Media release

Seven Otago projects receive more than $50,000 consent fee funding

Thursday 10 August 2023

Seven environmental groups around Otago have received more than $50,000 from the Otago Regional Council toward their respective projects in the past financial year – toward covering their consenting and monitoring costs.

For the 2022-23 financial year to 31 June, all nine applications by seven groups to the ORC Consents Fee Support Fund, established in 2021, were successful, compared with three groups who applied in 2021-22, who were granted $13,342 in total.

ORC’s Acting Manager Consents Alexandra King says the projects ranged from wetland creation, fish barriers, willow removal, signage, to a university project and green waste composting.

“We’re seeing more interest in community-lead projects around Otago, which itself inspires more communities to take an active interest in local environmental projects,” Ms King says.

The Consent Fee Support Fund is separate to ORC’s annual EcoFund.

“It’s important that we’re able to assist these largely community-lead projects, which are ultimately beneficial to the well-being of eco-systems and the people of Otago. We congratulate the people of Otago for their continued commitment to undertaking these projects,” says Ms King.

The ORC’s Regional Leadership Committee noted the report in a meeting, earlier today. Applications for the 2023-24 financial year Consent Fee Support Fund are now open.

Ms King says that often community and catchment groups involved in environmental enhancement projects, such as wetland restoration, water ways fencing, riparian planting or creating walkways which may require resource consents.

“ORC’s Consents Fund is to help with the consent and monitoring fees around projects which have an environmental benefit. The fund applies to consent processing fees, alongside the compliance and administration costs associated with the granted consent,” Ms King says.

Planting around Thomsons Creek near Omakau.

Planting around Thomsons Creek near Omakau.


The nine successful applicants for 2022-23



Area Support funding

Mana Tahuna Charitable Trust

Support work on Vision Lake Hayes via instream works including willow tree removal, sediment trap construction, bank battering/widening and two-stage channel construction. The Vision provides an action plan to improve the water quality of all surface and groundwater in the Lake Hayes Catchment as first set out by the Lake Hayes Management Strategy.

Lake Hayes


Grow Wanaka

Establish and operate a green waste composting and worm farm systems. This system uses food waste from urban centres which would otherwise likely head to a landfill. The resulting by-product of worm castings will be used in the Consent Holder’s gardens to grow fresh organic produce for local charities and volunteers.



Vauxhall Yacht Club

Allowing signage to support the Otago Peninsula Biodiversity Trust’s possum free zone on the peninsular. The sign was to help raise community awareness.



JJ Family Trust

Allowing the use of water to aid in the construction and enhancement of a wetland.




Otago University PhD research project looking into two different scenarios to determine the watercourses periphyton colonisation.

Middlemarch Hyde and Kyeburn


Luxmore Dairies

Allowing the use of water to aid in the construction and enhancement of a wetland.



Manuherekia Catchment Group Incorporated

Thomsons Creek Catchment Project phase 1 – construct wetland.



Manuherekia Catchment Group Incorporated

Thomsons Creek Catchment Project phase 2 – construct wetland and sediment traps. Thomsons Creek is home to the Central Otago Roundhead Galaxias, a non-migratory galaxiid species endemic to Central Otago and classified as “Nationally Endangered”.



Manuherekia Catchment Group Incorporated

Thomsons Creek Catchment Project phase 3 – construct fish barriers and galaxiid protection. The Thomsons Catchment Project includes establishing a functioning wetland to improve freshwater quality.




For the fund’s inaugural year 2021-22 to 31 June, three groups received a total $13,342: the Mana Tahuna Charitable Trust, Otago Peninsula Biodiversity Trust and Vauxhall Yacht Club and the Wanaka Community Garden Trust. 


Applying for the Consents Fee Support Fund

There is a total $50,000 available each year, with a maximum of $10,000 per project to cover consent processing fees for projects meeting certain criteria.

Ms King says part of the policy is that anyone seeking processing fees support must have a pre-application meeting with a member of ORC’s consents team to discuss the application.

To be eligible for funding, applicants must be able to demonstrate their project will provide an environmental benefit or service and is not intended for private commercial gain, among other criteria. Learn more about the consent processing support here.

ORC’s consents team can be contacted at or 0800 474 082.


To request a pre-application meeting complete a "Request for Pre-application Advice" form and email to



To qualify, the application for a consent must be lodged by a not-for-profit individual or organisation such as:

  • Catchment groups
  • Community groups
  • Iwi/hapu
  • Incorporated societies
  • Community trusts
  • Resident and ratepayer groups
  • Educational institutes
  • Landowners or individuals