Cobham Sch

Who we've helped

Since we launched in 2014 we have granted $1,338,500 to causes across the arts, education, environment, health, social services and sports communities in Tairāwhiti-Gisborne.

Click here for a list of Sunrise grant recipients

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Holdsworth Family fund supports the arts in Gisborne

Gisborne Homeschool Drama Group received a grant from the Dame Bronwen and Dr Peter Holdsworth Family Endowment Fund at Sunrise to help them stage C S Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.

A long-time supporter and advocate of the arts Dame Bronwen believes creativity is an integral part of every aspect of our lives.

Dame Bronwen went to see the play and says “the individual performances were terrific. My grandchildren and I absolutely loved it. Congratulations to Gisborne Homeschool Drama Group and parents for yet another successful production.” Read more.

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Local surf clubs annual funding

The Surf Lifesaving Gisborne Endowment Fund was established at Sunrise when the Surf Lifesaving Gisborne Charitable Trust was dissolved. The funds purpose is to providing long term support to the surf lifesaving movement in Gisborne.

In 2019 Wainui used their grant from the Surf Lifesaving Gisborne Endowment Fund to purchase children’s sun smart uniforms which saw a 40 percent increase in Nippers membership over summer.

Read more about the Surf Lifesaving Gisborne Endowment Fund.

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Sunrise helps feed whanau in need

Mangapapa Church Foodbank assists agencies such as Barnardos, Plunket, Gisborne Hospital and Turanga Health (to name a few) with their requests for food parcels for whanau in need.

The church’s 190 strong congregation generously donates the non-perishable food items required and volunteer their time to help prepare and distribute the food parcels.

Mangapapa Church used their grant from Sunrise to purchase meat, which they buy on special and freeze, so they can provide at least one protein meal with each food parcel.

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Tairāwhiti Voyaging Trust 

Tairāwhiti Voyaging Trust takes students from Gisborne and up the Coast on their waka hourua for in-port orientations and sailing excursions. Sharing with them authentic cultural experiences that enhance a sense of belonging to the Tairāwhiti.

They used their grant from Sunrise to buy child sized life jackets to keep our young people safe as they learn. 

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Te Hapori Disability Trust sensory room

Te Hapori Disability Trust supports adults with significant intellectual disabilities to live great lives and believe they should be an integral part of the community in which they live. They recognise that whanau who are wrapping around the participant also need a break. Their programmes support whanau by allowing them time to work, pursue hobbies and generally recharge.

A grant from Sunrise helped Te Hapori Disability Trust to establish a sensory room for intellectually disabled adults in Gisborne.

Supergrans grant 2018


Supergrans applied to Sunrise for assistance to purchase an enclosed trailer as they were continuously finding they needed to help move whanau in crisis to new homes. In order to help they had to beg and borrow trailers from family and friends, or do multiple trips in their own personal vehicles.

That’s all in the past now they have a new trailer purchased with the help of a grant from Sunrise. The super duper new trailer will also be a big help delivering raised gardens to the elderly and picking up fruit and vegetables to distribute to other community organisations.

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Life Education Trust

The Life Education programme is specifically developed to assist the deliver of the health curriculum in our schools by using state of the art technology. The health and wellbeing of children influences how well they do later in life through improved education outcomes and developing resilience strategies. 

They visit primary and intermediate schools throughout Tairāwhiti-Gisborne and deliver their programmes to nearly 6,500 children in 60 schools and 12 pre-schools.

Life Ed used their grant from Sunrise to help ensure their programmes remain accessible to all children, particularly those at risk.

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Named funds help Hospice

Hospice Tairāwhiti are fundraising for a new hospice building which will allow them to offer additional services to clients, such as day programmes and complementary therapies. 

They put their 2018 Sunrise grants from the named funds of Gavin McFarlane and Rosemary Johnson towards the building project.

We're sure Gavin and Rosemary would be chuffed their legacy is helping to build this important community resource. Read more about named funds.

SLSNZ grants page 2018

Surf search and rescue

The Tairāwhiti-Gisborne Emergency Call Out Squad are volunteer lifeguards with advanced surf life saving skills. They are on call 24/7 to assist emergency services and search and rescue operations in difficult aquatic situations such as in the surf break, around rocks and other areas which would be difficult for other emergency services to reach.

It is important the squad has the equipment to keep them safe during often tricky operations. They used their 2018 grant to buy 2 emergency position-indicating radio beacons. 

Tauawhi grants webpage 2018

Help understanding depression

'Shot Bro' is the product of Rob Mokaraka's seven-year journey of healing and self-discovery. It is a powerful, raw, authentic one-man show that exposes, shares and discusses the effects of depression.

Tauawhi Mens Centre hosted the play twice in 2017 and the response from our community was so positive they decided to bring it back again in 2019 with the help of a grant from Sunrise.

GIMC grants page 2018

Free concert under the leaves

Although the weather didn't play its part and the day was more 'moist' than expected (more like torrential rain!), a hardy and enthusiastic audience gathered under the pohutukawas at Marina Park to watch Concert Under the Leaves, a free community event put on by the good people at Gisborne International Music Competition, with a 2018 grant from Sunrise.

It was a great opportunity for Gisborne people to experience international quality music. Read more.

Wainui grants page 2018

Wainui SLSC

Wainui SLSC used their 2018 grant from Sunrise to help cover the salary of Communications Officer, Tess McCormick.

Tess started the role in April 2018, the first paid administration role in over 8 years. 

It certainly paid off, they saw memberships increase by 70 percent and won a new IRB in the BP Vote the Boat Competition. Read more.

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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. 

Read more

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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.

Read more

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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. 

Read more

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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. 

Read more

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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 Ha Childrens Art

Te Hā Time Travellers Childrens pilot art programme

In 2019 our region and nation commemorated the 250th anniversary of the first meetings of tangata whenua and those on the Endeavour.  This signficant event encouraged 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." 

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