Now’s the time for community spirit. Now’s the time for reaching out.

And heart-warmingly, TECT has come to the lockdown in both regards. It was a privilege to sit with the team as lockdown was about to dawn, to work out what our response to this COVID-19 crisis could be.

It was a privilege to be able to decide that TECT would offer a Rapid Response Fund to our not-for-profit sector, which was inevitably going to be hit hard. We have the excellent management of TECT over many years to thank for the ability to do this. The fund is at a state of maturity that allows for some flexibility in extraordinary times. We also have the community to thank, for being willing to direct the TECT funds into the community at large. Never has it been more needed.

The nimbleness of the TECT team, our relationships with other funders in our region such as Acorn Foundation, BayTrust and Tauranga City Council has been the envy on many other regions around New Zealand. The groundwork done pre-COVID-19 came into its own over the last few weeks.

TECT’s community role is a beacon of hope and inspiration in New Zealand and everyone in the Western Bay of Plenty should feel proud to have played their part in that. We can strengthen this role with your support, and I intend to keep doing my part in pushing that forward.

Twenty-one community groups in our region have already received a total of $180,000 in funding to help with shortfalls as a result of COVID-19.

TECT has also recently offered to match a $350,000 proposed Tauranga City Council contribution towards planning a nearly $100 million Memorial Park pool and leisure facility, which promises to create 347 jobs. The project is amongst the top priorities in the Council’s ‘shovel ready’ projects that have been put forward for the Crown Infrastructure Partners’ (CIP) new investment fund. This kind of collaboration is going to be required to stimulate our local economy into the future, to fund some of the ‘nice-to-haves’ that our Council is not able to fund. The $350,000 contribution from TECT could help secure $75 million in Government funding for the project.

Finally, I would like to say thank you, though that doesn’t even cut it, to the organisations in our community who are on the frontline. Those providing advice in times of high anxiety; those acting as a safeguard against increasing levels of violence under stress; those doing incredible work to protect vulnerable communities in healthcare and with the provision of desperately-needed food parcels; those continuing to lift our spirits during this unprecedented time, the strains of which are only just beginning.

This is where TECT can continue to provide a financial lifeline – support that will be so desperately needed as we go into uncharted economic territory over the coming months. 

Natalie Bridges
TECT Deputy Chairperson


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