Media release

Successful Round One ECO Funds (Environment, Community, Otago) Recipients Announced

Wednesday 17 October 2018

At the Communications Committee today, ORC considered the community applications received as part of the first round of the newly launched ECO Fund community grants program.

The grants program, funded by the Otago Regional Council, has seen a pleasing number of applicants and the successful recipients of the round one funding, worth $88,000, has been decided.

ECO Fund Panel Chair, Cr Michael Deaker, said he was extremely pleased with the volume and calibre of applicants.

‘What’s been made clear to us in this first round is that the fund is both needed and wanted. We have received applications from across the region representing both coastal and inland projects and a good mix of urban and rural projects as well. Deciding who will receive funds in round one was not an easy task,’ he said.

‘The panel and I were exceptionally impressed by the quality and diversity of projects but unfortunately due to being oversubscribed we couldn’t say yes to everyone on this occasion. I thoroughly enjoyed reading all applications and I must commend people on all the great work that is happening across the region to protect and enhance our Otago environment,’ said Cr Deaker.

Successful applicants include:

Applications under $5,000

  • Cat Control $3,000
  • Mt Iron Trapping Project $4,800
  • Project Kereru $1,592.75
  • Mt Barker Residents Trap Library $4,996

Applications over $5,000

  • Helping Tomahawk lagoon $27,200
  • Clutha Water Project $9,667 x3
  • Hydrology research at Sinclair Wetlands $5,225
  • Tomahawk Smaills Restoration Project $12,769.25
  • Wakatipu Fill the Gap Predator Control $10,080
  • Monitoring Coastal Change $9,003

Total funds allocated: $88,333

Sian Sutton, Director Stakeholder Engagement congratulated the successful grant recipients.

‘We see this grants program as a great opportunity to not only help out community projects but also to build relationships with our communities and achieve fantastic environmental outcomes through collaboration. My team and I very much look forward to seeing how the successful projects progress. It’s a great initiative to be a part of, for all of us,’ she said.

In round one the program received over $300,000 worth of funding requests.


  • The ECO Fund supports community-driven projects that protect and enhance Otago's environment.
  • The ECO Fund has been set up to support work that protects and enhances Otago's environment.
  • Otago Regional Council contributes $250,000.00 every year to the ECO Fund, and this is split into three funding rounds.
  • The ECO Fund supports not only shovel time, but also administrative support.

Sian Sutton – ORC Director Stakeholder Engagement - 027 575 1799

Emma Schranz – ORC Senior Media Advisor - 0276275894