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Who we've helped

Swim For Life Tairawhiti

Swim For Life Tairawhiti is working to address the decline in children's swimming ability and to help our region work towards a consistent record of no drowning.  They provide children in our local community with fundamental skills to maximise their lifelong enjoyment and participation in a variety of water situations. 

Their grant in 2015 supported the delivery of over 25,000 lessons to 2,500 students at 27 schools from Manutuke to Hicks Bay, helping those children to become more confident and safer in the water.  Click here to check our their video.

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Manutuke School enjoying swimming lessons

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Slip, slop, slap and wrap

The Gisborne East Coast Cancer Society used their 2016 grant from Sunrise to provide free sunscreen at community events throughout the Tairawhiti, helping to promote their sunsmart message and keep people safe in the sun over the summer months.


The Wa1675 steam train is the last of its class in New Zealand. It has been lovingly restored by a large group of volunteers over many years, and is still maintained and run today by volunteers and through donations.

Visitors and locals alike can enjoy a trip to yesteryear with regular train rides to Muriwai and back. Wa165 is a major attraction for international visitors coming to Gisborne on cruise ships every summer.

Their grant in 2016 was used to purchase a compressor which has greatly assisted their work on maintenance of the rail bridges so that Wa165 can continue to take excursion trips to Muriwai.

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Mind Lab Gisborne

Mind Lab Gisborne is a state of the art education facility dedicated to enhancing digital and collaborative teaching methods.  Since opening last year Mind Lab Gisborne has engaged with over 5,000 students and local teachers giving them access to world leading digital learning programmes.  

Their 2015 Sunrise grant was used to transport children from up the Coast down to Gisborne to participate in after school activities and school holiday programmes.

Mangapapa Church foodbank

The good people at Mangapapa Church used their 2016 grant from Sunrise to help deliver the 191 food parcels they gave out during the year.

They work with social work agencies in our region to support those in need, including victims of crime, the sick and elderly.  

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Gisborne Rowing

The Gisborne Rowing Club was established in 1874 and is the only club in the Gisborne area providing coaching and support for rowers of all ages and abilities. 

Their 2015 grant helped to replace 30 pairs of rowing shoes.  The shoes are fitted to the rowing boats and rowers feet are secured in them when they row.  It was vital that the shoes were in good order and updated in time for the first regatta of the season at Lake Karapiro. 

Surf Life Saving Gisborne

Surf Life Saving Gisborne used their 2015 grant to assist with the rebuild of the Waikanae Surf Club.  

The new building is a great improvement on its predecessor with its new lifeguard tower, gymnasium, storage facilities and two large function areas.


Encouraging volunteering

The Gisborne Volunteer Centre promotes and supports the volunteering community. They used their 2016 grant to promote International Volunteer Day and fund vital resources needed to deliver their service to our community.

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Volunteer Centre Chair, Fleur Paenga, and Mayor Meng Foon present a certificate to Melissa Kingsbeer on International Volunteer Day. Melissa registered with the Volunteer Centre in May 2016 and was referred to The Tairawhiti Environment Centre, where she has been volunteering ever since, she also helps with appeals.

Te Hā Time Travellers Childrens pilot art programme

In 2019 our region and nation will commemorate the 250th anniversary of the first meetings of tangata whenua and those on the Endeavour.  This signficant event encourages us to consider our region's unique and fascinating heritage.

The Te Hā Sestercentennial Trust used their 2015 grant to support the Time Travellers Children's pilot art programme.

The art programme project, included students from Tolaga Bay Area School and Gisborne intermediate, marked the start of a programme of events leading up to the 250th commemorations in 2019. 

Gisborne Herald - Artworks engage young people with first contact - "EDUCATION Minister Hekia Parata opened an exhibition of mixed media works by 12 young “art warriors” at Tairawhiti Museum yesterday." Read more.

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