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From the chief executive

Kia ora koutou,

Throughout the year, the Trust formed a highly competent team of staff, and collaboration between staff and trustees led to a renewed strategy for the upcoming financial year, ensuring that resources were allocated effectively to initiatives that align with the Trust’s mission and make a difference in Rotorua.

Through strategic initiatives, collaborations, and funding, the Trust remains dedicated to supporting organisations that enable our community to prosper.

We acknowledge the passing of Tony Gill, our former Trust manager. Tony’s dedication and contributions to the Trust were invaluable, and his presence is deeply missed.

In November, the Trust’s triennial election took place, and the Trust reappointed Stewart Edward as Chairperson. Furthermore, the appointment of Mike Keefe as the new Deputy Chair in his second term with the Trust brings a wealth of experience to the Trust’s governance. We thank outgoing trustees Jo-Anne La Grouw and Tāmati Coffey for their significant contributions during their tenure. The Trust welcomed two new trustees, Cathy Cooney and Fisher Wang, who bring valuable experience and expertise.

During the year,  a storage locker of 26 years was emptied and historical items were given to the Museum Heritage Team. This effort ensures that these valuable materials are appropriately cared for and accessible to the community.

We collaborated with BayTrust, Lotteries, and Council staff in funding and investment initiatives. Thorough due diligence was undertaken to contribute to investing in the Bay of Plenty Housing Equity Fund, reflecting our steadfast commitment to creating a lasting impact.

In a challenging investment landscape, we would like to acknowledge the professional support provided by Brian Kearney from Mercer and Noah Schiltknecht the Trust’s independent investment advisor from Makao, to the Trustee Investment Committee, chaired by Gregg Brown, with Stewart Edward and Merepeka Raukawa-Tait as appointed members.

The Trust continued its commitment to supporting housing and community initiatives. It played a vital role in assisting Habitat for Humanity by employing a local representative, facilitating the first drawdown of a loan facility for house construction in the Bellingham Cresent subdivision, and providing funds for the BNZ/H4H house repair project.

Completing two building projects, QE Health and the Sir Howard Morrison Centre, is a testament to the Trust’s dedication to providing essential services and spaces for programs that greatly benefit the community.

In line with its mission to support the needs of the Rotorua community, the Trust funded organisations such as Papatuanuku, Save Our Babies and the Miss Rotorua Foundation, enabling them to lease premises. These organisations provide valuable assistance, offering resources and support in a uniquely Rotorua way.

Entertaining and uplifting the community’s spirits, bringing people together in celebration, the Trust funded community events such as the 2023 Lakeside concert and the Waipuketia ki te Aroha Kapa Haka outdoor concert.

We extend our appreciation to community organisations and their resilient volunteers for delivering services in an uncertain environment, often facing funding challenges and a reduced number of volunteers. Your passion and commitment has lifted and enhanced the lives of Rotorua people.

As we reflect on the year’s accomplishments, we are grateful for the unwavering support of our stakeholders and partners. Together, we will continue to serve the needs of the Rotorua community.

Ngā mihi nui,

Jackie McCullough