By Josh Hickord, CE, Taranaki Foundation

In this article, I explore how corporate giving and partnerships enable Taranaki Foundation to create lasting change in our community. Here at Taranaki Foundation, our mission is clear: to nurture and build the prosperity of our region, both now and for generations to come. Whether you’re an individual philanthropist or a business with a heart for giving back, we’re here to ensure your gifts make a meaningful difference in our community.

Over the last few years, I’ve witnessed firsthand the growing needs in our community.  In this current environment it is extremely helpful for people, including business owners and staff, to understand how they can help in a real, meaningful and straightforward way.

Take Energyworks Limited, for example. Established in 1972 as Inglewood Engineering and re-branded in 2005, Energyworks has evolved into a leading multi-disciplined engineering company. Partnering with Taranaki Foundation, Energyworks created the Energyworks Fund a few years ago. Geoff Bourke, Managing Director of Energyworks, shared his insight:

“Having the Energyworks Fund at Taranaki Foundation is a robust way to manage our charitable giving. We see Taranaki Foundation as a great partner in giving back to our community. They have the expertise and knowledge of the need in our community, so can help us better give back to Taranaki.”

Through the Energyworks Fund, organisations like New Plymouth Riding for the Disabled (RDA) have received support. Kevin Nielsen of RDA reflects on this assistance:

“Being able to purchase a new saddle for our horse, Peggy, has been tremendous. Peggy has been a stalwart in our programme for eight years, and at 24, we aim to keep her going for as long as possible. Providing Peggy with a custom-fitted lighter saddle has allowed us to continue our therapeutic riding service in New Plymouth with an experienced horse, rather than facing the larger investment of purchasing and training a new horse.”

Kevin Nielsen RDA and Rob Kirkwood Energyworks Limited

G.J. Gardner Homes Taranaki is another local example. With a reputation for building quality homes, they’ve also built a reputation for exceptional community support. Rod Roebuck and Ben Hawke, owners of G.J. Gardner Homes Taranaki, share their philosophy:

“Supporting local is very important to us. We’ve always wanted to make sure we’re doing our bit and that what we do aligns with our values.”

Through their partnership with Taranaki Foundation, G.J. Gardner Homes Taranaki has established the G.J. Gardner Homes Taranaki Fund to manage their local sponsorships and donations, enabling them to support opportunities as they arise.

The Fund recently supported Building Wellness Taranaki with a $3,000 donation to support a pilot Mentor Mates programme. Christina Lorth, General Manager, Building Wellness Taranaki shared,

“With the support of GJ Gardner and Taranaki Foundation, Building Wellness designed and launched an industry-led Mentor Mates initiative, onboarding six industry professionals to offer free and confidential peer support to the local construction community. Through mentorship, guidance, and shared expertise, Mentor Mates help owner operators, sole traders, and small business owners to progress and address business and personal pressures, focusing on strengthening the wellbeing and resilience of leaders and managers.”

Matthew Manderson, Clinical Psychologist and Mentor Mates’ committee lead, demonstrating the Burger Theory, a tool used in the Mentor Mates onboarding process.

As a long-time supporter of communities across New Zealand, the local Craigs Investment Partners (Craigs) New Plymouth branch has developed a thoughtful giving programme in partnership with Community Foundations of Aotearoa NZ (CFANZ) and Taranaki Foundation to support the local Taranaki community.

“It is our pleasure to work with Taranaki Foundation to provide support to organisations who are doing such good work in a difficult environment. We are committed to supporting and engaging with the communities in which we operate and live in”, says local Craigs Investment Adviser Christine Egarr.

In December, the local Craigs team in New Plymouth directed their Workplace Giving to support local foodbanks in the Taranaki region to provide support during the busy Christmas period.  This included the New Plymouth Community Food Bank, Stratford Food Bank and Hāwera Food Bank.

“As with many people in our community (and across the country) the foodbank is impacted by rising living costs.  The support given by Craigs has come at a time when we need to purchase meat, fruit and vegetables to ensure kai parcels contain healthy food and needed supplies for our whānau” says Sharon Wills, Manager, New Plymouth Community Foodbank.

New Plymouth Community Foodbank

Thank you to the businesses mentioned above and others like them for showing how small, consistent giving truly strengthens our community.

At Taranaki Foundation, we ensure your gifts, no matter the size, make a meaningful difference.  Together, and only together, we can achieve our mission:  to nurture and build our region’s prosperity, now and for generations to come.

With gratitude, Josh.