5 September 2011

Appeal Trust allocates almost $70 million across diverse projects

The Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust today announced it was adopting a portfolio approach to its allocations that will see almost $70 million invested into the communities of Christchurch.

The portfolio allocation has been made across the seven categories in the Trust Deed, and includes money directed specifically by donors into those categories, as well as money directed by the donors into specific end projects. It provides a framework the Trustees will use to ensure there is a balance between the wishes of donors and the needs of the city.

Some of this money has already been allocated to projects the Trust is supporting, while some of it will go to projects that Trustees have agreed in principle to support, subject to final details and contracts being finalised. The remainder represents a commitment to allocate a set percentage of available funds to needs that have not yet been identified.

Earthquake Appeal Trustee Dr Rod Carr says the Trust is very pleased to be able to announce this initial portfolio distribution of almost $70 million.

“Our focus is on filling the gaps and restoring communities, and we are confident that the portfolio announced will maximise the potential we have to do just that.”

The Trust also says it has raised in cash and pledges just under $100 million. The money in the allocations announced today essentially represents money the Trust has already received. The remainder has been pledged by donors and will be allocated later.

Mark Weldon, the Prime Minister’s representative to the Earthquake Appeal, says, “It is important once again to thank the donors — local and global — who have contributed so generously. Their combined generosity has given us the scale and the privilege of being able to allocate funds for the highest impact across a broad range of areas. The actual allocations of money and the move of the Trust to a real focus on project delivery is tremendous and will make a real difference.”

The overall allocation will see $66.5 million in funds directed into the following seven areas:

Hardship — $10 million

This will be directed to areas such as support for the injured, support for children of the deceased, projects for at-risk youth, and money direct to critical support institutions such as Women's Refuge. The Trust recently allocated $2.8 million to St John Ambulance to buy emergency equipment and enhanced delivery and response equipment.

Sport and Recreation — $20 million

Focused on restoring a sense of normalcy, some of the key allocations being assessed here include: the restoration of outdoor playing fields and netball courts; the full rebuild of Wilding Tennis courts; a new hockey turf; restoration of cricket blocks; and the development of a new multi-use large scale indoor sports centre.

$3.5 million has already been committed to restore playing fields and facilities, and $554,000 for co-curricular activities for school-aged children.

Youth and Education — $9 million

This area is focused on providing new multi-use community centres in Aranui and Sumner, as well as a series of smaller projects, all of which will be determined with the community.

Heritage, Arts and Culture — $20 million

This includes over $18m of specifically donor-directed funds toward restoring key heritage buildings. $60,000 has already been allocated to the Arts in Schools project to increase outreach for school children by the Christchurch Arts Festival. The remainder of this allocation is focused on participation in the arts sector.

Economic Revitalisation — $2.5 million

The bulk of these funds will be to assist small and medium sized businesses in establishing new jobs outside of the construction sector. New retail “pop up” centres and the new business centre are also supported. (The ‘Restart the Heart’ project is not included in this total.)

Faith Based Community Institutions — $2.5 million

This money will be delivered via institutions that have the skills and the “door-to-door” relationships to deliver support to people in the communities that are currently “falling between the gaps.” It also includes the $50,000 given to the feasibility study into the temporary ‘cardboard cathedral’.

Environment — $2.5 million

These projects will be defined once major building decisions and their impacts have been determined in more detail.

Beyond this initial $66.5 million allocation, there is approximated $32 million pledged, plus any earned interest, to be allocated at a later date.

The Trust will now release details of funded projects each month.