Grants fund to reach all corners of Tauranga City

Rangatahi (youth) will be learning from professional Māori artists as part of Te Tuhi Mareikura Trust's Ko Tāku Toi Tāku Ohooho programme - one of the first recipients of Tauranga City Council's Community Grants Fund. Supplied photo.

Youth, artists, lawn bowlers, bridge players and disabled people who love to fish will be among the myriad of people to benefit from Tauranga City Council’s new Community Grants Fund.

Twenty-four grants have been awarded in the first round of the new contestable grant fund, set up to support community organisations and recognise the significant contribution they make to the social, economic, cultural and environmental wellbeing of Tauranga.

Bay of Plenty Youth Development Trust, which offers values-based fitness programmes to more than 300 youth across Tauranga each week, has been granted $50,000 to help upgrade the Kulim Park boat shed where it runs its Ki Tai (to the sea) programme.

“We have six Scottish rowing skiffs that will give a big percentage of those kids an opportunity to take part in programmes on the water,” says BOPYFT chairman Craig Nees.

“We’re very grateful for the support from Council which will go a long way towards the renovation.”

Te Tuhi Mareikura Trust has also been granted $50,000 for its rangatahi (youth) arts programme – Ko Tāku Toi Tāku Ohooho.

Led by Māori for Māori, it will teach rangatahi local Māori art styles and history, introduce Māori customary art forms and practices and connect rangatahi to a regional network of professional Māori artists and practitioners.

As well as supporting rangatahi in future pathways in creative industries/trades and contributing to their wellbeing through creative exploration, the programme will also invest in local artists by supporting their practice and creating visibility for them.

“Often our artists are asked to contribute for free or at little cost so this will recognise the value of their input,” says Programme Coordinator, Arpége Taratoa.

“The Council grant also means we can create a great youth art hub at Our Place for our rangatahi and provide them with quality workshop materials.”

The Community Grants Fund assessment panel was impressed by the calibre of the applications, with many coming from groups that Council has not previously worked with.

“We’re really pleased that the fund has reached all corners of our community to offer support to our youth and our elders, our disabled community, and people who need some support for their health and wellbeing – something we are very conscious of in the current Covid climate,” says Gareth Wallis, Council’s General Manager, Community Services.

“We also have a number of significant cultural projects that support our rich local heritage.”

The panel approved 24 applications totalling $874,775 in this first round, with four partnership agreements also coming out of the fund. In addition, three successful applicants to the contestable grant fund have been identified as potential candidates for partnership agreements in the future.

The Community Grants Fund is a new $1.81 million fund approved by Council as part of the recent Long-term Plan.

The new fund is in addition to $150,000 of existing funding already allocated to the Match Fund, supporting community organisations for either one-off projects through the contestable grant fund, or enabling longer-term partnerships through multi-year partnership agreements.

A second round of applications for community grants will be held in early 2022 with a focus on supporting capital projects in the community.

Visit the Council website for the full list of Community Grants Fund recipients.

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