A Waterway Protection Fund has been widened to include more Franklin Local Board areas.
Previously centred on improvements to the Mauku and Whangamarie streams because of the need to improve water quality in those areas, last year only three projects were funded.
Board member Alan Cole says that could be because the fund is not well-known enough, and he wants to ensure its profile is lifted now that it also applies to landowners in the Whangapouri and Wairoa catchments
“Last year we had $30,000 available for grants under the fund, but not enough requests. That’s odd, because every other grant we offer we get far more applications than we can possibly meet,” he says.
“We know from all our feedback and consultation sessions that Franklin people are some of the most environmentally-aware across Auckland.
“Perhaps it’s because so many of us are connected to the land in terms of horticulture and agriculture, and everyone can see that activity, but we seem to be more committed to protecting our environment.
“That makes it all the more surprising when we also know there are people out there doing terrific things on their properties to protect waterways, so we want them to be aware of this fund.”
The board places a strong emphasis on the environment, listing kaitiakitanga and protection of the environment as one of its priorities.
Chair Andy Baker says the board tries to support the community adopting good behaviours and believes investing in restorative initiatives and sustainability is money well-spent.
“Many of our rural community members do great work on their properties to safeguard waterways and bush areas and the wildlife it sustains.
“If more people are aware of this funding, we could see even more regenerating reserves, rivers and streams.”
The grants programme support outcomes that protect and enhance land, streams, wetlands and waterways, improve water quality, and which reduce the potential for erosion and water contamination.
It prioritises projects managed by landowners, community or environmental groups that have not yet been completed, which involve fencing waterways and related works such as alternative water for stock, that involve weed control and restoration planting, and which are part-funded by the applicant.
More information can be found here.