Six Otago Recipients Announced Today

Speight’s is proud to announce that more than $35,000 worth of funding has today been awarded to six extraordinary local Otago region not-for-profit environmental groups in this year’s Speight’s Fund. “Speight’s was founded in 1876 while Central Otago was in the middle of the second biggest gold rush the world had ever seen. Back then, Speight’s was supporting those with big dreams and with the Speight’s Fund, it’s still backing the southern spirit and finding gold,” says Chris Snow from Speight’s. “We’re really happy with the calibre of entries this year and congratulate all the successful applicants aiming to preserve our beautiful environment for future generations.” The 2015 recipients worth a toast down the local are:

Save the Otago Peninsula Trust - $18,660 split across 2 projects

This Trust is a community-based environmental group aiming to protect and enhance the natural environment of the Otago Peninsula. This project is partnered with Broad Bay School as part of its enviroschool commitment. The Smith’s Creek Wetland and Riparian Strip extension projects aim to protect and enhance the catchment by fencing out stock from wetlands and creeks, planting shade for native fish and other freshwater species, controlling erosion through revegetation, restoring native biodiversity and raising awareness of the freshwater environment by involving local school children and parents.

Te Kakano Aotearoa Trust - $9600

The Trust’s vision is to connect New Zealand communities to their land, with a mission to maintain a successful community-based nursery, servicing native habitat restoration projects and inspiring other communities through education, demonstration and hands-on participation. Roy’s Bay (Wanaka) is a native habitat restoration programme undertaken along the Lake Wanaka foreshore between Stoney Creek and Waterfall Creek. The area is part of the Glendhu Bay Track. This project will restore native bush along the track, popular with bikers, runners, walkers, locals and tourists.

Sinclair Wetlands- $4,716

This group is a local habitat restoration charitable trust. The money will be used for the restoration/revegetation of Whakaraupuka - a small island in the midst of the wetlands - to its previous forested state. It is part of a wider effort to restore the wetlands as close as possible to their original state.

Green Hut Track Group - $1,448

A group of volunteers who enjoy working outside and undertaking walking track maintenance within the Silver Peak and Silver Stream catchments. The funds will enable the group to purchase a chainsaw and to upskill a number of its members with appropriate chainsaw training and New Zealand Unit Standard certification to legally use the equipment while carrying out volunteer projects.

Sustainable Coastlines Charitable Trust - $1,000

Working with the East Taieri School, this group is looking to educate students and teachers about the challenges surrounding water quality in New Zealand - specifically in the Otago catchments - through dynamic educational presentations. The intention is to plant 1000 native seedlings along the banks of the Owhiro Stream, which runs through the school. This money will contribute to these plants.

Orokonui Ecosanctuary - $702.55

The primary aim of Orokonui Ecosanctuary is to implement a long-term lizard monitoring regime that will assess the abundance of lizard species inside the mammal proof fence. The money will be used to monitor five different lizard species within the ecosanctuary. This year’s judging panel included Professor Carolyn Burns from Otago University’s Department of Zoology, Mayor Dave Cull, Pro Chancellor of the University of Otago Stuart McLauchlan, Councilor Gretchen Robertson, NHNZ MD Michael Stedman, Businesswoman Vanessa Van Uden, Chairperson of the Otago Regional Council Stephen Woodhead and Convenor of Judges, Chris Snow, Speight’s Brewery Tour Manager, based at Speight’s Brewery. Chris Snow from Speight’s says: “It’s fantastic to see so many groups of volunteers out there doing so much positive work for Otago’s environment. We hope the financial assistance from the Speight’s Fund is just the boost they need to keep the momentum up.”