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Funding round bolsters region’s arts and heritage

3 September 2019

Old Cromwell Incorporated’s restoration project of the McNulty House receives $233,747 for the earthquake strengthening and restoration of this Heritage NZ listed building.

“The majority of the house will be set up to display how a family lived in the area in the 1880's and will be open daily to the public. The rear of the building will be functional storage and meeting space for the society,” says Chair, Helen Scoles, who goes onto to say “the meeting space will be made available to other community groups.”

“The Board is extremely appreciative of the continued support of Central Lakes Trust and is looking forward to eventually being able to open this significant building to the public. We believe it is important to retain and restore these old buildings so that future generations can appreciate what life was like in the early days of small towns like Cromwell”, she says.

Central Lakes Trust Chief Executive, Susan Finlay says the trust had previously assisted the Cromwell Community Board with the purchase of the house back in 2012, granting $376,250 towards its purchase.

“Old Cromwell Incorporated have committed substantial time and resource to restoring the surrounding grounds and carpark of McNulty House, as well as rezoning it from residential to heritage, to get to the point they are ready to preserve the building,” she says.

“This will make an excellent addition to the Old Cromwell precinct. Preserving our cultural and environmental heritage for future generations is a key priority area of the trust.”

“We have seen a number of heritage and environment and arts and cultural oriented grants this round,” she says.

The Miharo Group receive support towards the second year of the successful Central Lakes Polyfest. Last year’s event enabled all ages to participate in the Polyfest from early childhood right through to secondary school, while in years prior the only opportunity to attend events were in Invercargill or Dunedin.

Last year’s event saw 20 school groups attend, including three from Invercargill and one preschool from the region, this year 20 are already registered, including two preschools.

“We look forward to seeing the numbers flourish. We started in Invercargill with 20 groups, now we have 130,” says Miharo’s, Mandy Smith, organisers of the Polyfest.

“A Central Lakes Polyfest ensures inclusivity and participation from a young age, and is significant in promoting culture and the arts to the young of our district,” Finlay says.

The men of Arrowtown, like many regions around New Zealand, will too have a Menzshed.

“Successful in Alexandra on many levels, a Menzshed will become a fantastic asset for the Arrowtown community. The product they generate goes back into the community, it might be the picnic table your sitting at, or the mini library on a street corner, or the young boys they pass their skills on to; their impact is far reaching, aside of course, from the obvious social inclusion and wellbeing it promotes for its members,” says Mrs Finlay.

An oral history pilot project will be funded over the upcoming two years, to look to create and preserve an oral record of history within the region.

Oral history is the recording, preservation and interpretation of historical information, based on the personal experiences and opinions of the speaker.

“Many accounts of history, unique to their era, have been told over the years often to disappear as the generations pass, lost forever. There are a lot of people in the district who have a wealth of knowledge in relation to the history and heritage of Central Otago. This is an opportunity to document these unique stories and make them available for all,” says Central Otago Heritage Trust Coordinator, Alice Spiers.

“In addition, there is a need to develop new records based on current events, everyday life and traditions, as these oral histories are just as important to the collective memory of the region as our historic events.

“Should the pilot be successful, we hope to continue developing and adding oral histories to the Collection as well as installing listening booths in local museums and libraries and introducing an oral history schools programme,” Ms Spiers says.

Total grants approved by the Board of Central Lakes Trust for the financial year, including the commitments from years prior is at $6.1 million of the $9.1 million grants budget.


Project grants

Old Cromwell Incorporated McNulty House Restoration $233,747

Lake Hawea Community Centre Staging $6,000

Miharo Central Lakes Polyfest $10,000
Cromwell Youth Trust Re-Establishment of Cromwell Youth Trust $10,598

Arrowtown Menzshed Arrowtown Menzshed $54,786

Clyde Playcentre Replacing Playground Platform $1,015

The Tarras Community Church Charitable Trust Board Purchase and Strengthening of Tarras Church $19,200

Central Otago Heritage Trust Central Otago Oral History Pilot Project $8,345*

Alexandra Musical Society Lighting $7,000

Presbyterian Support Otago Van for Enliven Services in Wanaka $30,000

Operational / Programme grants

Snow Sports NZ Charitable Trust Remarkables Adaptive Programme $4,400
The Upper Clutha Sports Community Trust Festival of Sport and Speaker Series $3,560
Upper Clutha Lakes Trust Operational Grant 2019/20 $32,348

Wanaka Riding for the Disabled Horse hire 2019/20 $8,000

Central Otago Victim Support Operational Grant 2019/20 $9,167

TOTAL: $438,166

*Year one of a two year grant approved for $16,690


Central Lakes Trust is a charitable trust that grant funds for charitable purposes.

It is the largest philanthropic trust per capita in the Southern Hemisphere. The Trust purpose is to make a positive lasting contribution to the community by supporting charitable projects throughout Central Lakes; to enhance our community and the lives of the people within.

Since its inception in 2000 the Trust has grown its asset base from the $155m, bestowed by the Otago Central Electric Power Trust to assets totalling $388m, and has distributed more than $90m into a wide range of community projects and services throughout the Central Lakes area.


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