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Budget initiative doubles Environment Centre funding

Contact: Rod Donald MP

Green Party co-leader Rod Donald said an additional $300,000 to environment centres this year would help them reach more people with environmental news and education.

The Government has agreed to double the funding to environment centres this year, building on a Green Party initiative from the 2000 Budget which secured $300,000 a year for environment centres. Grants of up to $50,000 are made to centres to assist them with day to day running costs such as administration and rent. The extra funding will mean that more centres can receive grants.

"Building awareness about the environment is one of the most productive things we can do - because it inspires people to change their behaviour so that it is more environmentally friendly," Mr Donald said.

"The stable funding has enabled centres to get on with their real work of providing information to the public, especially school students, and in co-ordinating local environmental initiatives.

"I was the first paid director of the Christchurch Environment Centre in 1976 and I know first-hand what a struggle it is for these centres to find enough funding to keep their doors open. This funding will give these centres some certainty, security, and above all encouragement to keep up the good work."

Victoria Keene the manager of the Christchurch Environment Centre said that the extra funding from last year had helped the centre expand and promote their work.

"We've been able to employ a full-time manager and a part-time worker to work on events, communication and building relationships with the community, central and local Government, and environment groups. We've expanded our resources, education kits in particular, and we've been able to get the word out to more people about what we offer."

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