The Waikato River Authority has received nearly $18 million of funding applications in its third and latest funding round. Up to $7 million is available for clean-up project grants in the current year.
Applications closed on Friday last week with a total of 63 separate proposals from applicants seeking funding.
River Authority co-chairs Tukoroirangi Morgan and Hon John Luxton say just as in previous funding rounds, the Authority is now faced with the challenge of deciding which projects will be funded by prioritising the proposals that can give the greatest benefit to the river.
The Authority’s two previous funding rounds have resulted in a total funding allocation of $10 million across 75 projects. Most of these have been completed or are multi year projects.
Co chair John Luxton says it is pleasing, from an early evaluation of applications, to see a spread of large and small proposals.
“We’ve received three applications requesting funding of more than $1 million each and 17 proposals in the under $50,000 category. What we’ve still to analyse in detail is the level of co-funding the project proposals contain. This is something which has been important to us to ensure the Authority’s funds are maximised,” says Mr Luxton.
Co chair Tukoroirangi Morgan says the Authority has seen a concentration of project proposals in the lower Waikato River area in this round.
“More than half the project applications are related to the lower Waikato River this time. While we are concerned with the whole of the river, the lower Waikato River’s health and wellbeing is of particular concern. We will be very interested to look closely at what outcomes can be achieved for this part of the river,” says Mr Morgan.
The Authority is expecting to complete its evaluation and decision making process with the funding applications over the next two months. An announcement on successful projects will be made in early November.
The Authority is a co-governance body established between the Crown and Waikato River Iwi to restore and protect the Waikato River. The Authority covers a catchment area of 11,000 square kilometres for New Zealand's longest river. Over the next 27 years the Authority will administer $250 million to support the achievement of its purpose.
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