Friday 01 June 2012
Over $77,000 has been granted to a broad range of Waitaki Valley community groups in the latest allocation from Meridian Energy’s Waitaki Community Fund.
“Supporting projects that create direct benefits for the community is really important to us” says Mat Bayliss, Asset Maintenance Manager at Meridian and acting chair of the Waitaki Community Fund. “These nine projects are meeting a genuine community need, and we’re proud to be associated with them” says Mat.
Awakino ski field will replace their aging tow-rope with a $6,000 grant from Meridian. “The new tow-rope has come just in time for the 2012 winter season, which is a real relief” says David Campbell, secretary of the Waitaki Ski Club. “The field has been operating for a number of years now. With the support of Meridian we can continue to give our community access to the mountains at an affordable price” says David.
A new on-demand transport service will now be available to residents in Twizel and Tekapo thanks to a grant of $15,000 from Meridian. “Since the weekly bus service was cancelled, the less mobile members of our community have struggled to get around” says Graeme Palmer, Chairperson of the Tekapo-Twizel Community Vehicle Trust. “We’re really looking forward to getting this new service started, which we’ve based on a successful model used in Waimate and Geraldine” says Graeme.
Meridian’s award-winning* Waitaki Community Fund supports community development initiatives in the Waitaki Basin. Over $1.8 million has been granted to more than 200 local community projects over the last five years, including environmental conservation, volunteer emergency services, schools, local events, education programs, and heritage restoration.
Projects supported in this round of Meridian’s Waitaki Community Fund include:
Glenavy Women’s Institute
$1,670 will purchase custom-built storage for the Institute’s archives, memorabilia, costumes & equipment.
Glenavy Community Hall
$8,500 will re-roof the Glenavy Community Hall, which is in desperate need of replacement after recent maintenance work uncovered rust and holes on the south-facing roof.
Aoraki Mackenzie Starlight Reserve Working Party
$500 will support an International Starlight workshop at Aoraki. This workshop is part of the Party’s plan to obtain World Heritage status for the Mackenzie Country’s renowned night sky.
Waitaki Ski Club
$6,127 will purchase a new tow rope for the Waitaki Ski Club, meaning the club can open for the 2012 ski season.
Anglican Care South Canterbury
$500 will assist the Twizel Girls Well-Being Club. The aim of the club is to help young women with self-esteem, positive communication, mental and physical health, and creativity.
Papakaio Netball Club
$2,180 will purchase new uniforms and tracksuits for the Papakaio Netball Club.
Kurow Golf Club
$18,000 will help purchase a greens mower for the Kurow Golf Club.
Twizel-Tekapo Community Vehicle Trust
$15,000 will purchase two vehicles for the Twizel-Tekapo Community Trust. The vehicles will provide an affordable on-demand transport service to Twizel and Tekapo residents.
NZ Alpine Club Inc
$20,000 will fund native planting and landscaping work around Unwin Lodge located at Aoraki Mt Cook.
* Meridian Energy's Waitaki Community Fund is a Sustainable 60 Award winner. The Awards recognise some of New Zealand's most sustainable businesses. Find out more at www.sustainable60.co.nz
For more information contact:
External Communications, Meridian Energy
021 997 523
About Meridian Energy
Meridian Energy is an integrated renewable energy company; the largest generator in New Zealand, with a strong pipeline of development options in Australasia; and an electricity retailer throughout New Zealand.
Meridian and its online subsidiary Powershop retail electricity to approximately 280,000 connections − homes, farms and businesses throughout New Zealand. Meridian received the highest customer satisfaction ratings of all the major national retailers, and Powershop was rated first overall, as voted by customers in two independent surveys* carried out in 2011.
The Meridian Energy Group includes a parent company Meridian Energy, subsidiary businesses in Australia and the USA and other innovative New Zealand investments that complement our core activities as an electricity generator and retailer. In total the Group employs approximately 800 people and has offices in Wellington, Christchurch and Twizel, and, internationally, in Melbourne, Australia, and San Francisco, California.
Meridian generates electricity from renewable sources − wind and water in New Zealand; wind in Australia; and solar in the USA. The company supplies thirty per cent of New Zealand’s total electricity needs, including to the country’s largest consumer, the New Zealand Aluminum Smelter, near Bluff. Meridian owns and operates seven hydro stations, six within the Waitaki Hydro Scheme, and four wind farms throughout New Zealand.
In Australia, Meridian owns and operates Mt Millar wind farm and is partnering with AGL Energy to build the Macarthur wind farm, which, at 420 megawatts, will be the largest wind farm in the Southern Hemisphere. The company also built the world’s southernmost wind farm at Ross Island in Antarctica, in partnership with Antarctica New Zealand. Meridian’s solar farm, CalRENEW-1, was the first grid-connected solar farm to be built in California, and the company is using that expertise to build the first solar farm in Tonga.
Meridian’s pipeline of renewable development projects includes options at different stages of investigation and consent. The Australasian development pipeline equates to more than 1,500 megawatts.
Meridian’s commitment to renewable energy, environmental stewardship and support for the communities living alongside its assets makes it authentically sustainable. Meridian continually looks for ways to provide positive energy solutions to customers to help them reduce their energy use.
* Independent surveys include Consumer (Energy provider survey results, 28 July 2011. Available at http://www.consumer.org.nz/reports/energy-providers/survey-results) and Fair Go/Colmar Brunton Best in service poll – power companies, 19 October 2011.
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