WBOP community matching fund closes soon

The Pioneers Wetland community group hard at work on the project.

Does your community group have a project in mind but needs extra funding to get it over the line?

Western Bay of Plenty District Council’s community matching fund closes on 29 May.

The $140,000 fund is eligible for groups able to “match’’ Council’s cash grant – be it in volunteer hours, cash or similar matching criteria.

There are two parts to the fund – a general fund for social, recreational and cultural initiatives, which has a pool of $100,000 and the environmental fund for projects benefiting the natural environment which has a pool of $40,000.

Over the years the money has been a key to many groups across the Western Bay getting their projects off the ground.

The Pioneers Wetland in Katikati is one such project made possible with the initial funding of $19,000 from the matching fund.

The project is in its early stages and is turning Council’s stormwater pond into a native wetland oasis behind the Talisman Hotel, bordering Talisman Drive and Beach Road.

It features a boardwalk, native plantings and is overlooked by The Pioneers sculpture created in 2008 by artists Mark Hill to commemorate the town’s original Irish settlers.

Initial planting around the pond in previous years was done by Katikati College students through Wild About New Zealand and weed eradication was done by work teams from the Department of Corrections.

Wetland project coordinator Anne Henry says the matching fund was the start of what is now a collaborative community project supported by the Uretara Estuary Managers, Katikati Open Air Art, Katikati Taiao, the Community Board and Council’s utilities department.

The project has attracted further funding from the Tauranga Energy Consumers’ Trust (TECT) $36,000; Lion Foundation $5000 and Open Air Art $2000. A Give-a-little page has been launched for the balance. If you would like to help here’s the link: Https://

If your group is wanting to get a project up and running but cash is short, the community matching fund is a great way to start.

Application forms are available on Council’s website until 29 May 2019. For all information on the Community Matching Fund 2019 visit:

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