Charitable Trust contributes $10m to Rotorua community


A number of significant community projects have taken shape in the last financial year thanks to a near-record $10 million in grants awarded by the Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust.

The Trust has just released its annual report, announcing its annual results for the year ending 31 March 2016. The Trust will hold its 22nd annual general meeting on 21 July, 2016.

The Trust awarded $10 million in grants to the community in the last financial year, one of the largest contributions in the Trust’s 22-year history and an increase of $7 million over the previous year.

Trust chairman Grahame Hall says the $10 million in contributions has reaffirmed the Trust’s long term commitment to Rotorua.

“We are extremely proud of the contribution that the Trust has been able to make on behalf of Rotorua and its people. Our mission is to contribute towards and support a more vibrant Rotorua community – the fact we have been able to support such a range of local projects this past year is hugelyrewarding.”

At the end of the 2014/2015 financial year, the Trust reported an accumulated income reserve of $13.4 million – a significant achievement following the impact of the Global Financial Crisis in the preceding years, says Mr Hall.

“As a result, trustees made the decision to use some of this reserve to support a range of community initiatives that will have an enduring benefit for the region above and beyond the Trust’s general level of grants.

“Despite the significant contribution made to these projects, the value of the Trust’s Perpetual Capital Reserve still increased from $131.9 million to $132.8 million, ensuring that the reserve fund for the future was not compromised,” he says.

Highlights from the past year include providing $500,000 for the Riding for the Disabled indoor riding centre and supporting the development of the Whare Aroha Care dementia care facility, both in Ngongotaha, and assisting the groups in Community House with grants close to $100,000 to relocate and continue operating.

The Trust also provided $786,301 for the undergrounding of powerlines for the safety and beautification of the district, and granted $250,000 for the WISE Healthy Homes scheme to insulate homes and help reduce health problems.

Mr Hall says last year’s grants are, in part, the result of a wider growth strategy for the Trust, with a focus on future-proofing investments for the long-term benefit of the community.

“The last couple of years have seen a number of changes internally, including operational reviews, appointing an independent external fund manager, Mercer (NZ) Limited, new financial reporting mechanisms and the appointment of a new Trust manager.

“All these changes have been focused on future-proofing the organisation, including having the right structure, people and operations in place, to ensure we are in a solid position to weather any future international economic headwinds and continue to contribute to the Rotorua community.”

Governance of the Trust is overseen by six trustees who are elected by Rotorua people and who, in turn, actively engage with and support a diverse range of community stakeholders.

Every three years Rotorua residents have an opportunity to elect the people who represent them on the Trust. Nominations for trustees are open this year, from 26 August until 23 September, with nomination forms available during this time at the Trust’s office or on its website. Voting is open from 28 October until 19 November.

For more information or to read the full 2015/16 Annual Report, visit www.rotoruatrust.org.nz.

The Trust’s AGM will be held on 1pm on Thursday 21 July, 2016, at Parksyde in Tarewa Place, Rotorua. The meeting will be preceded by light refreshments from 12.30pm.

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Background

The Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust is a not-for-profit organisation which exists to contribute towards and support a more vibrant Rotorua community where people are proud to live, work, invest, bring up and educate their families.

Established in 1994 to serve the community of Rotorua, the Trust was formed out of the sale of Rotorua Electricity Limited, with initial capital of $32 million. Today, this capital exceeds $140 million, with a further $103 million invested back into the Rotorua community since inception.

The Trust’s mission is to effectively and responsibly manage and grow its assets, enable the distribution of income for the long-term benefit of Rotorua, and ensure funds generated are directed to groups that have a positive impact in the community.

The Trust operates through a set of core values, ensuring respect, independence, integrity, transparency and responsibility are demonstrated in all actions and decisions.

Its four main areas of focus are: investing in people, including support of education and health; enabling community groups to grow, develop and support our local community; investing in facilities that benefit the wider community; and supporting a vibrant community through events and activities.

Contact

Jacky James
Phone: 021 577 871

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