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Published: 2010-12-10 00:00:00

Coastguard and surf life saving groups are to receive $50,000 this financial year from Environment Waikato for the assistance they provide to the council’s various water safety functions.

The $50,000 was set aside during last year’s annual planning process.

A report to council said coastguard activities included services such as a 24/7 operations and communications facility and a Bar Safety Watch service particularly important on the region’s west coast.

Surf Life Saving provided paid lifeguards Monday to Friday at eight popular swimming beaches during the peak summer season, while volunteers handled duties at weekends. Local council funding was not enough to cover costs, the report said.

Council yesterday agreed to divide the money along the following lines:
· $15,000 to Coastguard Northern region
· $5000 each to Tairua/Pauanui, Whangamata and Whitianga volunteer coastguard groups
· $20,000 to Surf Life Saving.

EW’s compliance and education manager Rob Dragten said the grants reflected the benefit these organisations brought to the regional community.