Monday, July 15, 2024

Ruapehu policy to lift local wellbeing

Ruapehu District Council is aiming to foster a stronger sense of community and enhance social and environmental wellbeing with its new Community Development and Pride of Place Fund.

Council Manager of Community Development and Wellbeing, Candice McNaught said the new fund combines the former Community Grants Policy with the Pride of Place Policy.

“With the new combined fund we are hoping to see a wider range of applications for projects that align with Council’s Wellbeing Framework objectives,” she said.

“We have expanded the application criteria to include community projects that increase social and environmental wellbeing alongside the usual capital project criteria.

The move will see funding for not-for-profit climate action and environmental projects included when projects are considered for funding, the Council said in a statement.

Environmental projects that will now be prioritised include those that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance community resilience to the impacts of climate change, and aim to restore or enhance publicly accessible waterways and walkways.

Additionally, support will be extended to regenerative food systems, emission-reducing farming practices, projects enhancing ecosystem resilience and green infrastructure, carbon-sequestering activities like native forest or wetland restoration, and research addressing the impacts of climate change.

In addition to environmental projects, the new fund will now also prioritise social projects, including events and festivals that benefit local communities.

“Funding will be given to events or festivals that comply with other Council policies, such as the Smokefree and Vapefree Policy, demonstrate sustainable practices, are not solely focused on commercial activity, and meet appropriate health and safety compliance levels,” said Ms McNaught.

“The new Community Development and Pride of Place Fund is a good example of how Council is using our grant policy settings to support our wellbeing objectives.

“This new combined fund represents a significant step forward in our commitment to fostering a vibrant, sustainable, and resilient community.

“We look forward to seeing the positive impacts of these projects in our communities.”

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