Rotorua Continuing Care Trust has given an assurance to the Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust that its $750,000 grant, provided for the Whare Aroha dementia care facility, will be protected under the terms of the trust's new lease with Pukeroa Oruawhata.



The Trust had raised concerns about the security and validity of its funding - intended for the charitable trust and community benefit - following the Whare Aroha project's sale to Pukeroa Oruawhata.



The boards of RCCT and the Trust met on Monday September 26 to discuss the project's new ownership structure and the potential implications of the recent changes.



Trust chairman, Grahame Hall said the new ownership structure was significantly different from that proposed by Whare Aroha at the time the grant was approved, therefore potentially impacting the charitable status of the grant.

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"We have to act responsibly as guardians of the community's money to ensure that we can deliver a long-term financial legacy for the benefit of Rotorua. As such, it was appropriate for us to seek further information about the recent developments at Whare Aroha, and to highlight the potential implications relating to our grant for the project.

"Following our discussions on Monday, we have received a verbal assurance about the protection of this grant under the new arrangement. Final confirmation of the Trust's position will be discussed at its October trustee's meeting, following written confirmation of this assurance."

The trust chairman, Ron Finn said the community funding component (including the Rotorua Trust grant) is recognised in the lease agreement with Pukeroa Oruawhata Trust, resulting in a significantly lower annual rental cost for Whare Aroha.

"The community will still benefit. This is a 'win-win' for all parties involved, but above all the building will be completed and leased as an innovative site and a New Zealand-first for the care of those with dementia," said Mr Finn.