Media release

ORC Confirms ECO Fund Recipients

Wednesday 26 June 2019

The Otago Regional Council (ORC) today approved funding for eleven community groups through the final round of the ECO Fund for 2018-19.

Groups from Queenstown, Cromwell and Waikouaiti were among the successful applicants in this round of funding, which was open from 1-20 May.

Chair of the ECO Fund Decision Panel Cr Michael Deaker said it was pleasing to see such a diverse range of applications from around the region.

“We had a good geographic spread of applications in this round, and what’s great is that they are looking at all sorts of different ways to look after the environment in Otago.”

ORC received 26 applications during the most recent round, seeking over $330,000 in total.

The ECO Fund (Environment, Community, Otago) has completed three funding rounds, bringing its first full year to a close. The Fund has now distributed $250,000 to environmental community groups around the region. 30 projects in total have received funding, out of 78 applications seeking over $1,000,000.

“The interest shown in the ECO Fund’s first year has demonstrated a real appetite from Otago community groups to take ownership and take action in their backyards, and it’s been terrific to see,” said Cr Deaker.

ORC surveyed previous applicants for their thoughts on the ECO Fund, and will now undertake a review to evaluate its first year and consider improvements for Year Two.

The ECO Fund’s vision is to support work that protects and enhances Otago’s environment. You can find out more about the Fund and previous recipients at

Successful applications under $5,000 in the latest round

  • “45th Parallel Project” (Mokihi Trust)
  • “Control of Weed Species in and around lakes and wetlands” (Lake Waihola Waipori Wetlands Society)
  • “Creek Project” (Tokomairiro High School)
  • “Predator Free Wye Creek” (Queenstown Climbing Club)
  • “Satellite Monitored Live Predator Trapping” (Central Lakes Branch, Forest & Bird Society)
  • “Waiwera Kaihiku Farmer Led Watercare Group”
  • “Water Testing” (Queenstown Primary)

Successful applications over $5,000 in the latest round

  • “Bring Back the Seabirds - Sandymount Titi colony protection” (Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society, Dunedin Branch)
  • “Environmental Monitoring and restoration of Matinaka Hawksbury Lagoon” (Hawksbury Lagoon Inc.)
  • “Makarora Catchment Threatened Species Project” (Aspiring Biodiversity Trust)
  • “Wakatipu Reforestation Trust Staff Costs” (Wakatipu Reforestation Trust)