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Focus of contestable grant to remain on Wairoa River restoration

Wairoa township and river

A COMMITMENT to restoring and regenerating the mauri of the Wairoa River remains the focus of this year’s Eastland Group Wairoa Contestable Community Grant fund.

Wairoa District Council is now inviting community organisations, with projects that focus on regenerating and restoring the health of the Wairoa River, to apply for this fund.

Projects should support education and community outreach initiatives, as well as encourage young people to engage in activities that promote healthy relationships with the Wairoa River.

Promoting the relevance and importance of the river - in the lives of the Wairoa community - is another focus of the grant.

Now in its fourth year as a contestable fund, the grant has now opened for 2020 (as of 9am Friday 26 June 2020). Applications close at 5pm on Monday 27 July 2020.


Wairoa Mayor Craig Little said there were opportunities to refocus the scope of this fund but said Council and Wairoa would remain committed to the Wairoa River and restoring her mana and life force (mauri).

He also acknowledged the work being undertaken by Eastland Group and the need to restore the health and wellbeing of the river.

“We have also had some feedback from the community around maintaining our focus on river health and restoration, which is why the status quo remains.”

Eastland Group has committed to donate $15,000 a year for 10 years to be awarded to local initiatives in recognition of their work around protecting and restoring the health and well-being of the Wairoa River.

Last year’s winners were Wairoa Community Ngahere Nursery (Nursery Establishment) and Sport Hawke’s Bay Wairoa.

These organisations received a total of $7500 each for their work around riparian planting on local Wairoa reserves, costs for extra native seedlings for the local ngahere nursery, tools and equipment for planting and education initiatives that focused on the Matariki stars.

Mr Little said last years’ recipients all played a valuable part in protecting and restoring the river’s health, as well as educating our community around the synergies between the Matariki star cluster and the environment.

“I was thrilled to see the community on board recognising the significance of our awa for the whole of our district.”

Applications for the grant will close at 5pm on Monday 20 July 2020.

If you would like a hard copy of the application form, you can pick one up from the Wairoa i-SITE or Council’s main office.

Any queries about the Eastland Group Wairoa Contestable Community Grants Fund can be directed to Austin King ( or by calling 06 838 7440.

29 June 2020

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