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Trust Grants Largest Amount Of Any One Year

Central Lakes Trust (CLT) closes its 20th financial year, 31 March 2021, having granted $9.45 million into the Central Lakes community, the largest amount granted in any one financial year the Trust has operated.

Trust chair, Linda Robertson says, “Prudent investment has allowed CLT to maintain a healthy and growing grants budget. It is however the community members that drive the projects and causes we see across the board table and it is these groups that enable the Trust to meaningfully contribute to charitable causes at the heart of the community’s needs.”

“This grants round is no different,” she states.

Funds of over $500K were granted to 11 charitable organisations this March to close out the Trust’s 20th year.

Among them, Southern Wellbeing Trust received $40,000 for a new pilot programme to address mental health concerns in our community due to COVID-19.

Central Lakes Trust’s chief executive, Susan Finlay says, “The COVID-19 pandemic has had unprecedented impacts on the social and economic wellbeing of our residents particularly in Queenstown Lakes.

Supporting our communities to be better equipped to navigate the challenges of the post COVID landscape, has been a focus for Central Lakes Trust over the past year. “The challenges our community faces due to COVID, are still very real,” she says.

Southern Wellbeing Trust co-founder, Anna Dorsey says, “We could see first-hand the pressure COVID-19 was adding to local health and social services, and how big a challenge this was going to be for our communities. We felt compelled to do something,” she says.

GP Dr Tim Rigg and Ms Dorsey set Southern Wellbeing Trust up last September 2020.

The Trust’s first priority is to raise mental health literacy, particularly among the communities who have been hardest hit in the last 12 months. A pilot project will bring an evidence-based mental health education programme into the community. From April, the pilot will upskill local non-clinical facilitators from these communities so that they can deliver mental health education workshops to their peers.

Ms Finlay says, “We look forward to following its progress as it rolls out, initially in the Queenstown Lakes, but hopefully in time to our wider region”.

In addition, an $8,000 COVID-19 top-up to the Emergency Heating Fund, administered by Presbyterian Support Otago was granted to ensure those in need do not go cold this winter.

The Cromwell Combined Society of Arts & Crafts Inc. can also look forward to being warmer as they too receive funding towards an improved heating system for their pottery building.

LUMA is set to return to the Queenstown Botanic Gardens this year, after the Southern Light Project was cancelled due to COVID-19. LUMA receives $88,000 towards the running of their Queens Birthday weekend event. The event has gained a wide reputation and is now a cornerstone arts and culture events in the area. Entry to this year’s event is $6 per person and free for those under 12 years.

Duncan Forsyth, LUMA chair says, "LUMA in 2021 will be back, we are thrilled to announce that this will be a magical mystical return to the Queenstown gardens. Thanks to our many partners & the hundreds of people who help organise the festival however particular thanks goes to our principal backers In Central Lakes Trust. Due to CLT's continuing support throughout the last year we will be bringing kiwi artists to the fore in 2021 like never before including the largest schools and emerging artists programme to date. Due to demand a ticketing system will be introduced this year so to ensure you don't miss out get in early, www.luma.nz

Since the Trust commenced 20 years ago, it has distributed over $118 million into the community. A total of $9.45m of the $9.40 million grants budget for the 2020/21 financial year has been allocated, utilising the 5% contingency the Trust allows for in a year.


Project grants
Clyde PlaycentreWhare Playhouse$1,650
Cromwell Combined Society of Arts & Crafts Inc.Improved Heating System for Pottery Building$851
LUMALUMA Southern Light Project 2021$88,000
QLDC Sport & RecreationArtificial turf for Queenstown Events Centre$250,000
Wanaka Search & RescueTraining & Equipment 2021$30,000
Operational / Programme grants
Blue Light Central LakesBLAST 2021$1,370
Disability Information ServiceMobile Service 2021/22$12,010
Southern Wellbeing TrustGoodYarn Community Prog 2021/22$40,000
Street SmartStreet Smart 2021/22$12,000
Volunteer SouthOperational Grant 2021/22$70,000
CLT Initiatives
Presbyterian Support OtagoCOVID-19 Emergency Heating Fund $8,000
FINANCIAL YEAR END - 31 March 2021:$9,454,900

Values shown for multiyear grants are for the specified year only.


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 assets and enrich lives by supporting our community.

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 $431m, and has distributed more than $118m into a wide range of community projects and services throughout the Central Lakes area.

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