The Rodney Rams sports club is set to finally reopen its clubrooms in Whangateau after getting a $99,000 grant from Foundation North.
The funding is to build a new commercial kitchen, which will finally resurrect the facility after the clubrooms burned down in 2014.
The club received a $10,000 grant in May after winning a Facebook competition and built two toilets on the site in August.
Club secretary Denise Crimp says she hopes the kitchen will be finished early next year.
“That means we can finally reopen. It’s been a big expense for us that we couldn’t afford, so it’s a huge boost for the club.”
She says the club still needs some furniture for the clubrooms.
Four other Mahurangi groups received a total of $79,000 in the latest Foundation North grant round.
The Tawharanui Open Sanctuary Society (TOSSI) received a $39,000 grant to continue to operate its native plant nursery.
TOSSI secretary James Ross says this will fund the operation for three years.
“The nursery is a big part of what we do and to be able to plan this far ahead is fantastic,” James says.
“The funding will go towards materials like pots and potting mix.”
TOSSI volunteers plant about 20,000 plants a year, which are all grown at the nursery from locally-sourced seeds. About 30 volunteers work at the nursery, contributing about 3000 hours a year.
The New Zealand Fairy Tern Charitable Trust received a $20,000 grant for its ongoing predator control programme on the Mangawhai sandspit.
The spit is the main breeding site for NZ’s rarest bird, with about four nesting pairs each season.
Trust convener Heather Rogan says Foundation North has been funding the programme for nearly five years.
“Thanks to them we’ve been able to have a comprehensive, long-term programme, and over that period we haven’t lost any birds or chicks at Mangawhai.”
The funding is used to employ a pest control worker throughout the year.
There are only about 40 birds left, which nest at Mangawhai, Waipu, Te Arai, Pakiri and on the Kaipara Harbour.
The Maungaturoto Care and Share Family Support Group Trust received a $15,000 grant to deliver free counselling services.
The organisation provides support to isolated rural communities that may not have access to other services.
The Kowhai Festival Society also received a $5000 grant to hold this year’s festival.