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Counties Energy grants $14,000 towards local sustainability projects

The Counties Energy Environmental and Sustainability Grant’s aim is to support local not-for-profit community organisations or educational providers with projects that protect or enhance the environment in the southern Auckland and northern Waikato regions.

Counties Energy GM People, Safety and Communications Tracey Kay says the company was extremely heartened by the quality and number of projects.

“As we increase our focus on sustainability as a company it’s wonderful to see so many local organisations and educational providers who are working hard to make a difference in our community. We received some outstanding applications and as a result awarded two additional grants. We thank all those groups who applied for the Counties Energy Environmental and Sustainability Grant and wish them all the best with their projects.”

The two major grant recipients, each receiving $5,000 are YMCA Camp Adair and Tamaoho School.  Two additional grants of $2,000 each were awarded to Manukau Heads Lighthouse Trust and Puni School.

YMCA Camp Adair in Hunua is launching Enviro Camps which will focus on practical environmental education experiences and riparian planting projects.

YMCA Camp Adair Manager Dave Lockwood says the grant will make a huge difference to the planting project.  “We’re simply stoked with this grant which will allow us to buy $5,000 worth of natives trees for the riparian planting program.  These will be planted by local students on the Enviro Camps who will also learn about the importance of planting and protecting native species around waterways.”

YMCA Camp Adair was selected as the winner due to the high environmental benefit that could be demonstrated both through the planting itself but also through teaching, inspiring and encouraging children to get out, protect and enjoy nature. Tamaoho School is a recently opened public school in Pukekohe which requires funding to establish sustainability projects within their greenfields site.  As an enviro school it has dreams of creating an environment where children can learn about and take care of nature, including vegetables, bees, rainwater harvesting and kai via a hangi pit.

Tamaoho School Deputy Principal Kiri Tremewan says the grant will assist with the capital costs to help create their vision. “As an enviro school we are very grateful to receive this sustainability grant from Counties Energy and are excited for our whole community.  Not only is this an amazing project for us to work on, it has wonderful environmental and teaching benefits.  Our students will be learning so much about sustainability on this journey.”

The Manukau Heads Lighthouse is the Manukau Harbour’s oldest icon. A major community restoration project was initiated which included native planting to help showcase the original flora and increase native fauna. As part of the ongoing maintenance of the conservation area and due to health and safety issues, professional pest management of invasive weeds (Australian Wattle Tree) is required. The Counties Energy grant will help the Trust to progress this work.

Puni School applied for funding to develop a native plant screen between themselves and the neighbouring market gardens.  They would also like to mark the first year of the Matariki public holiday by planting a Matariki Garden, creating a planting in the Matariki Constellation – with each tree selected being an iconic native tree named after a star.

Each project will be profiled and milestones celebrated on the website and their Facebook page  To stay up to date on news and information from Counties Energy’s sustainability team, including future funding rounds, contact

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