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Who we've helped

In our first four funding rounds we awarded 102 grants to worthy causes across the arts, education, environment, health, social services and sports communities in the Tairāwhiti-Gisborne District, with a total value of $187,785.

Grant recipients over the last four years are Alzheimers Society Gisborne, Art in Public Places, Barnardos Gisborne, Centre Stage, Citizens Advice Bureau Gisborne, City of Gisborne Cadet Unit, Diabetes Gisborne, Eastland Kart Club, Eastwoodhill Arboretum, EIT Students Association, Gisborne Boys’ High School, Gisborne Budget Advisory Service, Gisborne City Vintage Railway, Gisborne Concert Band, Gisborne Craft & Care, Gisborne East Coast Cancer Society, Gisborne International Music Competition, Gisborne Land Search & Rescue, Gisborne Riding For Disabled, Gisborne Rowing Club, Gisborne Unity Theatre, Gisborne Volunteer Centre, Gisborne Youth Sports Charitable Trust, Gisborne/Tairāwhiti Regional Science & Technology Fair, Growing Through Grief, Hackfalls Aboretum, Hearing Assistance, Heart Foundation Gisborne, Historic Places Tairāwhiti, Horouta Waka Hoe Club, Hospice Tairāwhiti, Ilminster Intermediate, Ka Pai Kaiti, Kaiti School, Kids Can Charitable Trust, Life Education Trust, Longbush Eco Sanctuary, Mangapapa Playcentre, Mangapapa Union Church, Matapuna Training Trust, Midway Surf Club, Mind Lab, Ngati Porou Hauora, Pākirikiri Marae, Poverty Bay Woolcrafters, Red Cross Gisborne, Seasons of Growth, SLSNZ Eastern Region, Supergrans, Swim for Life Tairāwhiti, Tairāwhiti Beneficiary Advocacy Trust, Tairāwhiti Community Law Centre, Tairāwhiti Community Voice, Tairāwhiti Environment Centre, Tairāwhiti Multicultural Council, Tairāwhiti Technology Trust, Tauawhi Men’s Centre, Te Hā Sestercentennial Trust, Te Hapara Family Service, Te Ora Hou te Tairāwhiti, The Aurora Education Foundation Charitable Trust, Turanganui Schools Maori Cultural Festival, Victim Support Tairāwhiti, Waikanae Surf Lifesaving Club, Waikohu Health, Wainui Surf Club, Whinray Eco Trust.

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Cancer Society Gisborne East Coast

Our local Cancer Society used their grant to increase supportive care services in the Tairāwhiti region. 

Their grant came from the Gavin McFarlane Endowment Fund at Sunrise. When Gavin’s health deteriorated at the start of 2015 he thought hard about how he could give back to the community he loved. He chose to leave his estate to Sunrise and nominated our local Cancer Society and Hospice Tairāwhiti as beneficiaries. The income from his fund will be granted to them in his name each year forever. 

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Victim Support Tairāwhiti

Victim Support is a community-based volunteer organisation which provides practical and emotional support to people affected by crime, trauma, and suicide. Their free service operates 24 hours, seven days a week across Tairāwhiti.

Support from the Sunrise Foundation is helping Victim Support to recruit, train, and supervise volunteer support workers so they can keep delivering frontline services in the community.

During 2017, Victim Support Tairāwhiti’s team of volunteers supported a huge 887 people to participate fully and fairly in the justice system and cope through the horrific impacts of serious crime and loss.

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Riding for the Disabled

Riding and interaction with horses benefits children and adults with a wide range of disabilities. The effects of the horses movement on the human body has significant therapeutic benefits.

Gisborne's RDA used their grant from Sunrise to purchase two new saddles.

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Pākirikiri Wānanga 

Pākirikiri Wānanga used their grant from Sunrise to sponsor two students on the Hotaka Hanga Taiapa, the first instalment of their land conservation course. 

Students gained new knowledge and skills to conserve land as well as gaining Level 2 NCEA credits. 

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Cobham School music residency

Musicians from the Gisborne International Music Competition worked with students from Cobham School for three days in November 2017, helping them to prepare two different projects per class, one of which emphasised specific musical skills and the other, student-led creativity.

The programme was delivered with the help of a Sunrise grant in the 2017 funding round. 

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Eastland Kart Club web

Eastland Kart Club

The Eastland Kart Club promotes the sport of kart racing in a safe and family-orientated environment, introducing motorsport and sportsmanship to all ages. All of the club's activities are run by volunteers.  At the end of every meeting non club members can have a go in a kart and they hold a Women on Wheels event every Autumn. It's fun family day out either just to watch, or have a go yourself. They used their grant from Sunrise to resurface the track.


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Ngati Porou Hauora Emergency Packs

Ngati Porou Hauora used their grant to purchase two PRIME packs that are fully stocked with emergency equipment.

One PRIME pack is in the Matakaoa Rural Health Nurses’ car at all times, the other is utilised in the triage room at Matakaoa Community Health Clinic ensuring the top end of Ngati Porou Hauora is prepared for all emergencies.

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Slip, slop, slap and wrap

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

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The Wa165 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 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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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. 

Photo - 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.

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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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Mind Lab Gisborne

Mind Lab Gisborne is a state of the art education facility dedicated to enhancing digital and collaborative teaching methods.  In their first year Mind Lab Gisborne 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.

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Swim For Life Tairāwhiti

Swim For Life is working to address the decline in children's swimming ability and help our region work towards a consistent record of no drowning. Programmes are targeted at low decile schools where parents are often unable to support extra-curricular activities such as swimming.

Their 2015 grant supported the delivery of over 25,000 lessons to 2,500 student at 27 schools from Manutuke to Hicks Bay. Helping them to become more confident and safer in the water. Check out their video.

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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.

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 Tairāwhiti Museum yesterday." Read more.

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