Horowhenua New Zealand Trust

Logo for the Horowhenua New Zealand Trust logo.

Horowhenua District Council is tasked with enabling better economic wellbeing outcomes in the District, and up until 2018 this service was carried out within Council.

In 2017, Council unanimously agreed to support the establishment of a community owned, not-for-profit trust that could operate independently to help the people, places and communities of Horowhenua to flourish.

The Horowhenua New Zealand Trust was established in 2018 with a mission to improve the improve the wellbeing of the people of Horowhenua.

The Council has a contract with the Horowhenua New Zealand Trust to provide economic development services for the Horowhenua community.

You can find out more about the Trust by visiting the Horowhenua New Zealand Trust's website, their Facebook page or their LinkedIn page.

What economic development services does the Trust provide?

The Trust is contracted for three years to provide economic development services to the Horowhenua community. The services provided include:

  • Networking and learning events for businesses, enterprise, NGOs and community leaders.
  • Sourcing and analysing independent data and information to help Horowhenua to make better, more informed decisions about things that matter to the communities in Horowhenua.
  • Working with local and out of town enterprise to realise new opportunities for Horowhenua.
  • Collaboration with local, regional and national organisations who can help improve economic wellbeing outcomes.
  • Helping the community to realise the benefits of key projects. 

Are there any examples of this sort of Trust being done successfully?

Yes. In Australia it is quite common for local government to support the establishment of bodies like this trust and there are many examples of trusts that have been established and operate successfully around New Zealand, including our own Electra Trust. Some other examples are:

  • The JR McKenzie Trust is a philanthropic family trust aimed at supporting a socially just and inclusive Aotearoa. It receives dividends annually from Rangatira Investments, which it then distributes.

  • Trust House in Wairarapa. This organisation initially just dealt with social housing, with ownership through a trust sponsored originally by various local governments and local government interests. Today Trust House is involved in numerous businesses promoting employment, new starts, contribution to community projects and the like.

  • Eastland Community Trust runs and operates key local assets such as Eastland Network Ltd, Eastland Port Ltd, Eastland Infrastructure Ltd and other subsidiaries. It was established to preserve the value of capital and to provide for the people of Gisborne by paying for and subsidising the installation, maintenance or supply of electricity to areas of the district that have excessive charges. It is also charged with supporting business and community and other initiatives that are likely to encourage or sustain economic growth within the district or may directly or indirectly benefit the people of Gisborne.

  • The Auckland Community Trust (now Foundation North) which evolved from the Auckland Savings Bank, a community-owned mutual with legislation similar in its day to local government. The Trust’s job has primarily been distributing invested money to community projects.

In Australia, the use of community enterprise based around trusts is so large that there is a national organisation that assists in providing infrastructure and support for numerous trust-based organisations. These have emerged from the desire of local government to promote economic development in their areas.