Introduction

Local community restoration groups are again the big winners as $600,000 is invested in native planting projects throughout the country as a result of the second round of the Community Conservation Fund allocations, Director General of Conservation Al Morrison announced today.

Date:  08 October 2009

Local community restoration groups are again the big winners as $600,000 is invested in native planting projects throughout the country as a result of the second round of the Community Conservation Fund allocations, Director General of Conservation Al Morrison announced today.

“The applications in this round were of a particularly high standard and illustrate the commitment and teamwork between the community, councils, and government departments working together on restoration projects.” Mr. Morrison said.

The figures themselves are impressive. Forty one projects are receiving funding for over 175000 plants which volunteers will put into the ground as part of these community initiatives. Four thousand metres of fencing will also be erected to protect restoration plantings from stock and pests with volunteers undertaking weed control, plantings and maintenance.

The second round of grants from the Community Conservation Fund have been allocated throughout New Zealand from Northland to Southland towards projects involved in a range of habitats from tall tussock highlands to estuarine wetlands and forest remnants.

Overall, Wellington, including the Wairarapa, was the most successful region, receiving funding for seven projects totaling more than $142,000 in grants. A grant of more than $34,000 to the Friends of Queen Elizabeth Regional Park (Kapiti) Trust will assist with the restoration of an 18.5 hectare dune swamp podocarp forest.  30,000 native plants will provide buffering and protection of the forest and wetland remnants and will improve the long-term viability of rare species present.

The largest grant of $40,000 was to the Tauranga Rotary Centennial Trust to assist with its Kopurererua Valley Restoration project. The grant will be used to purchase over 10,000 native plants which the Trust and volunteers will plant in a wetland area. The Trust's project is part of a larger 15 year, 350 hectare restoration project

The smallest grant of $2,000 went to assist with the restoration of dunelands at Castlecliff Coastal Reserve, Wanganui with the purchase of fertiliser and over 1,000 native coastal plants.

Looking at the 41 projects, the community initiatives illustrate the shift in recent years towards community management of local areas with conservation potential.

“The allocations reflect the significant community contribution that is being made by restoration groups but the seeding money also provides a boost to the economy through the purchase of plants, equipment and other products associated with restoration. Mr. Morrison said

“The benefits in restoring small areas will have very positive social spin offs with communities engaging and working together to achieve common visions.

The $600,000 of Government funds will be supplemented further by an estimated $600,000 from other funding and community group contributions.

This is the second and final round of the Community Conservation Fund which supported existing community restoration projects on public lands and required groups to have the capacity to provide ongoing support for the plantings. Projects on Council, Conservation, Railway, LINZ, Transit and other Government lands and Maori Reservations were eligible. Projects were generally limited to a maximum of $40,000 per annum and the allocation of funds is guided by the Government’s national priorities for the protection of indigenous biodiversity.

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