Media release

ORC approves ECO Fund recipients for October round of funding

Wednesday 25 November 2020

The Otago Regional Council (ORC) approved funding for ten projects totalling nearly $125,000 through its ECO Fund today.

The ECO Fund is a contestable fund supporting community-driven projects that protect, enhance and promote Otago’s environment. $250,000 is available for community projects over two rounds of funding per year, in March and October.

Councillors today approved the recommendations of the ECO Fund Decision Panel, noting the continued high quality of applications from all around the region.

Chair of the ECO Fund Decision Panel, Cr Michael Deaker, said the fund had received its most applications yet.

“The October funding round generated 30 applications seeking more than half a million dollars in funding, which is the most of any round to date by some margin.

“It’s terrific to see so many projects of such a high calibre applying for ECO Fund support, and it’s becoming more difficult with each round to pick the successful applicants out of a whole host of worthy projects.

“The ECO Fund is of particular value to many groups because it can fund administration costs as well as shovel time, and that’s where some of the most crucial work happens behind the scenes of these projects.”

The ten ECO Fund applications approved for funding today are:

Applications under $5,000

  • Arrowtown Choppers – Tobin’s Face / Sawpit Gully Planting
  • Otago Boys High School – Otago Boys Sustainability Project
  • Our Seas Our Future – Equipment for Clean Up
  • Predator Free Puahuhu

Applications over $5,000

  • Dept. of Geology, University of Otago – Project Salt
  • Wakatipu Reforestation Trust – WRT Educate for Nature
  • Haehaeata Natural Heritage Trust – Planting Projects for Biodiversity
  • Mokihi Reforestation Trust – Bannockburn Reforestation Project
  • Otago Polytechnic – Orokonui’s Neighbours
  • Otokia Creek and Marsh Habitat Trust – Otokia Creek Marsh Restoration

For more information on the ECO Fund and past successful applicants, visit