Freshwater improvement Fund

As part of the COVID-19 recovery, the government created the Jobs for Nature programme to manage funding across multiple government agencies to benefit the environment, people and regions. One of these agencies was the Freshwater Improvement Fund, which supports the management of New Zealand lakes, rivers, streams, groundwater and wetlands.

In February 2021, locals made an application to the Freshwater Improvement Fund. It was to try and raise funds towards the Lifting the Creek project, but was in essence more of a way of getting the project out there than with any real expectation of it being accepted.

One of the outcomes of the FIF application was that we realised that we knew very little about how to turn the project into a series of practical steps with appropriate costings. Still it was a useful exercise, and the results were surprisingly gratifying. Here is an excerpt from the reply letter

“The applications the panel considered successful were those that best addressed the management of freshwater bodies considered vulnerable, demonstrated improvement in the values and benefits derived from the freshwater body and contributed to the recovery from COVID-19 through generating employment. The projects also demonstrated their ability to leverage other funding, their support from partner organisations and capability do deliver a successful project.

However, the assessment panel noted your proposal as having a solid foundation and would have been considered to progress to next stage of application process if funding availability was not a factor. The Ministry will keep you expression of interest application on file and contact you if there is an opportunity to fund your project through another mechanism.”

So, not enough money of course, but the fact that funding might be made available from Government agencies if we partnered with the Council was an important point to note.