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Published: 2016-09-30 00:00:00

Waikato regional councillors have this week signed off on more than $170,000 worth of environmental initiatives fund grants for community organisations.

The 16 projects – from across the region – range from stream and wetland restoration through to helping youth engage with environmental issues.

Three projects that benefit multiple areas gained $40,000 in total. They included $20,000 for the Ngati Haua iwi environmental management plan, $10,000 to the Southern Seabirds Solutions Trust for awareness and engagement, and $10,000 to the Sustainable Coastlines Charitable Trust for marae-based social enterprises focused on riverside restoration.

The Central Waikato zone has $20,000 awarded to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for Koromatua Stream restoration, $5000 for waste management at the 2017 Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival, and $3150 to support Waikato Museum nocturnal bat tours.

In the Coromandel zone, $20,000 was awarded to the Whenuakite Kiwi Care Group for predator control wages, $10,000 to Coromandel Independent Living Trust for a re-use centre and $5000 to Coromandel Film Collective for a kauri documentary.

The Lake Taupo zone has $10,000 each to the Bike Taupō advocacy group and the Waipahihi Botanical Society for, respectively, wilding pine eradication and maintaining flora and fauna.

The Waihou-Piako zone has $10,500 to Waitekauri Valley landcare group for a local stocktake and $5000 to Sundaise Music, Art and Sustainability Festival for waste minimisation.

In the Waipa zone, $21,420 goes to the Maniapoto Māori Trust Board for engagement of youth with environmental issues and $2880 to the Pirongia Te Aroaro o Kahu Restoration Society for protecting and enhancing a rare plant on Mt Pirongia.

There’s also $10,000 for Waikato River Trails in the Upper Waikato zone for weed and pest control.

The grants followed a total of 31 applications for more than $700,000 in funding.

For more information on the environmental intiatives fund visit: www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/Community/Funding-and-scholarships/Environmental-Initiatives-Fund/