27 Nov 2008

Bay of Plenty trust suspends grants

10:14 pm on 27 November 2008

A community grants trust in the Bay of Plenty is temporarily halting its donation programme, blaming the global financial crisis.

Baytrust says it is acting prudently to protect $130 million it has invested in New Zealand and overseas markets, which are shrinking.

It says it will continue to meet current commitments to Rotorua's Baytrust Rescue Helicopter, sports coaching and the Dillon Scholarships, for tertiary education for people with disabilities.

However, there will be no new applications considered by the former Trust Bank shareowner until further notice.

Manager Bruce Cronin says the temporary halt is intended to protect the trust's original investment and ensure the community gains the full medium and longer term benefit of recovery.

He says Baytrust will resume a full grants programme as soon as it is safe to do so.

In the year to March, Baytrust issued grants totalling more than $4 million to groups serving communities from Katikati to Turangi to Cape Runaway.