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Source: Auckland Council

Impassioned presentations from film fans and bird rescuers were heard at a recent Waiheke Local Board meeting.

Both groups were seeking funding from local board grants being awarded during the meeting.

Holly Roughton and Matthias Kroger represented the Latin American Film Festival, while Merran Lawlor, Karen Saunders and Titia Ryder made the case for the Native Bird Rescue Charitable Trust.

Their presentations saw board member Shirin Brown attempt to secure them larger grants than usual, something deputy chair John Meeuwsen said was unfair when other applicants had not had the opportunity to present their cases.

With the sum of every application being more than the board’s budget would allow, someone was always going to miss out.

“We are massively over-subscribed for what we have to allocate, and while I too thought both groups made excellent cases, I am sure others could have too if they had been presenting to us,” Mr Meeuwsen said.

“This has all been workshopped and, in the interests of fairness, we should stick to those recommendations.”

The board agreed to grant Waiheke Island Community Cinema $3000 of the $4000 it asked for to support its film festival, and $4830 was granted to the bird rescue group – half of what they had sought.

Four other groups were also supported:

  • Parenting Place Charitable Trust, $500 towards ‘Attitude programme’ presentations and handbooks for Waiheke High School students
  • Waiheke Community Art Gallery, $1500 towards ‘Sea Conversations’ exhibition
  • Living Without Violence, $7000 towards annual White Ribbon Day campaign
  • Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust, $1500 towards a school programme, snorkel day and guided paddle for Waiheke students.

Board chair Cath Handley said it was disappointing to have to decline so many applications from worthy projects, but that the budget could only stretch so far.

No project received the full sum sought by its members. Ten projects were declined, though two were referred to other funding sources. One referred application, from the Waiheke Pool Society, was granted $10,000 for heaters, a pool-cover and generator for the Te Huruhi pool from a different budget.