$25 Million Special Fund

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2013 was a milestone year for Rātā Foundation’s history. For only the second time since Rātā Foundation’s inception, the Trustees used funds from its capital base to help communities, throughout its funding regions, deal with the aftermath of the earthquakes and its ongoing effects.

The devastating earthquakes tore apart not only buildings and infrastructure, but much of our community’s spirit. The ethos behind the $25 million Special Fund was simple – assist communities in need through a variety of projects and initiatives to knit together the various threads which make our funding regions so unique.

Our vision for the Special Fund was to partner with other philanthropic organisations and government to effect sustainable change. Through our collective endeavours we aspired to make our communities stronger, more connected, happier and prosperous.

In deciding the categories to fund, Rātā Foundation examined where the greatest need was, and how it might help restore the fabric of the communities we serve. After consulting widely throughout its funding regions, the following special funds were opened.

Click here to find out about the Lessons Learnt from our
$25 million Special Fund.


The Funds

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Social Housing Partnership Fund - $10 million

In partnership with the Social Housing Unit, a government agency set up to provide social and affordable housing, Rātā Foundation worked with existing organisations already doing valuable work in this area.

Visit Lessons Learnt to find out more about this project.


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Ngai Tahu Partnership Fund – $2 million

The partnership between Ngai Tahu and Rātā Foundation is about delivering inter-generational outcomes. In the eastern suburbs particularly, Ngai Tahu identified an opportunity for projects which will uplift and strengthen the community and bring about greater stability for whanau who have had their resources depleted.


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Rebuild Community Fabric – $6 million

This was a Contestable Fund set-up to support cultural, social, scientific, environmental and economic activity in the community; with a view to assisting organisations within Canterbury working on projects which will make a true difference to a community or communities in our areas.

This fund was split into four separate funding streams:

  • $2.5 million Need Help Now Fund
  • $2.5 million Social Enterprise Fund
  • $500,000 Catalyst Fund
  • $500,000 Quick Response Fund

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Event Development Fund $1.9 million

Rātā Foundation wished to reinvigorate the heart of the community through the Event Development Fund. It was used to underwrite significant events or support local community or cultural programmes. All events supported were able to demonstrate economic and community benefits.


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Regional Fund – $5.1 million (Nelson/Marlborough and Chatham Islands)

The communities of Nelson, Marlborough and the Chatham Islands experienced flow on effects from the earthquake. Rātā Foundation set aside $3.25 million for Nelson, $1.74 million for Marlborough and $100,000 for the Chatham Islands to put towards appropriate projects. In some cases funding was provided as a contribution towards strengthening significant historic buildings or assisting people who have moved to these areas from Canterbury.