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The Dunedin City Council has established the Hapori Maori Innovation and Development Fund and the Pasifika Communities Innovation and Development Fund to meet a greater need faced this year.
Council community development and events manager Joy Gunn said the initiative was part of the council’s $950,000 Covid-19 fund to support social wellbeing.
‘‘The funds came out of the fact that in working with the community we could see Maori and Pasifika were impacted and would potentially be impacted by higher rates of unemployment.
‘‘That was not going to improve with Covid; it would only get worse.
The fund would be administered by a panel made up of council representatives alongside Maori and Pasifika community representatives.
‘‘We want to ensure the panel allocating the funding is representative and well-connected. It’s innovative.’’
The Otago Community Trust had agreed to match the $60,000 made available for the Hapori fund, meaning $120,000 would be distributed, Ms Gunn said.
The Pasifika fund would distribute $60,000, $30,000 from council and the other half from the Otago Community Trust.
Ms Gunn said it provided an opportunity for local communities to come up with local solutions.
‘‘It’s up to the community to choose where the funding should go.
‘‘The criteria is broad . . . and I think it is as easy as we could make it to apply.’’
Councillors will be asked to approve the council’s representatives on the funding panelat a council community and culture committee meeting next week.
It was expected the full membership of the two panels would be decided by the end of October, fund applications openingfrom early November and being allocated in mid-December.
Ms Gunn said an additional $50,000 of funding was available for wider community groups under the council community grants scheme for September.
‘‘Groups are tired and busy. They support people but they themselves are under pressure. We’re hoping to alleviate some of that.’’