with a wider project that is being undertaken in the catchment with the local community. Sites for restoration work will be identified through this larger project work.

Grant recipient Christine Finnigan said through the Manawatū River Leaders’ Accord grant and Horizons’ advice, they have been able to increase their programme of works.

“It’s a great example of organisations like Horizons, NIWA, KapAg and DairyNZ being genuinely interested and motivated to improve water quality and then provide the funding, advice and expertise to support our vision,” says Ms Finnigan.

“This project is about looking at the quality of water as it falls at the top of the catchment and flows out the other end, investigating what the pressures on this water are and what improvements can be made.

“We were able to start a pest plant and animal library and the money meant we could purchase potting mix to begin growing our own seedlings.

“With Horizons help we were able to fence and plant areas considerably faster than we could have managed through our own means.

“One of these simple adjustments was stock exclusion from waterways, using some of the grant money to plant and fence off waterways.

“Enhancing water quality also means we can help protect and enhance the ecosystems in and around the water so that they might thrive.”

For further information and an application form click here.