• Jack Elder
Internal Affairs

The Lottery Grants Board has injected a further $3million into the Millennium celebrations, with the possibility of a further $1 million in February, Board Chairperson and Internal Affairs Minister Jack Elder announced today.

"The Lottery Grants Board has always intended to give a total of $10 million to millennium community projects and events and millennium initiatives with on-going benefits," he said. "The original plan was to make the $2 million available in each of five years with the last $2 million falling due in July 2000."

However, Mr Elder said the Board has decided to speed up the funding process because it is vital for the planning of an effective millennium programme.

"Projects and events don't just happen, they need a decent lead in time for planning and to build community involvement and support," he said. "With most initiatives timed for the Year 2000 early decisions on grants is a must if we are to make sure the dawn of the new millennium is a real community occasion involving as many New Zealanders as possible."

To date the Lottery Grants Board has received about 700 applications for Millennium grants with decision meetings planned for July and September this year and April 2000. The next closing date for applications is November 26, Mr Elder said.