27 January 2022

Kickstart your school’s sustainability or resilience project through a new, innovative fund offered by Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

Regional Council’s new $30,000 Sustainability and Resilience fund opens for applications on January 31.

Regional Council Director Strategic Engagement Kataraina O’Brien said the fund is open to all education providers across the Bay of Plenty including schools, early childhood education providers, kura, kohanga and tertiary institutions.

“We’re offering funding of up to $5,000 to education providers for them to get sustainability and resilience projects off the ground,” said Ms O’Brien.

“This could include edible gardens, compost setups, tsunami evacuation signs, new bike racks – really the possibilities are endless.”

Ms O’Brien said the fund was innovative for Regional Council as, instead of council staff allocating the funding, the public will.

“Projects will be put up for the public to view on our Participate platform and the public can then vote for which projects they would like to see funded. It’s a really fun way for the public to engage with projects they fund through their rates.”

Those who do not get selected by the public will then go through to Regional Council’s Youth Involvement Project team. The rangatahi on this team can then select which projects they would like to see funded.

The public will have $20,000 to spend and the YIP roopu will have $10,000.

Climate change is one of Regional Council’s top three priorities and Ms O’Brien said the focus of sustainability and resilience aligns well with that.

“With climate change we are going to see more extreme events and unpredictable weather in the Bay of Plenty, so, the more we do to cut emissions now and build resilience the better off we’ll be in the future,” said Ms O’Brien.

“We know young people are often at the forefront of climate change activism and we hope this fund can target that to help them build sustainable practices and resilience in their education institutions.

“Rangatahi are also often changemakers at home so many will bring their learnings from their projects back to their whānau.”

Applications are open from 31 January to 31 March 2022. Public voting opens on 18 April and will run until 14 May. Successful applicants will be announced at the end of May.

To apply visit https://www.boprc.govt.nz/living-in-the-bay/community-funding/school-sustainability-and-resilience-fund

Or email SSRfund@boprc.govt.nz for more information.