Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust (TECT) is transitioning to a new standalone management structure under recently appointed general manager Wayne Werder.
TECT is the Bay of Plenty's biggest charitable trust and a major source of community project funding.
"The change is a natural evolution for TECT," said Mr Werder, who was previously chief executive of Sport Bay of Plenty.
TECT chairman Michael Cooney hoped the new structure would result in a more strategic decision-making process on distributing grants.
"We've in the past responded to applications on an ad hoc basis as they arose," he said. "There may now be a case for us to direct funding to causes that we think might be of a greater benefit to the community."
The new structure will bring to an end the long-standing role of Tauranga accounting firm BDO as TECT's main administrator, with the firm's managing director Fraser Lellman giving up the role of trust secretary. Mr Lellman said that BDO would continue to handle TECT's internal accounting, tax matters, reporting, and a lot of the internal administration.
In addition, one of the two long-standing BDO staff familiar to local community groups - grants administrator Jeanette Voss - has agreed to join the new TECT structure.
The other well-known face of the trust, operations and grants administrator Char Niles, has decided to remain with BDO. Her role will be filled by new TECT appointee Paula Hudson, who had worked with Mr Werder as operations manager at Sport BOP.
The new structure will become effective from April 1, with TECT moving into its own offices at The Hub, where BDO and law firm HOBEC have their offices.
"BDO has provided an excellent service to TECT for over 20 years, and the change has been very amicable," said Mr Werder.
"It's been talked about for a long time.
"Our goal is to make sure the transition is seamless for consumers."
Mr Lellman said he believed TECT was looking to establish a higher profile for the trust. BDO had been involved in TECT's administration since it was set up in 1993, initially through the predecessor accounting firm which became BDO.
"Over those years the organisation has developed and grown to a point now where the logical evolution was to set up a standalone management structure," Mr Werder said .
"All the staff now will be TECT staff."
However, the new operation will be run on a lean basis, with just the general manager and the two administrative positions.
Mr Werder is a former New Zealand squash representative and chairman of Squash New Zealand, with a strong background in community and not-for-profit organisations.
He has a Masters in Management Studies.
"My role for Sports BOP was working with community groups and trying to help sport and recreation groups, so from that perspective the role's fairly similar," he said.
The major legacy project Mr Werder faces is the decision on whether TECT will provide the base funding for a university campus in Tauranga, and trustees met this week for further discussions on the project.
"TECT is nearing a final decision on the campus," he said.