Nikau Foundation executive director Alice Montague, left, congratulates Murray Johnston, chairman of Wairarapa Land Search and Rescue, on a grant of $3000 for training. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

More than 50 people braved wild weather last week to celebrate 19 grants, totalling more than $30,000, that have been given out by the Nikau Foundation to Wairarapa causes in the past year.

Nikau Foundation’s new executive director, Alice Montague, said it was a delight to be in Wairarapa hearing from those who have benefited from Nikau’s grants.

It was because of the community’s generosity, she said, that Nikau was able to make such a significant difference to the region and would continue to do so for many years to come.

The Nikau Foundation is part of a world-wide network of community foundations which are set up to benefit a specific geographic area, in this case the greater Wellington region, including Wairarapa.

Nikau attracts endowment gifts, trusts and legacies, which are invested in perpetuity, with grants made from the income to benefit local causes and charities.

The days of running a flag up a pole to let search and rescue parties know a lost person has been found are long gone, according to Murray Johnston, chairman of Wairarapa Land Search and Rescue.

Just a couple of hours of training with helicopters, however, can run into costs in the thousands of dollars.

Johnston received a $3000 grant from the Nikau Foundation on behalf of Search and Rescue for training.

This grant enables volunteers to gain skills and practice with real equipment, giving them important experience.

The grants recognised at the event came from a range of individuals who have set up endowment funds with Nikau Foundation.

Nikau’s primary objective is to make a real and long-lasting difference in the region through encouraging generosity and philanthropy, so that people can give to what they care about, forever.

Among the grants were:

  • St Mark’s Church Carterton – Carterton District Endowment Fund – $1000 for the Seasons for Growth programme
  • Multiple Sclerosis Society – Henry and Eileen Wise Medical Charitable Trust – $4000 for a Field Worker in Wairarapa
  • Connecting Communities Wairarapa – Richard and Doreen Evans Charitable Trust – $3000 for Life Skills Support
  • Carterton Town and Development Group – Carterton District Endowment Fund – $2000 for Haumanu Community Gardens
  • Greytown Music Group – Barbara Milne Endowment Fund – $600 for the 2019 Concert Series
  • Muscular Dystrophy Association – Henry and Eileen Wise Medical Charitable Trust – $1000 for Wairarapa Member Support & Community Activities
  • Pae tu Mokai o Tauira – Richard and Doreen Evans Charitable Trust – $2500 for a research project for Wairarapa Moana heritage trail
  • Rangatahi to Rangatira Carterton – Carterton District Endowment Fund – $ 1000 for Holiday Programmes
  • Fab Lab Masterton – Elma Coxon Endowment Fund – $2500 for Sustainable community access to digital fabrication tools
  • New Zealand Land Search and Rescue – Zac Pearson Endowment Fund – $3000 for Wairarapa Training and Equipment
  • Cancer Society of New Zealand – Henry and Eileen Wise Medical Charitable Trust – $1500 for wigstands

There were also grants to Alzheimers Wairarapa; Wairarapa Community Centre Trust; Life Education Trust; Enliven Kandahar Home and Court, Masterton; Arbor House Trust, Greytown; Featherston Community Centre; Wairarapa Community Network; and Hospice Wairarapa.