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Energy company supports preservation of industry heritage

24 September 2019

Energy company owner supports preservation of key industry heritage

It seems apt, energy company owner, Central Lakes Trust will support the replica construction of the Bullendale Phoenix Mining Company's hydro electric power plant, which saw the first commercial use of electricity in New Zealand in 1886 in the remote high country north of the former Skippers settlement.

Wakatipu Heritage Trust are to construct a replica of the powerhouse structure, and restore and preserve the surviving equipment, at the remote site. This power plant, was perhaps the inspiration for the subsequent establishment of the Teviot Electric Power Board and the Otago Central Electric Power Board, assets of which were bestowed to Central Lakes Trust in 2000.

With the electricity reforms of the 1990’s Otago Central Electric Power Board sold its lines and retail business, retaining the generation business, now Pioneer Energy, wholly owned by Central Lakes Trust. “We look forward to seeing the restoration and preservation of this unique piece of our history,” says Trust Chief Executive, Susan Finlay.

In addition, Queenstown’s 2019 Diwali Festival celebration with the support of Central Lakes Trust will take place on 13 October. The free festival now in its fourth year, has grown from meagre beginnings to 700 attendees last year, with an expected 1,000 this year.

Moving from the Queenstown Memorial Hall to the Events Centre to accommodate growth, the event is the Indian festival of lights, one of the most popular Indian festivals celebrated around the world. It symbolises the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance.

“There are an estimated 2,000 local Indian and Fijian Indian’s living within the district. It is fantastic to see the growth of this event, clearly signifying the growing diversity of our region,” Finlay says.

The youth trusts also receive support for their operations.

Cromwell Youth Trust having brought on a new lead youth worker, Rhys Smith has seen a 200% increase in youth participation numbers for their services.

“The operation has been re-invigorated”, says Trust Grants Advisor, Martin Smith. “They are actively promoting its services and engaging with local business people, increasing the profile of the youth trust in the community,” he says.

“Rhys brings not only a wealth of experience, but also a passion and drive that has already seen the establishment of a new website, streamlined services and a future outlook that will take Cromwell Youth Trust to the next level in terms of operational capacity and development opportunities for youth in Cromwell in 2019 and beyond,” Smith says.

Meanwhile the Alexandra and Districts Youth Trust receives funding to support their operational programme, which is extending some services into the Teviot Valley, following the ceasing of that trust’s operations.

Central Otago Living Options Charitable Trust receive funding towards the purchase of an additional house to be used for much needed disability accommodation and respite care in Alexandra. The Trust runs six houses for the same purpose, two of these purchased with assistance from Central Lakes Trust.

“Living Options purchases the house, makes all the necessary alterations and adaptions for people with disabilities and rents them at below market rates to provide security of a permanent and comfortable home”, says Mat Begg, Grants Manager for Central Lakes Trust.

“They currently support thirty five people across their Day Centre and the supported living houses, but have waiting lists for the houses.”

The new house will also have a respite care room, where those disabled in the community can seek respite for their families, coming to the facility for a short period, while a carer may be ill, or need a break.

“This service is invaluable, families who can devote their time caring for loved ones needs, some respite, however little can make a world of difference”, Begg says.

Central Otago Queenstown Trails Network Trust are allocated the annual interest from the funds granted for the maintenance of the trails network. This fund, unable to be accessed until the trails networks are completed, accumulates interest, which is annually allocated back to the fund.

Total grants approved by the Board of Central Lakes Trust for the financial year is just under $7.0 million of the $9.1 million grants budget.


Project grants

Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust Diwali 2019 $6,530

Central Otago Living Options Charitable Trust Disability accommodation/respite care house $262,500

Central Otago Regional Choir Incorporated Spring 2019 and Autumn 2020 Concert Series $6,410

Central Otago Queenstown Trails Network Trust Annual interest toward track maintenance fund $114,450

Litefoot LiteClub – Otago $6,192

Roman Catholic Parish of Alexandra Church Electrical, Heating & Exterior Lighting upgrade $10,000

Roxburgh Bowling Club Shade shelters $14,400

Southern Lakes Arts Festival Trust Aspiring Conversations 2020 $12,650

Wakatipu Heritage Trust Dynamo restoration project $112,488

Wanaka Community Hub Paving and laying as per resource consent $42,280

Warbirds Over Wanaka Airshows Ltd Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow 2020 $60,000

Operational / Programme grants

Remarkable Cancer Gym Charitable Trust Remarkable Cancer Gym Charitable Trust $10,000
Alexandra and Districts Youth Trust Operating Grant - Youth Trust $118,800
Cromwell Youth Trust Operational Budget 2020 $99,678

TOTAL: $876,378


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 $400m, and has distributed more than $99m into a wide range of community projects and services throughout the Central Lakes area.


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