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$4.19M granted to community organisations by ECCT in past financial year

Eastern and Central Community Trust’s Annual Public Meeting (APM) was again impacted by COVID-19 restrictions and as a result, was held virtually on Tuesday, 5 October.


At the APM, Eastern and Central Community Trust Chair, Georgina Morrison, announced the Trust had granted $4.19M to 456 organisations across six regions in the past financial year.


“Whether directly or indirectly, COVID-19 has affected people worldwide. It has certainly impacted Eastern and Central Community Trust this year – from the way we grant to the way we work day-to-day as well as how we interact with our communities,” Georgina says.


Overall approved grants were behind the Trust’s forecasted budget, which was largely because of Central Government COVID-19 relief packages and support, and a slowdown in large community facilities projects.


Grants varied from as little as $750 for uniforms for Feilding Amateur Swimming Club and $920 for Featherston Hockey Club’s umpire fees; to $190,000 for Whangawehi Catchment Management Group’s cycle and walkways in Mahia, and $200,000 for Central Hawke’s Bay District Council’s ‘Nga Ara Tipuna’, a new trail of eight sites of cultural and natural significance around Waipukurau and Takapau.


In July 2020 the Trust farewelled trustees, Anna Hansen and Bryan Guy, for their eight and four years’ service respectively.


“Both Anna and Bryan took on leadership roles during their time and worked hard to assist the Trust in moving forward with its strategy delivery. Their work ethic, attention to detail and big picture views, commitment to excellence and their communities, were very much appreciated,” Georgina says.


“We also welcomed four new Trustees from across ECCT’s region. Rena Kohere (Gisborne), Hilary Humphrey (Feilding), Gail Munro (Palmerston North) and Tom Hullena (Masterton) bring new perspectives, experience, skills and enthusiasm to the Trust’s work.”


The Trust’s March 2021 year-end result was a surplus of $34 million. Trustees agreed to strengthen the capital base by a further $10.8 million and the balance sheet remains strong.


“We are holding good levels of cash, which allow us to grant at present levels for the next two to three years without being impacted by any adverse global financial market events.”


During the APM, ECCT Rōpū Taiohi member, Piripi Ropitini, spoke about ECCT’s commitment to rangatahi through the allocation of $4M over four years to fund youth development activities outlined in its recently released Rangatahi Action Plan.


“We’re passionate about transformative change in our communities and hearing the unheard. It’s about hearing the barriers and injustices experienced by rangatahi and supporting them to make the changes they need,” Piripi says.


Georgina says despite the challenges and adversity brought on by COVID-19, the Board would like to thank community organisations and groups in ECCT’s rohe who continue the mahi with great vision and foresight.


“It is heartening seeing people pushing on with their ventures for the betterment of their communities, the best way they can. Their determination and achievements are inspiring to see,” Georgina says.


The regional grant distributions for 2020/2021 are as follows:

Gisborne Tairāwhiti district: $506,240

Hawke’s Bay: $1,568,555

Tararua: $94,800

Manawatu: $632,380

Horowhenua: $153,937

Wairarapa: $451,945

Regional: $779,132

Totalling $4,186,989M  to 456 organisations.


Further details of the past year’s financials can be found in ECCT’s 2021 Annual Report here.

A recording of the APM can also be viewed on ECCT’s You Tube page.

For more details about the Rangatahi Action Plan please click here.