Funding available to enhance access to the outdoors

The New Zealand Walking Access Commission is now accepting applications for the third round of its 2014-2015 Enhanced Access Fund programme. The fund supports projects that provide free, certain, enduring and practical outdoor access for the public.

Commission Chief Executive Mark Neeson said a total of $76,000 was available across four funding rounds this financial year, with a maximum of $25,000 available to any one project.

“Our highest priority will be initiatives that obtain new access and projects such as the installation of signs that inform the public about access opportunities.”

Projects that develop and improve walking access through the installation of gates, stiles and fences, creation of engineering reports, or support of community walking access initiatives are also eligible for funding, he said.

Applications are assessed on the quality of the project plan, the ability of the project team to complete the project and the quality of the outcome. Applications for the third round of 2014-2015 funding close on 30 November 2014.

Earlier this year the Enhanced Access Fund allocated $8,000 to the Hikuai District Trust for a walking and cycling trail between Pauanui and Tairua. Northland's Waipu Lion's Club also received $8,000 funding to assist completion of an extension to the Waipu Beach to Langs Cove Coastal Walkway.

Further funding recipients will be announced in December, once the Commission has assessed applications received for the fund's second allocation of the year, which closed on 31 August. A decision on successful applicants for the third round of funding will be made in February 2015.

Application forms, guidelines and further details about the application process are available in the Enhanced Access Fund section of the Commission's website.