It's been a big month for TECT funding, with the local trust approving around $2.3 million in grants towards a wide range of facilities and initiatives in our region.
From a pontoon and playground equipment to a new surf rescue base and multipurpose sports facility, TECT Chairperson Bill Holland says the funding impacts every corner of the community.
"It has been one of our largest funding rounds with numerous grants for community facilities and projects of regional significance being approved. These facilities and projects often require a considerable amount of funding to get off the ground, and that's where TECT plays a vital role.
"We're proud to support so many of the sports clubs, lifesaving services, and community groups who are making our region a better place to live. They impact every one of us, our friends and our family – it's fantastic TECT funding can be a part of that."
Omanu Beach Charitable Trust received the largest of the grants in May, with $500,000 in TECT funding approved for a new surf rescue facility.
Discussions with Tauranga City Council, Omanu Beach Surf Life Saving Club and Surf Life Saving NZ–Eastern Region, have led to a collaborative approach to construct a purpose-built facility in Mount Maunganui to accommodate their joint needs.
The new facility will accommodate a range of activities and uses including vehicle and surf rescue equipment storage, and will also be used as a training facility for all surf lifesaving clubs in the region including instructing new lifeguards, first aid courses, IRB development weekends, and surf sports training camps.
Donal Boyle, Omanu Beach Charitable Trust Trustee, says the new centre should be open in April or May 2022.
"The rescue base will provide a main hub for Surf Life Saving NZ - Eastern Region to provide support to the 19 surf clubs in the Eastern Region, and will be used as a base in major Search and Rescue incidents.
"The centre will provide Omanu Beach Surf Life Saving club additional storage facility for overflow equipment as the current building does not meet its needs. Additionally, the building will provide Mt Maunganui Bridge Club a new clubroom for their members, and outside of their playing days the clubrooms will be available to community groups to utilise.
"Receiving the funding from TECT was a huge relief and will allow the Trust to complete the project within budget. We received funds from the Government's Provisional Development Unit for shovel-ready projects, and TECT has been the sole funder other than that to get us over the line.
"Since the Omanu Beach Charitable Trust first planned the facility over 18 months ago, additional costs have seen the project expand and this additional funding will cover unforeseen increases. We appreciate the work TECT does for the community and supporting community project like ours."
Another significant grant of $200,000 was approved for Greerton Marist Recreation & Community Sports Club to upgrade their clubrooms.
The clubrooms are a key asset to the community, providing a venue for both outdoor recreational activities and indoor conferences and events. The funding will go towards bringing the kitchen up to a semi-commercial standard, modernising the shower and toilet areas, and updating the main function room. Exterior work will also include upgrading spouting and roof repairs.
Talor Duncan, Greerton Marist Treasurer, says the clubrooms were state of the art when they were built back in 1991, and now 30 years on, it's time for an upgrade.
"This work is necessary to preserve our asset and to ensure our community facility remains relevant for the next 30 years. This funding will ensure that our facility is there for future generations to utilise and enjoy within our community.
"Our club's refurbishment has been talked about within our committee for the last seven or eight years, so it's extremely pleasing to finally see our grant application submitted. Our club is ecstatic to receive such significant financial support from TECT. We are energised and committed to ensure our project is a success for our members and our wider community."
YWAM Ships Aotearoa was another successful recipient of TECT funding, with $27,000 approved towards a new pilot initiative providing dental care to low-income adults.
YWAM Ships Aotearoa work to empower a healthy future for isolated communities throughout the Pacific. They use a specifically equipped medical aid ship, in partnership with pacific governments, to offer free health and wellbeing services to isolated communities in the Pacific.
The Covid-19 lockdowns and border restrictions have kept their ship MV YWAM Koha berthed in Tauranga for a longer period, and this has provided an opportunity for YWAM to look at what they can do closer to home and focus on engaging with Maori and migrant communities locally.
YWAM will use the dental container on the ship to launch a 5-week pilot programme focused on providing dental care to the Welcome Bay, Te Puke and Eastern Bay of Plenty communities.
YWAM Ships Aotearoa Managing Director Marty Emmett says the programme, which begins in June, will seek to redress health inequities, providing primary health services as well as training and education.
"Our Trinity Koha Dental Clinic will offer essential primary dental services including x-rays, examination, straightforward extractions, cleaning, restorations, preventative treatment and oral health education. We expect to treat around 400 patients.
"TECT's funding is essential for us in the delivery of this pilot project as it has given us assured funding to enable to guarantee the dental services. We have been able to upgrade equipment, such as a steriliser, to bring our dental container up to compliance with New Zealand codes."