Stories

Playground brings Flaxmere community together

Eastern & Central Community Trust (ECCT) is delighted to see the completion of Kimi Ora School’s innovative new community playground in Hawke’s Bay – a project that received one of the Trust’s largest grants to date. The $1.1M playground, of which $243,500 was funded by ECCT, was established as part of the Flaxmere school’s $7.7M redevelopment.

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Uniforms for volunteers have far-reaching benefits

Volunteers are an integral part of most charitable organisations – selflessly pitching in wherever needed and seeking nothing in return. This is certainly the case for Hastings Riding for the Disabled (RDA), an organisation that provides therapeutic riding opportunities for disabled and disadvantaged people in Hawke’s Bay.

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Charitable Trust supports men to be positive fathers

Every month a group of men – of all ages – meet at a local coffee shop in Wairarapa with their children and grandchildren, inadvertently attracting friendly smiles from passers-by.

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Huringa Pai at the heart of health and fitness movement in Gisborne

Sick and tired of witnessing too many people in his community lose their lives unnecessarily to diabetes and heart disease, Gisborne GP, Willem Jordaan, launched a health and fitness movement called Huringa Pai (Positive Change).

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Music through the ages

Whether it’s a Beatles hit or a 17th Century tune, the songs performed by the Horowhenua Savage Club bring delight to residents of rest homes and retirements villages from Fielding to Waikanae.

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Rugby club the heart of rural town

At the heart of the small rural town of Eketahuna is the Eketahuna Rugby Club, where nearly half of the town’s population of 444 are members.

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Hohepa takes next step in creating opportunities for intellectually disabled people

When it comes to choosing gourmet cheese, Hohepa Hawke’s Bay has become a household favourite throughout New Zealand. Not only is it organic and extremely tasty, it has won its fair share of awards and is produced by an organisation that supports people with intellectual disabilities.

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Financial support alleviates burden on families

In 1990 a group of Christians in Palmerston North had a vision to assist people who were struggling financially. They wanted to enable and empower people to live in financial freedom.

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Affordable toys for everyone

For more than three decades, the Carterton Community Toy Library has come to the rescue of parents and caregivers needing something “new” to entertain their little ones.

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Only aroha spread in isolated East Cape communities during COVID-19 lockdown

When New Zealand came under threat of deadly pandemic, COVID-19, Tairāwhiti’s Te Aroha Kanarahi Trust knew it had to act quickly to protect vulnerable communities in their area.

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Restored bike track brings old school BMX back to Wairarapa

The dust has barely settled on the recently refurbished Central Wairarapa BMX track, and yet the locals are already turning up in droves each weekend to give the latest improvements a test run.

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Books a hit with kids thanks to Summer Reading Programme

Palmerston North City Library has recently completed its twenty-third successful Summer Reading Programme to the delight of more than 500 children.

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Connecting communities through community-led development

Amazing things are happening in Kiwi communities but most of the time we don’t hear about them, and often other communities don’t get to benefit from knowing what’s working and why.  This is why Inspiring Communities was created – to help fill the gap and to connect people and communities working in locally-led ways and build a national movement for change.

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ChangeAbility Inc.

When you need support and counselling, finding the right place to go can be a challenge. For folks in Wairarapa there’s a place where there’s always a welcoming smile and professional counsellors to meet with.

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Growing generations of great gardeners

How do you get young people interested in the food they eat? By showing them how it all works – from plant to plate.

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PNSV distributes free soup on Saturday nights

A quarter-century of community love

For the last 25 years the team at Palmerston North Street Van Inc. (PNSV) have been out in the community every Saturday night in Palmerston North, giving out hot drinks and food, and keeping people safe.

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A red rope children's play structure

Climbing the walls in Levin

Finding the right play equipment for a busy community takes time and effort, and the team at Levin Adventure Park Charitable Trust were keen to start climbing the walls – in the best possible way.

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Designing school pride

How do you maintain school pride without a regular uniform? The students at Koputaroa School have come up with a solution that enables them to represent their school with pride.

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Levelling the playing field

The benefits of playing sports and being outside are well-documented for children of all ages. Having the right pitch to play on is key these days, and Heretaunga Intermediate wanted to offer increased opportunities to its local community.

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A group of artists from across the globe gather together for the SeaWalls Tairawhiti Artivation

Painting a brighter future

Community art projects don’t just happen by themselves – they need a team of dreamers, believers, and creators, and someone to ignite the spark. Add in a sense of purpose – to highlight ocean conservation – and it seems like an insurmountable dream.

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People in an inflatable boat, used to support waka taurua, prepare their support ropes

Keeping safe and active on the water

How do you grow a love of the sea, and keep active at the same time? By learning how to sail traditional waka, people of all ages are discovering skills and a passion for the environment they never knew they had.

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Rowan House front entrance

Answering the call

When the team at Rowan House needed to upgrade their call bell system, they applied to Eastern & Central Community Trust (ECCT) for funding to help make it happen.

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a group of teenagers facing the camera, some with thumbs up, all smiling

Bringing theatre to the regions

How do you bring all the facets of professional theatre to life for young people? The team at Young & Hungry Arts Trust have found a way to bring theatre to the regions with their tour of schools – firing up imaginations and challenging thinking along the way.

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group of people sitting around a table talking

Consolidating community connections for a wonderful Wairarapa

If you’re part of a community group doing great stuff, it’s often hard to work out who else in your area is doing similar work and how they’re doing it.

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Groups of people waiting for BBQ food served by local policemen

Pumping positive energy into Horowhenua youth

How do you turn around statistics in an area known for crime? For the last five years the Taitoko community in Horowhenua have been collaborating with others to turn the tide on crime, and it’s shown some stunning results.

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young Chinese girl and her mother seated on the ground with items to build Chinese lanterns

Creating space for a diverse community in Manawatu

With aging facilities and an increasingly diverse population in its region, the Manawatu Chinese Association devised a plan to create a more effective space to foster intercultural understanding.

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two women standing in front of the Dannevirke Toy Library sign

Dannevirke community Toy Library

With the cost of everything skyrocketing, how do you keep young children affordably amused? Dannevirke community Toy Library has been a go-to resource for the community for 35 years, and it’s cemented a place in the hearts of Tararua’s children. 

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two men with mountain bikes standing in front of sign promoting Adventure Wairoa Mountainbike Park

Racing to new adventures in Wairoa

Up until now Wairoa hasn’t had a reputation for adventure sports – but a new mountain biking park aims to make it a destination of choice for locals and tourists alike.

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SuperGrans Tairawhiti Gisborne sign at sunset with pink and yellow clouds above and buildings towards the back

Not all superheroes wear capes

Life can throw up all kinds of challenges, and sometimes you need a guiding hand to help navigate the storms. SuperGrans Tairawhiti is leading the way in their region, helping whanau improve their daily lives with practical help.

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