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Chair's Report to 2010 Annual General Meeting

It is my pleasure to present to you my annual report for the year ending 31 December 2009.

 

For me residing as Chair during the last two years has been an opportunity to expand beyond my comfort zone and thank all Trustees for their patience.

 

2009 has seen growth and our cautionary approach has been rewarded and we concluded the year in better form than anticipated. We are well on our way to achieve our goal of $5 million which, with the continued careful management by our investment team, I believe we will be celebrating in 2011.

 

Investments and Financial

 

The Trust’s portfolio is holding up and making steady progress – the markets have been talked up by the press but in reality there are slim pickings. In 2009 $122,500 was applied to new investments. The Trust’s year began with a capital base of $4,346,775 and ended with a most satisfactory surplus of $301,449 resulting in a capital base of $4,566,771 at year end.

 

Millennium Scholarships

 

Whilst our scholarships are not always the largest at prizegivings in some of our colleges, it is a significantly sought after reward by year 13 students throughout our area. There was a marked relaxation amongst the recipients in the Eastern Bay at the Whakatane ceremony. Year 3 and 4 recipients set good examples to the incoming students and the late afternoon ceremony went into the early evening. I was happy to observe the Tauranga scholarship ceremony and whilst the numbers are significantly higher it was a pleasure to be contributing to the career paths of such a positive gathering of bright young people. My congratulations to Peter and Roger for fronting the ceremony and to the Trustees who attended. I believe we should continue to strictly maintain the science based criteria enabling the few students who wish to follow a science curriculum to be financially assisted. Our commitment in respect of the Millennium Scholarships over the next five years totals $234,150 – this has almost doubled since 2007 when the scholarships presented totalled $129,500.

 

Our cautionary approach to grants beyond our Scholarships and Future Leaders Programme saw few applications presented to the Board. However Instep proves to be a valuable provider of job choices and opportunities and they benefited to the tune of $10,000.

 

Future Leaders Programme

 

Once again we have had support from the Acorn Foundation for the Future Leaders Programme for which we are very grateful. We are all aware that Phil Laurence runs a unique and very effective programme, but once again it has been difficult to fill the seats. The first programme started on 16 April 2007. During that time we have invested $37,000 with $9,000 coming from the Acorn Foundation for the benefit of 57 students. I believe the question needs to be asked “Can we better spend elsewhere?”

 

Publicity

 

Monique Balvert-O’Connor has performed well and has a good relationship with the local newspapers enabling her to get our news releases into print and sometimes on the front page of the Bay of Plenty Times.

 

25th Anniversary Celebrations

 

Whilst this falls outside of the year ended 31 December 2009 it is fitting to thank all Trustees for their input into a very successful celebration. It was a pleasure to enjoy the relaxed company of Principals, former Trustees, current Trustees, Monique and Phil, wives and partners at this event. All credit to Trish and Peter for their hard work and we have sent letters to the management and staff of the Tauranga Yacht Club.

 

Trustees

 

We still have one vacancy on the Board and this will be filled as and when a suitable nominee is chosen. It is the general consensus of the Trustees to encourage a younger member onto the Board but until this person is found the matter has been left to “lie on the table”.

 

Trustees who came up for rotation last year were Brian Scantlebury and Pauline Cowens and both were re-elected.

 

Reflecting on the 2009 Annual Plan

 

I believe we have achieved all and more than our objectives – this would not have happened without the commitment of Committee chairs and members and the wonderfully reliable services of our Secretary, Peter Wood, not forgetting his staff member, Trish Kerse.

 

I thank all Trustees for your contributions throughout the year and your efforts in staying on track enabling us to look back on 2009 as a very satisfactory one indeed.

 

Ses MacKinnon
Chair

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