Chair's report 2016—Pūrongo a te Tumuaki
Condensed from Chair's Report to AGM 2016
Tēnā Koutou Katoa. In its 76th year, the Trust is guided by a vision of a socially just and inclusive Aotearoa New Zealand.
This means a society in which everyone has a good quality of life, fair treatment and a voice, even people in those communities which have the fewest choices. Our specific but not sole focuses are on Māori Development, and Disadvantaged Children and their Families. Using our limited resources and relative freedom from the constraints faced by many funders, we want to contribute to long-term change.
It is inspiring to meet the social change makers who lead the organisations we work with, and hear their stories. This is the most rewarding part of our work. We do what we can to support their work through being the most effective funder we can. We seek to establish positive, supportive relationships; and look for opportunities to add value in other ways.
Alongside the grants we make, the team puts some funding, and many hours of effort, into our targeted programmes, Te Käwai Toro and Connecting Education and Communities, our main focus areas.
The Peter McKenzie Project (PMP) will next year seek to attract and generate ideas to reduce child and family poverty rates. While PMP has some funds to use, its point of difference is its 20-year time frame: this is enabling us to consider a long-term project, to experiment and learn. In philanthropy we often talk about complex problems needing long-term dedication; this is an opportunity. Executive Director Iain Hines will over time make this project the primary focus of his work.
The Trust has long been concerned by the number of New Zealand children who are disadvantaged by poverty, and has continued its involvement in the Child Poverty Monitor. It is absurd that in a relatively wealthy country with a tradition of fairness, one in four children live in households below the internationally recognised poverty line.
This year we farewell two valuable Trustees, Lyn Holmes and David Vance. We also welcomed to the Board, Christine Scott, Chelsea Grootveld, Jane Montgomery and Anna Gibson. Anna is a great-grandchild of Sir John McKenzie, and joins her cousin Chris McKenzie on the Board.
After nearly 20 years, our Administrator Alison Glen is retiring in February. Alison has been unfailingly helpful and supportive of Trustees and staff. We wish her the very best for her next adventures.
There are many who make the Trust’s work possible. The groups that we support give us back so much, in advice and perspective but above all in inspiration. Volunteers are vital too – Board and Committee members, others (including Rotarians) throughout the country, and many more who give freely of their advice and support. Our investors at Rangatira and Jayar are also crucial. Big thanks too to the small staff team.
Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa.
Patrick Cummings, Chair