A total of 27 Western Bay of Plenty community groups received $100,000 in funding as part of the latest Community Matching Fund.
Each year Western Bay of Plenty District Council funds community groups that show outstanding commitment to their communities and can match the council's cash grant – be it in volunteer hours, cash in hand or similar matching criteria.
Communities Committee chairman Peter Mackay said it was always great to see so many community groups vie for the fund.
"It's a tough task to narrow down the applicants to enable the $100,000 to be spread effectively," he said.
"However, the success of this fund is its emphasis on encouraging community groups to show how much they are helping themselves before seeking council funding – it is a hand-up rather than a handout.''
The council received 45 applications asking for $447,692 from the 2018 Community Matching Fund.
Now in its fourth year, the fund has $40,000 earmarked for environmental work and the balance of $60,000 for other community projects.
Six environmental groups were successful – Aongatete Forest Project $4000; Aongatete Outdoor Education Trust $8000; Friends of Puketoki Reserve in Whakamarama $2000; Kotukutuku Gully Maketu $6000; Te Whakakaha Conservation Trust $10,000 and Rotoehu Ecological Trust $10,000.
The $60,000 for community projects is distributed across 21 groups in the Katikati/Waihi Beach, Kaimai and Maketu/Te Puke wards – each receiving between $500 and $5000.
Their causes include working for youth, outdoor recreation and sports, community enhancement programmes, contributing to elder health and assisting the collaboration of service groups to fill gaps in community needs.
Judging criteria includes that the recipient must fulfil an existing or emerging community need, has a degree of public benefit and is free to the public and contributes to social, recreational, cultural or environmental outcomes.
The recipient must also demonstrate a commitment to match a 50 per cent share in cash or kind from the recipient's efforts and is consistent with the council's strategic community work.