Our Strategic Vision

Rautaki Whakamua


Our vision as a community funder is for the south to thrive.

Our strategic vision provides the framework which Trustees use to make their granting decisions and outlines the direction the Trust takes for investing in our community.

We protect and grow the community’s fund and engage in effective and innovative grant making. For over 30 years we have provided a helping hand to hundreds of people and communities in the south and plan to continue to support generations to come.

Underpinning all that we do is our commitment to the Te Tiriti o Waitangi. We are committed to working in partnership with iwi, hapū, whānau and Māori communities to support their aspirations.

Our aim is to get more people participating to enhance personal and community wellbeing.  We understand the unique needs of places and communities within our region and the need to collaborate and partner to achieve greater impact together.

OUR FOUR POU (pillars)




OUR VALUES | Ngā Mātāpono


We will demonstrate our respect for our community by understanding the diversity of people and views.  We will show our respect and trust in the people we work alongside by being compassionate, sincere and loyal.


We will demonstrate our integrity by being impartial, transparent, honest, authentic, fair and by having sound ethics.


We will work together with our community and build relationships through shared experiences.  We will be accessible, inclusive, friendly, available and connected. 

We will keep an open mind and look forward to the future and support innovation so that our community can take the initiative and take advantage of opportunities.  We will recognise the intergenerational nature of the Trust. 


We will be connected to our community by keeping it at the heart of all that we do.  We are committed to collaborating and working together in partnership with our community.


We will demonstrate our responsibility by using our combined wisdom to be prudent, conscientious, diligent and socially responsible in our decision making to ensure appropriate guardianship of the Trust resources.  We will be accountable to our community.


We have achieved a lot together with our communities and partners since our current strategy was developed in 2015. However, significant events have led to unparalleled change in the last 8 years. ​

As a community trust we have a responsibility to invest and support communities in ways that will most contribute to enabling the South to thrive. ​

We want our investments in community to continue to be impactful, not only now but into the future, delivering long-lasting benefits for our communities. ​

Over the next few months, we will be undertaking a strategic review. ​

To inform our future strategy we will be out and about hearing from the diverse communities across the South, from Rakiura/Stewart Island to Whakatipu, Fiordland to West Otago and all the communities in between. 

We hope to learn more about the needs and aspirations for communities and the South. ​We are also undertaking:

  • engagement with Iwi and Māori
  • interviews with key stakeholders
  • a broadly available survey, and 
  • place based community hui & special interest hui.

​This will help us determine our future priorities so that we can continue to best support the needs and aspirations of communities in the South.​

Our Strategic Pou (Pillars)

Health & Wellbeing

Working with communities to ensure people participate, are supported, empowered and cared for


Higher priority:

  •  Promoting people’s wellbeing through prevention and early intervention with a focus on support for; early years (prenatal to 4yrs), parenting, new migrants and youth

  • Supporting vulnerable people with a focus on support for; the early years (prenatal to 4 years), older persons, people with a disability, at-risk families and high-needs populations

  • Supporting appropriate access to services for rural communities

  • Encouraging and supporting organisations to provide sustainable services through partnering, collaborating and the sharing of services presently delivered by a number of single focus organisations
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Active LIfestyles

Working with communities to ensure people participate, are supported, empowered and cared for


Higher priority:

  • Providing grassroots support for life-long active participation and engagement with a focus on support for; children (0-13 years), older persons, coaching and volunteering, inactive people and those experiencing barriers to participation

Medium priority:

  • Supporting appropriate and sustainable infrastructure (people, services and facilities) with a focus on; partnering and collaboration, consolidation/sharing of services and multi-use facilities

Lower priority:

  • Support elite sport with a focus on supporting the development of athletes, coaches and officials to excel and reach their potential, and sporting franchises operating within financially viable models
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Education - Mātauranga

Working with communities to ensure every person has the opportunity to achieve their potential


Higher priority:

  • Addressing issues of inequality that present barriers to learning and participating

  • Students identified by their school as being at risk of disengaging

Medium priority:

  • Supporting 0-5 year old children to have the best start with a focus on support for; engaging and supporting parents to be involved in their child’s learning and development, ensuring children are well prepared to succeed by the time they start school and providing support for identified vulnerable/at risk children

  • Raising the achievement of identified underachieving year 1-8 students

  • Second chance education

  • Preparation of students for life after schooling with a focus on support for; life skills and financial literacy, careers education, effective transitions/pathways and linkages between mātauranga/education and industry


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Arts, Heritage & Culture - Toi Ahurea

Recently we completed a refresh of our Toi Ahurea/Arts, Heritage and Culture Pou and it reinforced for us the importance of recognising that toi ahurea/arts, heritage, and culture, in all its diverse forms, is integral to our community, helping to define who we are, contributing to our wellbeing, our sense of identity, our economy and our vision for a Thriving South. From korero and engagement with Mana Whenua and a wide range of stakeholders we heard about the sector's strengths and challenges, and their priorities for our funding of toi ahurea/arts, heritage and culture. What we learned has shaped our thinking, our strategy and our refreshed Pou priorities which are outlined below.

You can find our more about the refresh, the outcomes and impact we hope to achieve through our investment in toi ahurea/arts, heritage and culture, and some of the proactive opportunities we are working on as a result of the refresh. 

Working together to recognise, celebrate and preserve our toi ahurea/arts, heritage, and culture

Higher priority:

  • Supporting a sustainable and resilient sector:
    • Strengthening organisation and sector capability and capacity
    • Supporting appropriate infrastructure for quality and responsive programming, enhanced engagement, and participation
    • Grow and develop emerging and established practitioners, artists, creatives, and leaders
  • Recognise and support whānau, hapū, Iwi and Māori communities’ aspirations and the protection, preservation, and expression of Māori cultural identity, arts and taonga:
    • Strengthen and promote ngā toi Māori (Māori arts) practice and engagement, both heritage and contemporary
    • Protect mātauranga Māori and other taonga (such as te reo, wahi tapu, tikanga)
    • More people understanding, experiencing, and celebrating Māori culture and identity
  • Encourage greater visibility, access to and reach of arts, heritage, and culture:
    • More diverse and responsive opportunities, experiences and places where a broader range of people engage and participate, particularly tamariki and rangatahi (children and youth) and underrepresented communities
    • Attract new participants and audiences through innovative initiatives and enhanced digital practices
  • Recognise and celebrate our cultural diversity:
    • Strengthen cultural identity through connecting and passing on cultural knowledge and traditions
    • Share and showcase diversity with the wider community
    • Encourage initiatives that support a sense of belonging and inclusion
  • Celebrate, share and care for our heritage, our taonga:
    • Recognise and protect Category 1 historic places and other unique heritage spaces, places, objects and stories with demonstrated significance to the South
    • More diverse opportunities for all to understand, access and engage with heritage, our taonga, and in new and innovative ways
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Community Development

Working with communities to ensure they are connected, successful, resilient and dynamic

Higher priority:

  • Alignment with local and regional development strategies and community development priorities

  • Support communities to adapt and respond to their changing demographics, environment, community services and facility needs

  • Support communities to welcome and respond to our region’s increasingly diverse population

  • Support communities to encourage community cohesion through opportunities that bring people together and provide a sense of belonging

Medium priority:

  • Supporting communities to identify their ideas, assets, capabilities, resources and opportunities – focusing on community-led development approaches, developing volunteers and community leaders

Lower priority:

  • Support communities to access relevant data and information to enable well informed community conversations
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Community Economic Development

Working with communities to ensure they are connected, successful, resilient and dynamic

Higher priority:

  • Alignment with local or regional development strategies and economic priorities

  • Ensuring we maximise the potential of all our region’s population

  • Recognising and supporting the growth of Māori economic development and local investment opportunities

  • Supporting the start-up of destinational events that bring added net economic benefit to the region

Lower priority:

  • Supporting infrastructure projects that provide a platform for economic activity

  • Supporting social enterprise that contributes to one or more of our priorities

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