The Environmental Initiatives Fund (EIF) distributed by Environment Network Manawatū (ENM) has awarded grants totalling almost $49,000 to ten local projects in its 2023 large grants funding round.

The fund is made possible by a Palmerston North City Council Strategic Priority Grant and focuses on projects that improve environmental outcomes for the city and its people.

Now in its third year of distribution the fund received its highest number of applications (17) totalling $133,500 worth of funds. Applications this year were highly diverse in their scope and focus, a testament to the passion of community groups, schools and people in enhancing preserving our native flora and fauna, upcycling and recycling, and ensuring food resilience is increased in our rohe.

A foray into the arts.

In an auspicious ‘first’, support was awarded to Hokozoo productions for their recent orchestral production ‘The Legends of Okatia’ which tells the story of how the Manawatū Gorge was formed. One of the educational kaupapa of this production was planting new life around the awa, EIF support enabling the sitribution of seeds to all members of the audience to gow their own native trees


Supporting school mara kai.

St Peter’s College and Bunnythorpe School were both successful with small applications to enhance the growing potential of their school mara kai. The fund welcomes applications from schools in the knowledge that teaching food growing and resilience skills to our tamariki is vital in helping ensure future food security.

Biodiversity, regeneration and pest control.

First time applicant Nguturoa Catchment Group were awarded funds to help improve water quality and biodiversity within the Nguturoa catchment. The group are linked to ENM’s newest member group, the Manawatū Catchment Collective. C.T Keeble Memorial Trust was successful in an application to complete the Atawhai bush stairway, which will complete the project started with previous support from the fund. Kahuterawa Valley Regeneration achieved funding towards predator trapping in a 16-hectare area of the valley. This is in the continued effort to provide a stable, bountiful habitat for native flora and fauna to thrive.


Sustainable Living Skills.

Leana Hamlin received funding for her ‘Walk with Larnz’ initiative which has a strong focus on increasing the skills of local people so they can move towards food resilience. Supergrans Manawatū were funded to help continue their ongoing work in mentoring people in important sustainable living skills including cooking and preserving.

Recycling bikes and paper towels.

Precycle NZ received a second consecutive year of funding building on a grant awarded last year to purchase processing equipment. This allowed the pilot scale production and commercialization of this paper towel upcycling into prototype building materials, an innovative use for a hard to process waste product.

Green Bikes were awarded funding for support for their operation. The organisation's objective is to minimise waste going into the landfill by recycling old bicycles and also provide affordable transport in the city.

The Large Grants round of the fund is open once a year, but eligible projects and initiatives are able to apply for small grants up to $1000 year-round. Go to to find out more.