As another year comes to a close, it’s a great time to look back and reflect on our successes, lessons learned, and where we hope to head into the future.
I feel very privileged to be on the TECT board—as trustees we are in a unique position to learn about so many of the fantastic initiatives, facilities and events in our community that are helping our region thrive. We are proud to play a role in supporting these, so that the ever-increasing demands of our burgeoning region, its growing population and its next generation can be fulfilled.
Earlier this year we saw the opening of the University of Waikato Tauranga campus, which TECT contributed its largest ever grant of $15 million towards. The building signals the start of a transformational change for our region and we know it will have a significant impact on our community and economic development in the years to come.
In September we approved a funding application to the collective sum of $300,000 over two years, across eight community conservation groups. This application, facilitated by Bay Conservation Alliance, was a fantastic demonstration of collaboration and leadership in the environmental conservation space. We hope to see more applications coming through in the future that take a similar collaborative approach.
More recently the Bay Oval hosted its first test match, with the Black Caps vs England (and what a terrific win by the Black Caps that was!). TECT has supported the Bay Oval’s development for many years now, with $2.5 million in TECT funding helping shape the facility into the world-class cricket venue it is today.
And it’s not just the largescale projects where we see TECT’s impact in our community. Awhina House, Tauranga’s first women’s shelter, opened its doors to our community this year with the help of TECT funding. The Good Neighbour Kitchen was also established, breaking the cycle of food waste and providing training to those currently unemployed hands-on experience in a commercial kitchen; a fantastic initiative we were proud to get behind. We also supported the operating costs of many worthy community groups such as Surf Life Saving NZ, Alzheimer’s Society Tauranga and Homes of Hope; this funding provides a great level of assurance that these groups can continue to serve our community. There were also plenty of events that brought our community together, including the National Jazz Festival, Tauranga Arts Festival, and the TECT National Sevens; all supported by TECT with an aim to bring social and economic benefits to our region.
We look forward to seeing what the new year holds in store for the Trust, and how we can continue to support a thriving, caring and connected community here in the Western Bay of Plenty through our grant-making. Now at $1 billion, the TECT fund is one of the largest in the country, making transformational grants of around $9 million each year to our community. As trustees, we have a responsibility to secure this fund; maximising its benefit to the community in perpetuity, so that future generations can continue to prosper as the Trust was intended to do. On behalf of the board of trustees and the TECT team, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year.