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More funding for a vibrant, thriving Whangarei

This page contains information about council providing more community funding following feedback from the public.
Updated: 29/10/2018 11:05 a.m.

​"It’s exciting to see the range of community groups and activities operating in our District," said Council's Community Development Manager, Jonny Gritt. 

"It’s really pleasing that Council is providing more community funding and broadened criteria following public feedback during this year’s Long Term Plan (LTP) consultation."

Community funding includes a range of ways for community organisations to get loans, grants or in a few cases rent concessions for the work they provide that benefit our community.

Council has increased the community grants scheme by $200,000 and established a new $400,000-a-year Partnership Fund for facility development.

This increase in funding will work alongside Council’s new community-led development approach in partnership with the communities across our District.

Council’s policy that guides how grants, concessions and loans are provided has also been reviewed and now a wider range of community activities are eligible for funding.

"It’s exciting to see the diversity of applications being received, even though it does make the Councillors’ decision-making more difficult," said Mr Gritt.

"Concessions operate like subsidies and help us to help community groups in Council-owned buildings. This includes the eight tenants in the Old Municipal Building community hub, and organisations like Whangarei Youth Space at Cafler Park and ONEONESIX on Bank Street.

"For other community groups, community loans are a good way to go. These are interest-free loans to organisations that are providing recreational facilities in the District, such as bowling greens, tennis courts, jetties, and other major facility enhancements that benefit large numbers of our growing community."

The bulk of the community funding work revolves around grants. These are given out to those entities that are providing specific activities and projects that benefit the community.

"The funding is divided into separate categories, each with its own budget and criteria for applications. For the 2018-19 year, we have managed to increase the funding to:

  • Annual Operating and Events Fund $1.6 million
  • Resident and Ratepayer Administration Fund $20,000
  • Community Halls Fund $150,000
  • Community Fund $150,000
  • Creative Communities Scheme $60,000
  • Performing Arts Fund $25,000
  • Facilities Partnership Fund $400,000 (from 2019)."

With the broadening of eligibility criteria in Council’s Community Fund, community groups can now apply for modest operational costs, facility development and capital purchases, up to $10,000.

In Round 1 of the Community Fund, decided earlier this month, Council received over 50 applications for festivals and events, youth development programmes, building upgrades, safety equipment, pest management programmes and more," Mr Gritt said.

Over $90,000 was allocated to support the community in this round.

Round 2 of the Community Fund closes in March 2019.

Regular operating grant recipients include District amenities such as Kiwi North and the Whangarei Art Museum, essential community services such as Volunteering Northland and Citizens Advice Bureau, and key District events such as community Christmas parades.

Council’s Community Halls Fund has helped to upgrade:

  • bathrooms at Maungakaramea Hall,
  • provide a new water tank for Mata Hall, and
  • repaint the Kara-Kokopu Hall, to name a few.

The Performing Arts Fund has supported local entities such as:

  • ONEONESIX Trust,
  • Whangarei Music Society,
  • Northland Hip Hop Dance Trust, and
  • brought touring performances from Indian Ink Theatre Company, Taki Rua Productions and NZ Dance Advancement Trust.

Recently funded by the Creative Communities Scheme is Street Prints Manaia, an event that will bring together international and local artists to create a series of large scale Manaia-themed murals across our central city this December.

Partnership Fund

This is a new fund, established to support the development of community facilities. It is based on a partnership model, where Council will look to match a community group’s funding or provide ‘seed funding’ to help groups develop their plans.

Organisations wishing to apply will need to demonstrate that they have the support and mandate from their community for the project, have at least one third of the funding required (or can demonstrate ability to secure it), and have sound project plans and governance systems in place.

Contact the Community Funding Officer for an appointment to discuss the next steps.

Keen to see your group or project or facility get off the ground?

"As always, we are looking for projects and organisations that support Council’s vision for a vibrant, thriving District," Mr Gritt said.

Check to see if your organisation and idea is eligible on our Funding and Grants page on our website (link below). 

There is a useful Funding Guide that you can download, along with application forms and closing dates for funding rounds.

You can also contact the Community Funding Officer on 09 430 4200 for advice and assistance.



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