MARITIME CHARITIES BENEFIT GRANT

Maritime groups are expected to benefit from a charitable initiative which saw $1million donated to almost 50 organisations – including Coastguard, surf life-saving and other marine charities.

The Million Dollar Mission is an initiative developed by social enterprise ‘The Trusts’ West Auckland, which redistributes the profits from the retail sales of food and beverages through its hospitality venues and off-license outlets around the region.

New Zealanders were able to vote online for the cause of their choice with each vote providing $5 to the group to help complete projects of benefit to the local community. Some 200,000 votes were cast.

The Trusts CEO Simon Wickham says maritime charities were some of the biggest winners in this year’s round of funding, with their combined donations reaching more than $168,000.

One of the charities, Coastguard Northern Region, required funding to build a new vessel suitable for the Manukau Harbour. Another recipient, the Hobsonville Yacht Club, will be able to purchase new low-maintenance boats for teaching children to sail, while the Karekare Surf Club and United North Piha Lifeguards will both invest in new clubroom infrastructures thanks to their grants.

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The Million Dollar Mission is in its third year of operation and has provided $3million in funding to almost 100 community groups since it began. Wickham says the initiative is an example of how the licensing model is able to support charities while at the same time better manage the sale of alcohol.