At the Environment and Climate Change Committee on September 8, members voted to approve the criteria and priorities for the Auckland Climate Grants.
The grants are a part of the 10-year Recovery Budget and aim to support projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions or climate resilience through community based action.
Some focus areas for the grants will be low carbon transport systems, local food projects, projects for a climate disaster resilient Auckland and Māori-led projects to reduce emissions.
Community Climate Action team manager Lucy Hawcroft presented to the committee and said the grants were aimed at a community and household-led response rather than major infrastructure.
Hawcroft said they had separated grants into two categories: response grants and strategic grants.
Response grants would be between $1,000 and $15,000 and strategic grants would be between $15,000 and $50,00. Hawcroft said the response grants would have a simplified process and quicker response time.
“Part of what we are trying to do with (the response grants) is to reach some of those groups that we know have found council grant processes hard to access in the past.”
“We are aware that in the past from climate and sustainability grants at the regional and local level less of those have gone to Maori led projects than we would like so we are trying to improve that.”
Independent Maori Statutory Board member Karen Wilson urged staff to engage with mātāwaka going forward after Hawcroft confirmed they had not done that while working on the scope of the grants.
Chair Richard Hills encouraged Wilson's comments and said some of the substantial initiatives could come from urban marae that are mātāwaka.
“This is just another exciting part of the climate initiatives funding that will be helping out communities,” Hills said.
The grant has a $400,000 budget for the 2022/2023 financial year and council staff will be looking to deliver the first round of funding by the end of the year.