Trust AGM acknowledges significant year


Celebrating $10 million worth of contributions to the Rotorua community in the past year, the Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust held its 22nd Annual General Meeting today [21 July] at Rotorua’s Parksyde, with approximately 70 people in attendance.

The meeting also served as Trust Chairman Grahame Hall’s final, after last week announcing his retirement from service at the Trust elections in November this year.

Among public acknowledgements of Mr Hall’s years of commitment to the Rotorua community and Trust, came questions regarding the Trust’s financial position, its recent two-year review of operations and up-coming non-binding referendum regarding the tenure of trustees.

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, Mr Hall says.

“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 a vast range of community 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.

The two-year review of the Trust’s operations was undertaken with the ultimate goal of ensuring long-term sustainability and increasing contributions to the community over the long term.

In late 2014 independent international financial consultancy, Mercer (NZ) Limited, was appointed to manage and grow the Trust’s assets.

“The move from internal management of the Trust’s financial portfolio to external management was regarded as the most appropriate in today’s environment. And the value of this strategy is already proving its worth,” says Mr Hall.

The Mercer-managed investment portfolio returning 4.8 per cent, while the Trust’s legacy investments (that have still to be transferred or divested), experienced negative returns for the year. While this has had an impact on our overall financial results, the Trust remains in a strong financial position.

“We know that we have the right structure, people and operations in place, to ensure the Trust is in a solid position to accommodate any major changes in the international economic environment, and can as a result, continue to provide financial support to the Rotorua community,” Mr Hall says.

The Trust will provide a set of questions and answers on its website within the next seven days in to provide additional information to some of the questions posed at the meeting. Please visit http://www.rotoruatrust.org.nz/ for further information.

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