Existing users

Kotahi te aho ka whati;
ki te kāpuia e kore e whati

One strand of flax is easy to break, but many strands together will stand strong.

Eastern & Central Community Trust provides grants and support to community organisations operating in the Gisborne Tairāwhiti, Hawke’s Bay, Tararua, Manawatū , Horowhenua and Wairarapa districts.

The Trust’s vision is to accelerate courageous transformational change, that creates vibrant, more sustainable and equitable communities. This is done through a range of initiatives, from funding grants to helping with collaboration and capacity building, and opening up networking opportunities to organisations of all sizes. 

Our History

In May 1988 the New Zealand Government established the 12 independent Community Trusts – covering the whole of New Zealand – and gave each of the trusts 100% ownership of the shareholding in their local trustee savings bank. The specified area of operations of each of the 12 trusts mirrored the area serviced by their regional savings bank.

Our regional 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.  Funds were invested in diversified range of asset classes in New Zealand and overseas. Over the years the Trust has increased its capital base to approximately $215 million, and it is the returns from these investments that enable us to provide grants to our communities.

Eastern & Central Community Trust is the eighth largest of the twelve Community Trusts set up under this process, and regularly donates over $6 million in grants throughout its region.


The Trusts operate under Trust Deeds which, while individual, are largely consistent across the 12 community trusts; and under the legislative framework provided by the Community Trusts Act 1999. 

Each of the Trusts is governed by a Board of Trustees appointed by the Minister of Finance. Trustees are appointed for four-year terms, and may be re-appointed for up to two terms. Trustees must reside in the specified area of the Trust. Learn more about our current Board of Trustees and how to become one by clicking here.