Today Meridian Energy and communities around Makara and Ohariu Valley come together to celebrate 10 years of partnership at West Wind farm. The birthday marks a decade of capturing Wellington’s most well-known resource to generate renewable energy and enabling many community projects.
Meridian’s Power Up Community fund was established in Makara and Ohariu Valley when West Wind began producing electricity. With close to $500,000 in financial support, the fund has enabled local organisations to undertake many projects that benefit the local community.
Makara’s location on the edge of Wellington City provides spaces for restoration of native forests and wetlands. The fund proudly supports the Makaracarpas Society, who lead local environmental enhancement projects including tree planting, predator trapping and wetlands restoration.
With a tripling of students at Makara Model School over the last six years, pressure was being put on their facilities. A contribution of $110,000 from Power Up has helped support the school’s expansion. Including a new playground three times the size of its aged predecessor, the school now offers new opportunities for the community with goal posts and sports equipment, including bikes and a new bike track.
Many Wellingtonians experiences of Makara have been at the local community hall or church, popular for weddings and a range of community events. As well as providing maintenance and restoration funds for the hall, the Power Up advisory panel voted to purchase the land of the church and cottage beside it. Through investment of over $100,000, the fund has successfully created an ongoing asset and beautiful venue for the community.
Residents near West Wind are now able to connect to the world around them through over $50,000 invested over 10 years in a community broadband project. Sports and recreation have also taken off in the last ten years with nearly $55,000 invested into popular projects like Makara Peak Mountain Bike Park, Makara Tennis Club, the Pony Club and the Karori Golf Course.
Today community leaders, residents, wind technicians and important visitors celebrate wind power and ten years of partnership at the West Wind recreation area. This anniversary marks an important milestone in the development of New Zealand’s renewable energy network, and of Meridian’s ongoing partnership with the Makara and Ohariu community.
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