Isobel Mebus  Te Rākau’s The Undertow

Actor Isobel Mebus from Te Rākau’s theatre piece ‘The Undertow’

Charitable organisations and philanthropists gathered at the Wellington Museum last November to celebrate receiving over $400,000 worth of grants from Nikau Foundation.
Nearly $420,000 has been awarded this year to organisations representing Wellington’s diverse community and charitable sector.

A celebration event was held in Wellington Museum’s newly opened Ngā Heke exhibition. Donors and grant recipients came together to celebrate Nikau Foundation and the positive impact that they are having on our region.

Over 70 organisations received funding from Nikau Foundation this year, including Wesley Community Action, Wellington SPCA, Community Law Wellington, Outerspaces, The Free Store, Sustainability Trust and Te Rākau Hua O Te Wao Tapu Trust.

Jim Moriarty, of Te Rākau Hua O Te Wao Tapu Trust, acknowledged their $5,000 grant at the event. “It’s great to have Nikau Foundation’s support,” Jim said. “We are using the grant money to produce The Undertow: a series of 4 plays set over 7 generations of Wellington’s history.” ‘Thespians’ from Te Rākau performed a short excerpt from one of the plays, set in the year 1840 in Colonial Wellington, which was well received by guests.
It’s been a landmark year for Nikau Foundation, who made front page news in April when the late Judge Ian Borrin left $30 million to the community foundation, to distribute for legal research and education in perpetuity. Chair of Nikau Foundation’s board of trustees Chris Milne spoke about the Michael and Suzanne Borrin Foundation in his speech. “This is believed to be the biggest single bequest made in New Zealand history,” Chris said. “It is a testament to the level of trust that Judge Ian Borrin placed in Nikau Foundation.”

Nikau Foundation is a community foundation, a model of giving which is the fastest growing form of philanthropy in the world. Community foundations allow donors to choose how and where their money is spent. Nikau Foundation attracts gifts, trusts and legacies, which are invested in perpetuity. The capital stays intact and the income earned is distributed every year to charitable purposes in accordance with each donor’s wishes. Organisations such as the Tindall Foundation also distribute funds locally through the Nikau Foundation, whose awareness of local needs is vital to creating the biggest impact for the greater good.
For more information on Nikau Foundation, or to view a full list of their 2016 grant recipients, visit