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New lottery Covid fund - Tracey Martin

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

A new lottery fund worth $40 million has been established to focus on community and social initiatives in response to COVID-19.

The Lottery COVID-19 Community Wellbeing Fund was announced today by Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin, Presiding Member of the Lottery Grants Board.

"Community groups responded incredibly to the initial lockdown and continue to play a vital role in supporting the most vulnerable people and communities," Minister Martin said.

"The Lottery Grants Board wants to help these groups as they provide support, rebuild and strengthen our communities and help with the recovery.

"The funding will be able to be used to support groups that have lost access to funding sources, have extra demand on their services or are now working in different ways in responding to COVID-19."

The Fund will provide one-off grants and is expected to be up and running in the last quarter of the year.

"A key element of the Fund is that it will be adaptable as further information about community need and the approach of other funders becomes clearer," Mrs Martin said.

"The Board wants to ensure its administration provides quick decision making and low compliance costs."

The Minister said the new Fund was possible as Lotto NZ has been able to maintain the levels of funding provided to the Board through the COVID-19 period and its 2020/21 forecast profit remains the same as last year.

It is intended the one-off Fund will remain open until all of its funding has been distributed.

The Minister also announced that $178 million has been allocated to the Board’s core distribution committees for 2020/21.

"This will support social initiatives, marae, community facilities, heritage, environment activities, outdoor safety, health research and individuals with disabilities and is the same level of funding as last year.

"This funding is critical to help build and maintain cohesion and resilience in our communities as they respond to the impact of COVID-19."

Another $117.6 million of Lottery funding for 2020/21 will go to the Board’s statutory bodies (Sport New Zealand, Creative New Zealand, New Zealand Film Commission and Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision). This funding makes a significant contribution to these sectors, Minister Martin said.

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