Otago Community Trust

The Otago Community Trust is a philanthropic organisation which applies its Trust funds for charitable and other purposes which are of benefit to the community.

The Trust provides donations across the diverse sectors of art & culture, heritage, events, environment, education, sport and recreation and community activity and community wellbeing.

Since its beginning, the Trust has distributed in excess of $145 million to communities across Otago. You can find information about applying here.


Empowering Otago Communities 

Saving Flora & Fauna - Hollyford Conservation Project

The Otago Community Trust is pleased to have contributed towards the Hollyford Conservation Project, supporting the Hollyford Conservation Trust’s vision to rid this extraordinary area of the rats, stoats and possums in order to allow the forest to once again flourish and for the bird populations to increase.

In September 2014, the Otago Community Trust donated $90,000 to the Hollyford Conservation Trust – Te Roopu Manaaki o Whakatipu Waitai to assist with the installation, operation and maintenance of an extensive pest control project throughout a “sanctuary” of 2500 hectares at Martins Bay in the lower Hollyford Valley and the Hollyford National Park.

This donation enabled the Trust to begin ground work on its ecological project which saw an extensive trap and bait station network established over the stage one 900 hectare area. During stage one over 900 bait stations were interspersed across the network. Now that the full project area has been developed 2300 bait stations are in place. Monitoring carried out in late 2015 provided early indications that possums were now well under control in the initial first stage area. Over the course of two operations 52 possums were found dead next to bait stations – 47 in the first operation and only 5 in the second. Stoat and rat numbers are also on the decline.

The flora and fauna of the lower Hollyford Valley is unparalleled anywhere in New Zealand. There are an extensive range of habitats and ecosystems enmeshed in a small area. It is great to hear already anecdotal reports from Hollyford visitors that bird numbers appear to be on the increase. You can learn more about the Hollyford Conservation Project here



Closing Date - Large Donations $100k +

The Otago Community Trust has two rounds of applications for donations over $100,000; the next closes on the 30th of September. For donation applications of this size, we advise that you ring the Trust office to discuss the project with a Donations Advisor before submitting the application. Decisions on the September donation round can be expected in December.

From the Trust

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Past Donations

Find out more about the local community projects we support through donations.

Latest News

The ADDAMS Family

  • 20-Jul-16
  • Success Stories

Musical Theatre Oamaru’s September 2015 production of 'The Addams Family' was “right up there with the best” and the audience clearly loved it... “They laughed and cheered throughout the performance and left the theatre singing snatches of the songs.”

Read more

Step Back in Time - Olveston Historic Home

  • 14-Jul-16
  • Success Stories

Earlier this year Olveston Historic Home collaborated with an education specialist and developed a new initiative to create learning experiences outside the class room. The suite of educational programmes introduces students to "Life in the House". These fully immersive programmes have been hugely popular with students, as they have had the opportunity to explore, enquire and engage with the histories and life at Olveston.

Read more

How to Apply

Annual Report 2015

2015 PDF 5852 KB