Rotorua trust releases annual report - elections this year

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The Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust has awarded $10 million in grants, including $500,000 for Riding for the Disabled’s indoor riding centre in Ngongotaha.
The Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust has awarded $10 million in grants, including $500,000 for Riding for the Disabled’s indoor riding centre in Ngongotaha.

A near-record $10 million has been provided to local organisations in the last year by the Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust.

The trust has just released its annual report for the year ending March 31 and will hold its 22nd annual general meeting on July 21.

Last year's $10 million worth of grants was one of the largest contributions the trust has made to the community in its 22-year history, an increase of $7 million over the previous year.

Trust chairman Grahame Hall said the grants reaffirmed the trust's long-term commitment to Rotorua.

"We are extremely proud of the contribution the trust has been able to make on behalf of Rotorua and its people.
"Our mission is to contribute towards and support a more vibrant Rotorua community - the fact we have been able to support such a range of local projects this past year is hugely rewarding."

At the end of the 2014/15 financial year, the trust reported an accumulated income reserve of $13.4 million - a significant achievement following the impact of the Global Financial Crisis in preceding years, Mr Hall said.

"As a result, trustees made the decision to use some of this reserve to support a range of community initiatives that will have an enduring benefit for the region above and beyond the trust's general level of grants.

"Despite the significant contribution made to these projects, the value of the trust's perpetual capital reserve still increased from $131.9 million to $132.8 million, ensuring the reserve fund for the future was not compromised," he said.

Highlights from the past year include providing $500,000 for Riding for the Disabled's indoor riding centre and supporting the development of the Whare Aroha Care dementia care facility, both in Ngongotaha, and helping groups in Community House with grants close to $100,000 to relocate and continue operating.

The trust also provided $786,301 for the undergrounding of powerlines for the safety and beautification of the district and granted $250,000 for the WISE Healthy Homes scheme to insulate homes and help reduce health problems.

Mr Hall said last year's grants were, in part, the result of a wider growth strategy for the trust, with a focus on future-proofing investments for the long-term benefit of the community.

"The last couple of years have seen a number of changes internally, including operational reviews, appointing an independent external fund manager - Mercer (NZ) Limited - new financial reporting mechanisms and the appointment of a new trust manager.

"All these changes have been focused on future-proofing the organisation, including having the right structure, people and operations in place, to ensure we are in a solid position to weather any future international economic headwinds and continue to contribute to the Rotorua community."

Governance of the trust is overseen by six trustees who are elected by Rotorua people and who, in turn, actively engage with and support a diverse range of community stakeholders.

Every three years Rotorua residents have an opportunity to elect the people who represent them on the trust.

Nominations for trustees are open this year, from August 26 until September 23, with nomination forms available from the trust's office, or on its website at www.rotoruatrust.org.nz.

Voting is open from October 28 until November 19.

For more information, or to read the full Annual Report, visit the trust's website.

The trust's AGM will be held from 1pm on Thursday July 21 at Parksyde in Tarewa Place. The meeting will be preceded by light refreshments from 12.30pm.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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