In 2017, after many years of positive returns on our investments, the WCT Board took the decision to establish and distribute a special fund of $6.5m. This fund, set up to provide larger grants and fund in innovate ways across the Wellington region, was to be distributed over three to four years.
After initial consultations with local government leaders, central government, community and not-for-profit leaders and our philanthropic friends, several one-off large grants were made. These grants, totalling just over $1.95m, went to iconic, well-loved initiatives or organisations that have had or will have a lasting impact for the people of the Wellington region. They are:
$303,500 for Zoo hospital equipment for The Nest Te Kohanga.
$500,000 for general operating costs
$500,000 for Wellington Town Hall refurbishment.
$500,000 for predator trapping on Wellington’s South West Coast to enable kiwi population to be reintroduced and flourish in this area.
$150,000 for restoration of the Baring Head Lighthouse compound.
$407,000 for installing two solar arrays, the income from the which will be disseminated through small grants to the Ōtaki community to address energy disadvantage and support sustainable initiatives in the local community.
In addition to these large one-off grants, the Board established three spend down funds*, these are:
- The LIFT Fund to enhance the capability of the not-for-profit sector in the Wellington region. ($1,000,000)
- The Mana Whenua Fund to work with Mana Whenua in the Wellington region to support their aspirations. ($1,000,000)
- The Climate Fund to work with local and national environmental groups to fund and support local initiatives to mitigate against, and adapt for, climate change in the Wellington region. ($2,100,000).
*While the LIFT Fund is up and running both the Mana Whenua Fund and the Climate Fund (working titles) are currently being established. WCT will have more information about these funds and how they will be distributed in 2020.