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Published: 2015-08-13 00:00:00

Waikato sports club and marae in the region are set to benefit from nearly $40,000 worth of new environmental grants from Waikato Regional Council.

The council’s finance committee has just approved two applications to the Environmental Initiatives Fund (EIF), resulting in $20,000 to the Project Litefoot Trust and $17,400 to the Nga Uri o te Ngahere Trust.

Project Litefoot will use its funding to help Waikato sports clubs reduce their environmental impact, while Nga Uri o te Ngahere’s grant will go towards helping marae engage in and support ecological restoration and enhancement programmes.

Formed by golfer Michael Campbell and brand consultant Hamish Reid, Project Litefoot aims to help reduce the environmental impact of the nation’s sports clubs by implementing practical measures to reduce their use of electricity and water, and the production of waste. The EIF funding will help expand its work into the Waikato. The trust “uses the leadership of sports people to encourage others to follow in their footsteps, and prove that small actions can add up to substantial footprint reductions and cost savings,” a report to the committee said.

Nga Uri o te Ngahere’s funding will contribute to environmental programmes along the waterways annexed to Raukawa marae and Maori land blocks in the upper Waihou River area.

Committee chairwoman Jane Hennebry said the grants were a worthwhile way of spreading environmental protection in the wider community.

“The money will be helpful within sports organisations and marae to contribute to protection of the regional environment,” Cr Hennebry said.