The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Speight’s Fund recipients announced

The Speight’s Fund has granted five well deserving initiatives more than $15,000 worth of funding to contribute towards the efforts of extraordinary not-for-profit environmental efforts being carried out in the Otago region.

The Fund was started as a means for Speight’s to contribute to its community of origin says, Rosie Shanks, Venue Manager at Speight’s Brewery & Heritage Centre in Dunedin. “We always set out to award the fund to as many groups demonstrating pride in the Otago area and its environment. We had some great entries this year and the judges all agreed on five local initiatives which have firm, measurable plans.”

The 2017 recipients are:

Yellow Eyed Penguin Trust – A group committed to creating natural environments where yellow-eyed penguins thrive. They were awarded $4100 from the fund and will carry out remedial work on a section of reserve that was damaged during a slip in July 2017 due to heavy rainfall. The group will erect fencing in the area and carry out a re-planting project.

Quarantine Island/Kamau Raurua –  An island ‘community’ consisting of people from all over Dunedin and afar that carry out all sorts of environmental projects. They will use the contribution of $4871 to undertake gradual replanting with native seedlings to increase biodiversity. The judges commented that the efforts to continually restore the island is not only great to the environment, but has strong historical significance and a potential to increase tourism in the area.

Aspiring Biodiversity – Awarded $3500 to go towards their efforts of surveying native birdlife. The group’s efforts allow them to determine presence and abundance of individual bird species. The strong motivator for the judges here was the group’s ability to educate the public about threatened species of wild life and raise awareness.

Mohiki Trust – Who intend to use their contribution of $2500 to revegetate the Cromwell Basin with native plants. With an aim to get as many people from the community involved as possible, the judges thought this project was admirable for its approach to involve the community in the preservation of its environment.

Open VUE – A group awarded $629 and aim to protect and enhance the local environment via pest control, particularly through Otago’s North East Valley. The group has a strong involvement with the areas local schools and the judges commended their enthusiasm to educate the community.

ffThis year’s judging panel included Professor Carolyn Burns from Otago University’s Department of Zoology, Mayor Dave Cull, Mayor’s PA Monique Elleboode, Chairperson of the Otago Regional Council Stephen Woodhead, Pro Chancellor of the University of Otago Stuart McLauchlan, Councilor Gretchen Robertson, Businesswoman Vanessa Van Uden, Lion Sustainability Manager Kat McDonald and Convener of Judges, Rosie Shanks, Speight’s Brewery Tour Manager, based at Speight’s Brewery.

Rosie Shanks says: “The financial contribution to these groups is just a small part of what helps them achieve their goals. If we can give them a little bit of momentum through these means, we will be stoked if we help these initiatives get one step closer to achieving their end goals.”

The Speight’s Fund has granted more than $130,000 to Otago based not for profit initiatives.