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Published: 2016-02-25 00:00:00

Community groups working on a range of projects to protect and enhance the environment are due to receive an extra $650,000 over the next four years from Waikato Regional Council.

Councillors approved the grants, subject to various criteria, at their meeting in Hamilton today.

The two biggest grants, from the natural heritage fund, were for $366,000 over four years to the Coromandel’s well-established Moehau Environment Group for pest control in the north of the peninsula. A further $200,000 was agreed to help the Pukorokoro Miranda Naturalists Trust purchase the 27-hectare Robert Finlay Wildlife Reserve at Miranda. The trust already operates an environmental information and education centre in the area.

Meanwhile, grants approved from the environmental initiative fund included:

  • $25,000 over two years for the Fairfield Project Committee in Hamilton to employ an environmental co-ordinator at its Fairfield College-based centre
  • $25,000 over two years to Te Whangai Trust to help the development of catchment management plans by the Mangatarata-Miranda-Kaiaua Community Care Group.
  • $20,000 over two years to Kapowai Kiwi Care for predator control in the Kapowai Valley catchment in northern Coromandel
  • $14,000 to Waikato District Council for plants to use at the Lake Puketini ecological enhancement programme

"These grants reflect our ongoing commitment to working with community organisations on programmes to protect and enhance our precious natural environment,” said chairperson Paula Southgate.

“Helping local organizations and people respond to opportunities and tackle environmental problems is a key role for the council. We need to work in close partnership with these groups to get the greatest gains.”