More than a third of $5 million earmarked for "the children of the eastern suburbs" has been spent.

In February, the South Brighton Residents' Association asked the city council where the donations had gone but was told they would need to contact the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust, which holds the money.

The trust has told Pegasus Post that $1.9 million has been distributed to seven recipients in the eastern suburbs.

The Youth Alive Trust received $534,000 for staff and programme costs and to repair its Seaview Rd hall.

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Trust manager James Ridpath said $416,000 was spent transforming the "old, dark" hall into a modern gym.

"There are hundreds of kids through our building every week now.

"The gym is used for basketball coaching, youth clubs, intermediate and teenage programmes, dance fitness classes, play groups. A lot more people use it for things we couldn't do before."

The other six organisations that benefited from the donation were Korowai Youth Well-Being, which was given $343,000 to renovate a youth training and health centre; Linfield Cultural Recreational Sports Centre, $388,980 to provide more Kiwisport programmes and support other sports clubs; Christchurch Primary Schools Cultural Festival Trust, $40,000; Linwood College, $100,000; and Aranui Youth and Community Centre, $500,000.

The new gym at the Youth Alive Trust in Seaview Rd has hundreds of young people using it each week. Photo / Youth Alive Trust Facebook
The new gym at the Youth Alive Trust in Seaview Rd has hundreds of young people using it each week. Photo / Youth Alive Trust Facebook

The remaining $3.1 million is earmarked for spending on the QE II Recreation and Sport Centre. That money is expected to be paid in instalments over the next two years.

Trust spokesman Steve Corbett said the money had been reinvested in the meantime, and the interest earned would go back into general funds held by the trust for earthquake appeal grants.

South Brighton Residents' Association chairman Hugo Kristinsson asked how appropriate it was for most of the donation to be put towards QE II, given the large insurance payout the city council received for it.

"They had $72 million insurance receivable," he said.

Kristinsson claimed that a good chunk of the QE II insurance payout was transferred to the planned $300 million metro sports facility in central Christchurch, when it should have been spent in the east.

The donation should not have been used to subsidise facilities in other parts of the city, he said.