Authority opens funding early

AARON LEAMAN
Last updated 05:00 21/09/2012

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The opening date for the Waikato River Authority's second funding round has been brought forward to allow funding decisions to be made before Christmas.

During its first round, the authority gave $4.7 million to 22 "major" river cleanup projects and a further $800,000 to 24 smaller-scale projects.

The second funding round will be held following a rejig of how the authority funds cleanup projects and what sort of activities it will support.

The recent introduction of the Nga Wai o Maniapoto (Waipa River) Act 2012 has also meant the authority is now tasked with cleaning up the whole of the Waipa River catchment.

The authority's cleanup activities had been limited to the stretch of the Waipa River up to its junction with the Puniu River.

The Waipa River is a tributary of the Waikato River.

The authority's 2012 funding strategy has been updated to include the growth in the authority's "funding footprint".

The catchment expansion adds about 20 to 30 per cent of additional area to the authority's jurisdiction.

Funding applications will be received from Monday and close November 2.

Co-chair Tukoroirangi Morgan said the authority had signalled successful funding decisions would be weighted toward co-funding arrangements.

"Because we have limited resources we strongly believe the way forward is through funding collaboration so we will naturally look more favourably on projects that have financial support from other parties other than just the authority," Mr Morgan said.

Co-chair John Luxton said the authority had also streamlined its funding timetable.

"We have taken the learnings from the first funding round and we believe we are able to work through the process a little faster now that we have that understanding."

The deadline for the first round of funding closed in December last year with the authority receiving 119 applications totalling $56.3 million.

The authority administers the Waikato River Clean-Up Trust with the Government committing $220 million over a 30-year period.

aaron.leaman@waikatotimes.co.nz

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- Waikato Times

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