Kanorau Koiora Taketake – Indigenous Biodiversity Community Grants awarded

Horizons Regional Council has awarded 21 grants to community projects from the inaugural Kanorau Koiora Taketake – Indigenous Biodiversity Community Grant.

Horizons chair Rachel Keedwell says that as part of their 2021-31 Long-term Plan deliberations Council approved changes to the biodiversity community programme.
“This included allocating dedicated budget to five iconic biodiversity sites and increasing contestable funding to $260,000 per annum for community biodiversity projects,” says Cr Keedwell.
“The Kanorau Koiora Taketake – Indigenous Biodiversity Community Grant has enabled a regional-wide approach to Horizons’ community biodiversity work, providing for projects to be assessed on their merits based on specific criteria.
“Council’s vision for this grant is to empower communities to reconnect with and improve biodiversity. This includes providing resources for projects that support connections between nature and people including mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge). 
“The fund was heavily oversubscribed with a total of 37 applications requesting more than $1 million.
“We were really pleased with the calibre of the applications received. There were some really well thought out proposals that will greatly benefit biodiversity, mātauranga Māori and connecting our region’s communities with the biodiversity around us. Many of these were either iwi/hapū led projects or had strong community collaborations including some from schools.
“Following a councillor panel decision process, we are pleased to announce that 21 community projects will be funded from the $260,000 available.
“Of those awarded, two projects are from Tararua, three in Horowhenua, four in Rangitīkei, five in Ruapehu, and eight in Whanganui.
“The diverse range of projects funded include titipounamu (rifleman reintroduction), predator control to protect kiwi, whio, pekapeka (bats) and Powelliphanta snails, and protecting te uru hīnau (hinau groves) along the Whanganui awa and collating mātauranga held about these groves.”