Rotorua Trust gives $4 million to community in 2016/17

New Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust chairman Stewart Edward (left) and deputy chairman Tamati Coffey. Photograph by Stephen Parker (Rotorua Daily Post)

Rotorua has moved closer to being a better place for all, with more than $4 million in grants awarded by the Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust in the last financial year.

The Trust has just released its annual report, announcing its results for the year ending March 31, 2017. The Trust will hold its 23rd annual general meeting in Rotorua on July 20, 2017.

Trust chairman Stewart Edward says it has been a year of significant change for the Trust, with four new trustees elected following the November elections and the first full year of the Trust’s new operating structure.

“In addition, a further $4 million in grants were approved for a range of community groups and causes, bringing to over $107 million the total amount that the Trust has invested into the Rotorua community since 1994.”

Mr Edward says the Trust has a strong history, and has been diligently guided by past and present trustees and staff, who have helped transform its initial fund of $32 million, to a value of around $142 million today.

“In its lifetime, the Trust has touched the lives of nearly every Rotorua resident in one way or another.”

Mr Edward says the record number of nominations at last year’s election showed the community’s passion for the Trust, with four new trustees elected – Tamati Coffey, Merepeka Raukawa-Tait, Bea Yates and himself.

While it was the most significant level of change since the Trust’s inception, the re-election of Jo-Anne La Grouw and Sandra Kai Fong provided a good level of consistency, he says.

Mr Edward says a key focus for the Trust since the election has been the development of its strategic direction, which has included exploring a wide range of areas where it may have a role to play.

“Our kaupapa is to play a role in making a better Rotorua for all, by recognising the achievements of the past as a strong foundation for building a resilient, vibrant region for the future.”

He says a smart investment approach, which is focused on results but in a responsible manner, has ensured the Trust funds have risen to almost $142 million.

The Perpetual Capital Reserve, which was established with $100 million in 2002 to protect the fund for future generations, has risen by $3 million in the past financial year.

In that period, total operating expenses decreased by a further $56,000 over the previous financial year.

Funding highlights from the past year include the Trust’s continued support of the WISE Better Homes insulation project ($250,000); funding of $112,000 for Rotorua secondary schools towards co-curricular activities; and, further support of the award winning Crankworx festival ($100,000).

The Trust’s AGM will be held on July 20, 2017, from 1pm at the Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre, on Fenton St. The meeting will be preceded by light refreshments from 12.30pm.

For more information or to read the full 2016/17 Annual Report

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