Overwhelming response to environment centre funding

  • Marian Hobbs

Applications for environment centre funding have poured into the Ministry for the Environment from the Bay of Islands to Invercargill.

Environment Minister, Marian Hobbs said the response to the funding round was overwhelming.

"The Ministry received 29 applications, which is really encouraging. It shows us that a large number of people are not only doing good work, but want to expand on that work," Marian Hobbs said.

But with only $300,000 available for $1 million worth of applications, not everybody was successful.

Applicants which will receive funding are: Northland Information Centre for the Environment Inc (Whangarei), Kaipatiki Environmental Education Centre (Auckland), Hamilton Environment Centre, Tanenuiarangi Manawatu Inc (Palmerston North), South Coast Environment Centre (Riverton), Golden Bay Environment Centre (Takaka), Invercargill Environment Centre, Waitaki Environment Centre (Oamaru), Peel Forest Environmental Centre (South Canterbury), Christchurch Environment Centre and Dunedin Environment Centre.

The successful applicants all had a number of factors in common.

"The key for the successful applicants was that they all had the same wide focus for their centre - that is, to make information available on a broad range of environmental issues," Marian Hobbs said. "Just as importantly, they all showed good links with the environmental groups, and councils in their areas, as well as their communities overall."

They also provided detailed budgets, showed clear evidence of support from other agencies, and outlined long-term objectives.

Marian Hobbs says many of the applicants illustrated the great environmental work already happening, such as habitat restoration, organic gardening, and facilitating community involvement in planning processes. However, although extremely valuable, some of these projects did not on their own meet the criteria for an 'environment centre'.