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Rotorua Trust invests more than $5m in community following strong financial year

Rotorua Trust has injected close to $5.2 million into the community in the past 12 months, investing directly into groups that are helping create a better Rotorua for all.

The positive financial outcomes are outlined in the Trust’s 2020/21 Annual Report, which was released today for the Trust’s Annual General Meeting.

Officially rebranding from Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust to Rotorua Trust and armed with a new logo that accurately represents the community it serves; the Trust has now invested a total of $129.7m in Rotorua.

Rotorua Trust Chairman Stewart Edward says the $5,188,239 invested into the community during 2020/21 was distributed through 275 grants, covering a range of worthy projects and initiatives.

“The Trust is proud to support many wonderful people and organisations who are doing important mahi across our community, covering all of our key focus areas of health, education, vibrancy, environment and strengthening communities,” he says.

“We were also pleased to be in a position to financially support organisations through the COVID-19 pandemic and aim to continue growing our reach through careful portfolio management.”

Funding highlights include $854,563 for 66 grants to make Rotorua more vibrant through arts, culture, and sports activities, $1,930,901 invested across 54 grants to focus on health and the first 1000 days, and 10 grants worth $192,000 into projects relating to energy and the environment.

Education and employment opportunities for young people were bolstered by $1,250,291 across 67 grants, while 78 grants and a total of $960,484 went towards projects that strengthen the community.

“The contribution that Rotorua Trust has been able to make in the past 12 months has been even more important because of the impact COVID-19 has had on multiple aspects of our local economy.”

Mr Edward says after watching COVID-19 impact global investment markets at the beginning of 2020, it was reassuring to see the Trust’s investment portfolio recover quickly, posting strong results at the end of the financial year.

“Rotorua Trust’s financial position came out of the COVID-19 pandemic relatively unscathed, largely thanks to the expertise of our international funds manager Mercer (NZ) Ltd, who maintained a diversified portfolio that lifted the Trust’s investment fund to a record level of just under $170 million by year end.

“Rotorua Trust investments returned 21 per cent for this financial year, 5.6 per cent above its benchmark.”

The Trust’s funds are currently allocated in a range of ethical investments including Trans-Tasman and global shares, and across sectors such as property, infrastructure, natural resources, cash and bonds.

Mr Edward says the Trust has also reached two major milestones in the past 12 months – the sale of its Eruera Street building and officially rebranding as Rotorua Trust.

“The sale proceeds of our iconic building, which we called home for 20 years, will go directly into our investment portfolio, reaching the community through the grants programme.

“Meanwhile, the refreshed brand supports the Trust’s updated strategic vision – to achieve a better Rotorua for all – and its priority areas.

“The Trust’s rejuvenated brand, new premises and renewed direction will help to grow our reach across the community, and ensure we can continue to support the kaupapa and initiatives that matter most for Rotorua.”

The Trust’s AGM will be held today, from 1pm at  Parksyde Community Centre, 9 Tarewa Place.