Sustainability Stimulus Grant recipients announced

Published on 02 July 2024

Bee gathering pollen from flax flower

Recipients of the third and final round of funding for Upper Hutt City Council’s Sustainability Stimulus Grant (SSG) have been announced, with seven new projects receiving financial support.

Acting Director of Strategy, Partnerships and Growth Liezel Jahnke says the grants play an important role in supporting and funding projects that align with Council’s Sustainability Strategy and benefit Upper Hutt.

As part of the Strategy, Council developed goals to help prepare Upper Hutt for the future through minimising the city’s environmental impact, supporting communities to act, and encouraging leadership. 

The Sustainability Stimulus Disbursement Panel met in April and allocated $169,903.55 to the seven projects.

“As part of the Strategy, we want to support organisations and members of the community to achieve their sustainability goals. There’s plenty to do to ensure our natural environment continues to thrive and we’re making important progress,” says Jahnke.

Introduction of the grant scheme was supported by the community as part of Council’s Long Term Plan in 2021 with funding of $100,000 per year budgeted for three years. Since late 2022, the grant funding pool was doubled with an allocation from Council’s Better Off Funding received under the previous Government water reform boosting it.

Over the three years of the scheme, the grants have supported more than 20 sustainability projects.

The recipients of the grants are: 

  • Pest Free Upper Hutt: Funding received: $7,885

    Project: Continuation of the Southern Bird Corridor Programme. 

    This programme of work has eliminated over 380 predators since it began last year.  This funding will ensure the programme will continue for the next three years.

    Sustainability Strategy alignment: biodiversity, emissions reduction, education and engagement, community resilience.

  • Hutt Concrete Products: Funding received: $50,000

    Project: Manufacture of low carbon concrete products.

    This programme will see the development and roll out of low emission concrete drainage products.  Globally, concrete production produces an enormous amount of emissions every year – so much so that if it were a country, it would be the third highest emitting country in the world.  This project will reduce the number of emissions generated in their product by 32%.

    Sustainability Strategy alignment: emissions reduction, community resilience, leadership, waste reduction.

  • Arrow Uniforms: Funding received: $50,000

    Project:  Uniform landfill diversion programme

    This programme will see the diversion of clothing from landfill.  It is aiming to divert 50+ tonnes of end-of-life textiles by 2025, a reduction of 150+ tonnes of carbon dioxide.  Furthermore, it aims to increase numbers to divert 200+ tonnes of clothing by 2030.

    Sustainability Strategy alignment: waste reduction, leadership, emissions reduction.

  • Forest and Bird Upper Hutt Branch: Funding received: $23,920.30

    Project: River Road Predator control project

    This funding will continue the programme of work - that began with the first round of Sustainability Stimulus Grant funding - for the next three years.  The project has proof on concept; since it began, enough bait has been taken to knock down 1,200 possums and 45,000 rats, and there is notable regrowth occurring in possum ravaged vegetation, and evidence of Kererū breeding.

    Sustainability Strategy alignment: biodiversity, community resilience.

  • Aston Norwood: Funding received: $15,322.38

    Project: Stream restoration

    This funding will go towards the restoration of the Pākuratahi Stream.  It involves restoring and stabilising the streambank, and planting 1,475 plants.  The Pākuratahi Stream is a tributary of the Hutt River, and a water supply source for numerous residents in Kaitoke.

    Sustainability Strategy alignment: biodiversity, emission reduction, education and engagement.

  • The Good Carbon Farm: Funding received $9,000

    Project: Development of their biochar charity

    The funding will go towards the development of the charity, to work towards becoming self-funding.  The Good Carbon Farm focus on generating biochar, a process dating back over 2,500 years.  Here, a charcoal-like substance created by burning organic material such as forestry slash that is then in turn used to improve soil quality by reducing soil acidity, water and fertiliser requirements, and in some instances fungal diseases.  The production of biochar releases some carbon, then the remaining carbon content becomes indefinitely stable.

    Sustainability Strategy alignment: emission reduction, community resilience, leadership, education and engagement.

  • Forest and Bird Upper Hutt branch: $12,755.87

Project: Water tank and irrigation installation

This funding will go towards installing two water tanks to harvest rainwater and the associated irrigation installation at Forest and Bird’s nursery.  Forest and Bird volunteers have cultivated and planted over 125,000 native trees and shrubs in the Upper Hutt community over the last two decades.

Sustainability Strategy alignment: water conservation, biodiversity, community resilience, emission reduction.

Tagged as: