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$6M granted to community organisations by ECCT in past financial year

Like many organisations around the country, Eastern and Central Community Trust (ECCT) moved its Annual Public Meeting (APM) online due to COVID-19 Level 2 restrictions.


At the APM, held earlier today, Eastern and Central Community Trust Chair, Shelly Mitchell-Jenkins, announced the Trust had granted $6.2M to 490 organisations across six regions in the past financial year.


The grants varied from as small as $330 for operating costs at Ruahine Ramblerz Leisure Marching team in Tararua, to $225,000 for Kimi Ora Community School in Hastings and $150,000 for a fit-for-purpose building for Alzheimer’s Society Manawatu.


“No matter how big or small the grant, it is satisfying to know it is making a difference to the lives of people in our regions,” Eastern and Central Community Trust Chair, Shelly Mitchell-Jenkins says.


The past year has also seen the retirement of three long serving trustees, Ron Garrod, Mark Kilmister and Stephen Kerr, who collectively gave 28 years of service to ECCT.  With their departure the Trust welcomed new trustees, Levi Walford (Hastings) and Whiti Timutimu (Gisborne) who bring new perspectives and skillsets to the Board.


“Our organisation is fortunate to have a consistently strong Board who have complementary skills. We are grateful for trustees past and present, who dedicate a lot of time and effort ensuring the Trust runs smoothly and efficiently.”


During the unprecedented time of Level 4 Lockdown, ECCT conducted a survey of groups and organisations in the regions it serves, to get an idea of what the short and long-term impact will be on communities.


With 450 responses, the end result was a ‘COVID-19 Impact Report on Community Organisations’, which will be an invaluable resource for future planning and strategies. This can be found on ECCT’s website by clicking here ECCT COVID-19 Community Impact Report


Like many investors ECCT’s financial results were impacted by Covid 19, with a sharp fall in the value of equities in late March.  Much of the loss recorded in that month has been recovered in the period since.   ECCT’s investment policy seeks to smooth the effects of such movements and allow the Trust to continue granting at the same levels even when the markets have dropped.  ECCT does not expect to make any reductions in budgeted granting in the 2021 financial year.


Shelly revealed the Trust was working on a number of new ventures, including a Rangatahi Project, Strategic and Innovations Funds and the development of a Maori Strategy.


“While COVID-19 is still prevalent worldwide, ECCT is fortunate to be able to continue granting as normal and we are excited to be focusing on these new ventures, to be launched in the next six months.”


About Eastern and Central Community Trust

Trust Bank Eastern and Central Community Trust was created in 1988 when New Zealand’s banking industry was deregulated. The Trust was provided with shares in the Trust Bank Group to the value of $11.8 million to hold for the benefit of the communities within a defined region.


The Trust was renamed Eastern and Central Community Trust Inc. in 1996, when the Trust Bank Group was sold to Westpac Banking Corporation for $1.2 billion, of which the Trust received $109 million as its share of the proceeds. The starting capital of the Trust was set at $90 million, with $19 million set aside as capital reserves. Funds were invested in diversified range of asset classes in New Zealand and overseas. Over the years the Trust has increased its capital to $185 million, and it is the returns from those investments that enable the Trust to give grants to its communities.


ECCT is the eighth largest of the 12 community trusts across New Zealand and serves communities the length of the East Coast of the North Island, from Gisborne District in the north, through Hawke’s Bay, Tararua, down to Wairarapa and across into Manawatu and Horowhenua.

The regional distributions are as follows:

  • Gisborne Tairāwhiti district: $591,000
  • Hawke’s Bay: $2,344,820
  • Tararua: $364,730
  • Manawatu: $1,458,520
  • Horowhenua: $140,900
  • Wairarapa: $664,670
  • Regional: $650,473

Totalling $6.212M to 490 organisations

Eastern and Central Community Trust has distributed $130M to its regions since its establishment in 1988.

To view the ECCT Annual Report to 31 March 2020 click here.

To view the ECCT Annual Public Meeting presentation slides click here.