Conservation Minister Nick Smith praised a Dunedin-based
trust yesterday as he announced $200,000 of Government funding,
but the money will not meet its bottom line.
Dr Smith said the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust was on the
''cutting edge of community partnerships''.
The trust was a perfect example of the new partnerships
approach the Government was seeking through the Department of
Conservation, he said.
The trust will receive $200,000 over two years from the
Government's new $26 million four-year Community Conservation
The fund provides money to community-led groups for public
and private natural heritage and recreation projects.
Dr Smith told an event at Taiaroa Head yesterday he wished,
when he set up the fund in March, there was similar
''horsepower'' behind every endangered species in New
But he did not grant the full amount the trust had sought.
Trust general manager Sue Murray said she could not disclose
the amount the trust asked for but acknowledged the funding
would not meet the organisation's ''bottom line'' for next
''It still leaves a shortfall.''
The trust had been paying one of its staff member's salaries
out of its capital fund after funding from the Government's
now defunct Biodiversity Advice and Condition Fund ran out in
March. Funding for another staff member runs out in
One of the trust's biggest struggles was finding funding for
field staff who did the core conservation work, as many
grants were ring-fenced for certain activities or products,
Despite this, Mrs Murray was enthusiastic about Dr Smith's
''I'm delighted at this offer of support,'' Mrs Murray said.
''It reflects the respect and the value [the Government]
holds for our work with this endangered species.''
The funding would ''certainly help us for the next couple of
years'', she said.
Just how the funding would be spent, depended on its
guidelines, and was discussed by the trust's board at a
meeting last night.
There were no other opportunities for Government funding, she
The trust had received about $1 million from the biodiversity
fund in the past decade.
Its major supporter was Mainland, which provided $75,000
''untagged'' a year, she said.
The rest of the trust's funding came from other grants and
Dr Smith also announced yesterday $100,000 for the Southern
Seabird Solutions Trust Hauraki Gulf project, which aimed to
raise awareness within the recreational fishing community of
the risks to sea birds.
The trust is a collaboration between Seafood New Zealand,
Ministry for Primary Industries, the Conservation Department
and Te Ohu Kaimoana.