A key role for lo­cal knowl­edge

The Northland Age - - Local News -

Com­mu­nity and Vol­un­tary Sec­tor Min­is­ter Peeni Henare was key­note speaker at the North­land Foun­da­tion’s end-of-year event, on the sub­ject of gov­ern­ment and busi­ness help­ing char­i­ta­ble funds grow.

Mr Henare, who grew up in Whanga¯rei, said around 1.2 mil­lion New Zealan­ders vol­un­teered, and 27,000 char­i­ties were reg­is­tered around the coun­try.

Com­mu­ni­ties needed to know and act on what was best for them­selves, he said, cit­ing Whanga¯rei as an ex­am­ple of a town that knew its own chal­lenges.

The gov­ern­ment was ex­plor­ing how char­ity tax regimes could sup­port com­mu­nity en­deav­ours, he said, while he had been gained in­spi­ra­tion from the So­cial En­ter­prise World Fo­rum.

The theme of the func­tion was en­cour­ag­ing busi­ness part­ner­ships.

North­land Foun­da­tion chair­man Richard Ay­ton ex­plained to the gath­er­ing of busi­ness and com­mu­nity lead­ers that his or­gan­i­sa­tion had taken many of its cues from the Tin­dall Foun­da­tion, one of the first to ap­pre­ci­ate the im­por­tance of build­ing part­ner­ships be­tween busi­nesses, char­i­ties and gov­ern­ment.

The func­tion fo­cused on ap­peal­ing for fi­nan­cial be­quests.

“North­land is of­ten as­set-rich but cash-poor, so peo­ple set­ting up be­quests while they are liv­ing is a good way to help the com­mu­nity,” Mr Ay­ton said.

Some be­quests to char­i­ties in North­land ended up go­ing to a na­tional body and did not di­rectly reach the re­gions, how­ever, so the plea was to “fix some se­ri­ous holes in North­land’s com­mu­nity” and steer the money away from be­ing “na­tion­alised”.

North­land Foun­da­tion’s point of dif­fer­ence was to care­fully in­vest be­quests so the cap­i­tal was re­tained in per­pe­tu­ity, the in­ter­est be­ing re­turned to the com­mu­nity over decades.

North­land Foun­da­tion man­ager Greta Buchanan said the or­gan­i­sa­tion had suc­cess­fully grown funds, in­clud­ing the Kauri Fund for Sport North­land, ac­cru­ing in­ter­est of 11 per cent last fi­nan­cial year.

The foun­da­tion cur­rently had $12 mil­lion in be­quests com­mit­ted, and man­aged a fund of around $1 mil­lion. So far $4.6 mil­lion had been granted to lo­cal com­mu­nity and health causes.

Brian Kerr and Heidi Find­ley, from Craigs In­vest­ment Part­ners, which spon­sors Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tions of NZ, also gave a pre­sen­ta­tion about how in­vest­ment helps char­i­ties.

The North­land Foun­da­tion, which was es­tab­lished as the North­land Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion in 2004 and re-launched un­der its cur­rent name in 2015, han­dles a range of funds and grants, in­clud­ing pay­roll giv­ing, cor­po­rate giv­ing and be­quests, with the fo­cus on build­ing per­ma­nent funds.

It has close re­la­tion­ships with the Tin­dall Foun­da­tion, Sport North­land and North­land DHB, in par­tic­u­lar Project Prom­ise, which sup­ported cre­at­ing the Jim Car­ney Can­cer Treat­ment Cen­tre in Whanga¯rei. The Kahuku­raariki Trust, the Nga¯tikahu ki Whangaroa post­set­tle­ment gov­er­nance en­tity, legally formed in De­cem­ber last year, plans to host a se­ries of meet­ings in the North.

The first will be at Waitaruke Marae on Satur­day (De­cem­ber 15) start­ing at 11am, trust chair Dr Ella Henry say­ing it was hoped that the meet­ings would “be­gin a path­way to work­ing with the peo­ple on the land and seek­ing in­put into fu­ture so­cial and eco­nomic devel­op­ment strate­gies for the tribe”.

“We may have set­tled the claim, but we have yet to em­bark on a set of strate­gies that will bring real and mean­ing­ful ben­e­fits to our peo­ple on the land, and for all the tribe,” she said.

“De­spite con­flicts in the past, I am op­ti­mistic we can move for­ward. This is an ex­cit­ing time for Nga¯tikahu ki Whangaroa.”

The trustees, who were ap­pointed in May, are Dr Henry (Man­ga­towai Marae), busi­ness­man (and deputy chair­man) Norm McKen­zie (Waitaruke), lo­cal busi­ness­peo­ple, San­dra Hei­hei (Tae­maro) and Roger Kingi (Te Ko­manga), Ma¯ori ed­u­ca­tor Makere Karatea (Otan­garoa), con­sul­tant Glen­dith Sam­son (Waima­hana), and MWDI chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Teresa Tepa­nia-Ash­ton (Wai­hapa).

PIC­TURE / SUP­PLIED

Com­mu­nity and Vol­un­tary Sec­tor Min­is­ter Peeni Henare (left) and North­land Foun­da­tion chair­man Richard Ay­ton at the end-of-year func­tion.

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