Auckland Foundation administers more than 50 funds on behalf of individuals, families, and organisations and has distributed more than $9M to Auckland charities since 2010. Their philosophy is that we feel better living in a city where people give to people. As well as making it easy for donors to support causes they care about, the Foundation also administer ‘place-based funds’. For example, last year, they identified the Hauraki Gulf/Tikapa Moana/Te Moananui-a-Toi as one such place following the publishing of the State of our Gulf 2020 report. This report reflects that most of the detrimental issues impacting the Gulf for the past 21 years, are worsening, and not, as we hope, improving.
Auckland Foundation believes the immensity of the challenge to regenerate the Gulf requires a new, sustained approach to fundraising. In recognition of this, the Foundation has established the inter-generational Hauraki Gulf Regeneration Fund (HGRF) to channel New Zealanders’ generosity into the vital work being done to restore the health of this nationally important and locally loved habitat.
With such vast problems facing the Gulf, where do you start? You start with expert opinion. The HGRF has an advisory panel of four experts. Each has a deep knowledge of the issues facing the Gulf as well as a range of experiences and informed viewpoints about its protection and regeneration. The panel’s primary role is to inform the selection of long-term ‘priority causes’ to ensure the Fund channels public generosity into projects and initiatives that will have maximum regenerative impact.
Panel members include Dr Nigel Bradley, CEO of Envirostrat; Dr Shane Kelly, Founder and Managing Director of Coast and Catchment; Moana Tamaariki-Pohe, MNZM; and Tim McMains, philanthropist and previous manager of the Tindall Foundation.
To start, the panel has recommended that the Fund’s initial goal be to improve water quality and regenerate the ecosystems and biodiversity. These goals are aligned with the Hauraki Gulf Marine Spatial Plan (Seachange – Tai Timu Tai Pari) which recommends a suite of actions to tackle the issues.
In alignment with the Plan, the Panel identified two priority regenerative programmes to achieve these goals:
- Minimise the impact of sediment and pollutant run-off reaching the Gulf through regeneration of the Gulf’s bays, shorelines, waterways and wetlands; and
- Mitigate that which does reach the marine environment through shellfish and reef regeneration, starting with harnessing the power of mussels to filter 350 litres of seawater per day!
The Foundation has partnered with two implementation partners to commence work. The first is the Mussel Reef Restoration Trust, which delivers the Revive our Gulf project. This project helps to create living fish nurseries and clean water through the establishment of green-lipped mussel, or kuku, beds.
Concurrently, the Foundation is seeking ‘donor partners’ to support these projects.
How do you keep donors donating?
Joy Marslin, Auckland Foundation Executive, says that follow-up with donors is key. Auckland Foundation ensures the accountability of their implementation partners including managing their impact reporting, enabling a flow of stories back to the donors.
She shares, “Every year we are delighted with the feedback we get from Aucklanders. Some tell us about the immensely rewarding journey of their giving; and others about the impact of philanthropic giving.”
You can read some of their stories here.
The Foundation’s forging forward
The Foundation will work with the HGRF Advisory Panel to identify further priority causes to help achieve a long-term, impactful, systems-led approach to restoring the Hauraki Gulf. This will see the Foundation scale work with donors and sponsors to support implementation partners.
If you want to find out more, subscribe to Auckland Foundation’s newsletter or visit their Facebook and Instagram accounts. If you would like to become a Gulf Guardian and donate to the Hauraki Gulf Regeneration Fund for the next three years, click here.