A new fund for community biodiversity projects is now open.
Horizons Regional Council's Kanorau Koiora Taketake - Indigenous Biodiversity Community Grant is a contestable fund, and a change from previous years when the Rangitīkei Environment Group got $95,000 a year from Rangitīkei ratepayers in a targeted rate to fight the weed old man's beard.
This has caused some concern, and council officers are talking with members of the group.
The aim of the new fund is to make connections between nature and people, councillor Fiona Gordon said.
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She joins councillors John Turkington and Nicola Patrick on the committee that will decide who gets funding.
Making the money contestable - apart from five "icon" projects - gives equitable access for great projects, she said.
The projects need to be led by a group, which could be of landowners, hapū or iwi or a nonprofit organisation.
The council will be keen to support matauranga Māori (Māori knowledge), meet biodiversity need and get people involved in their local environment.
The total amount of funding could be the $260,000 proposed in the council's Long Term Plan - a big step up from a previous $50,000.
• Applications close on June 4, and council officers are happy to advise on them. Criteria are listed on the Horizons website and applications can be made online.