Cultivating Community - Otago Community Trust Distributes $1.2million in June Grants Round

8 Jul 2024

Media Release

Otago Community Trust has announced the distribution of $1,226,281 in grants to various community projects across the Otago region for the June grants round. This significant funding injection supports a range of initiatives, from cultural celebrations to environmental conservation as well as maternal health support.

A major beneficiary is the Waitaki Whitestone Geopark Trust, receiving $115,000 for the Vanished World Redevelopment Project. This ambitious undertaking will transform the Vanished World Centre in Duntroon into a dynamic educational hub within the UNESCO Global Geopark, showcasing the region's unique geological heritage and cultural significance. As a key resource of the Waitaki Whitestone Geopark Trust, the revitalised centre will not only preserve and promote the area's natural and cultural heritage but will also be a basis for further research on sustainable resource use, climate change mitigation, and natural hazard risk reduction.

“The redeveloped centre will provide the Waitaki Whitestone UNESCO Global Geopark with a future focused facility that provides educational and cultural resources. This will support schools, residents and tourists to understand the exciting evolution of the land both from a cultural perspective and a scientific perspective” says Helen Jansen, Waitaki Whitestone Geopark Trustee.

The Kiribati community is gearing up for a vibrant celebration in Cromwell - Pasifika Central Otago received a $1,000 grant to support the Kiribati Community annual Independence Celebration. The event, marking the 45th anniversary of Kiribati's independence, will feature traditional dances, songs, and a feast showcasing Kiribati culture. The celebration aims to strengthen cultural bonds, connect New Zealand-born Kiribati children with their heritage, and foster a sense of community among Kiribati members scattered across the region.

“The rich culture of the small Pacific Island Nation of Kiribati is being brought to life in Cromwell, as celebrations for Kiribati Language Week will take place in Central Otago from 11th -13th July” says Meraine Rotaria, from Pasifika Central Otago. “The funding from Otago Community Trust contributes towards the celebration at Bannockburn Hall, where families and friends will come together to showcase our traditional dance”.

In the Clutha District, the Blessed Box initiative was granted $5,000 to continue its vital support for new mothers. Now in its fourth year, this heartwarming project provides essential items and prepared meals to mothers with newborns, addressing the challenges of the postpartum period while strengthening community bonds.

“Blessed Box connects the community to support and nourish mums in the postpartum period through the gift of food” says Olivia Mathieson, Chair Person of Blessed Box. “We are so thankful for the generous grant from OCT. It will allow us to continue blessing all postpartum mothers in the Clutha District in a time they need the support most.” Recognising that motherhood, especially in the early stages, can be particularly demanding, this project aims to support maternal physical and mental health, which in turn benefits the entire whānau.

Sports and recreation also featured prominently in this funding round. The Trust allocated $994,050 to a wide range of sports organisations as part of its annual Regional Sports round. Beneficiary sports include netball, rugby, snow sports, volleyball, table tennis, and athletics. Additionally, grants were made to the NZ Special Olympics Lower South Island Snow Sports 2024 ($5,000) and the Merino Muster cross-country skiing event ($6,000), underlining the Trust's commitment to supporting diverse sporting activities across the region.


Otago Community Trust Grants, June 2024



Alexandra and Districts Youth Trust



Pasifika Central Otago



Mainland South BMX Assn Inc



Blessed Box Charitable Trust



Central Otago Hockey Assn



Queens High School



Amputee Society of Otago & Southland Inc



Friends of Burns Reserve Trust



Macandrew Bay Boating Club Inc



Music4Us Puoro Mō Taatou Music Education Trust



Saturday Morning Music Classes (Dunedin) Soc Inc



Northern Junior Association Football Club Inc



Football South



Otago Cricket Assn Inc



Otago Touch Assn Inc



Otago Badminton Assn Inc



Otago Hockey Assn (1990) Inc



Otago Rugby League Inc



Volleyball Otago



Otago Rugby Football Union Inc



Athletics Otago Inc



Sport Otago



Dunedin Ice Skating Club Inc



Otago Secondary Schools Sports Assn



Parafed Otago



Otago Rowing Association Inc



Tennis Otago Inc



Basketball Otago Inc



Otago Table Tennis Assn Inc



Mosgiel Piping and Dancing Society



Waitaki Whitestone Geopark Trust



Oamaru Poultry Pigeon & Canary Society



North Otago Rugby Football Union Inc



The Work Opportunities Trust



Otago Outdoor Education Trust



NZ Special Olympics Lower South Island Regional Council



Special Olympics New Zealand



Netball South Zone Inc



Golf Otago Inc



Gymnastics New Zealand



Squash Otago Inc



Otago Softball Assn Inc



Otago Academy of Sport Charitable Trust



Wānaka Search and Rescue Inc



Merino Muster Limited



Snow Sports NZ Inc