Feature article

Supporting our communities: 2023 Trade Me Property Community Grant recipients

Learn more about these 18 special Kiwi charitable causes.

One of the (many) things that sets real estate agents apart from other occupations is how deeply entrenched they are in their local communities. Agents know more people, and - perhaps in part because of this - support not only individuals, but also a huge number of local causes.

“The support that our agents show Kiwi charities and causes has always been incredibly inspiring,” says Trade Me Property’s Sales Director Gavin Lloyd. “This year, we wanted to help them have an even bigger impact in their communities.”

Over 200 real estate agents around the country submitted deserving charitable causes in their area, and the Trade Me team is thrilled to provide $75,000 to help them support 18 different initiatives throughout the community.

“Many of these agents who put forward local causes are actively involved in these organisations, making it even more special,” adds Gavin.

“Hit the Road, Jack”

Bayleys Tekapo agent Holly Lane tells the story of seven-year-old Jack, who has muscular dystrophy. His family, who are great contributors to the community, have been fundraising hard through grants, a Give a Little page, and local initiatives to buy a van for Jack that will accommodate his wheelchair and enable Jack, and his family, to have greater freedom.

Primary School Sport Scholarship (20 Sports Scholarships)

Ray White Kilbirnie’s Lance Williams will receive a grant to extend the number of sports scholarships he already provides in his community. For every property he sells, Lance creates a $250 sports scholarship for a primary school child in the area and, with the community grant, 20 more scholarships will be shared.

Ngati Paarau Trust (Waiohiki Marae)

Black & White Real Estate Napier agent, Tina Chamberlain shared the devastating impact of Cyclone Gabrielle on the Waiohiki area in the Hastings district. It took out the state highway bridge connecting the rural community to Napier, cutting the area off from power, water and food supply and rendering 75 out of 89 homes in the community uninhabitable. The local marae was the hub for around 250 displaced residents and it was where emergency responders and community contacts met for hui during the recovery. Their community grant will pay for an emergency generator and medical equipment at the marae to help service the community as they return to the area, and for any future emergency events.

Pukehina Surf Rescue

Ray White Pukehina agent, Janelle Havenga says the community grant will go towards building a much-needed clubhouse and community centre for Pukehina Surf Rescue Pukehina residents in this small Bay of Plenty beachside town. The grant will also help the club support more events and activities. As well as their lifesaving work (carrying out 2800 hours of patrolling last season), the surf club is a hub for a number of community charities including Surfing for Farmers, which helps farmers with their mental health.

Alzheimer's Wairarapa

Ray White Wairarapa agent, Jude Clark, is chair of Alzheimer Wairarapa and the funds from the community grant will go towards running a van, which is a great resource for around 80 people with Alzheimers in the area and their families. The van picks up clients with Alzheimers and dementia two days a week and takes them out and about for a stimulating day programme which provides their carers with some respite.

Ako Wai

McDonald Real Estate’s Lizette Bretherton of Stratford will receive a community grant for the learning and education charity, Ako Wai, which is committed to ensuring that tamariki in the Taranaki community has equitable access to after-school swimming lessons. They promote water safety and guide the community on actions they can take to ensure their own safety, and that of the whanau. The community grant will largely go towards focusing on swimming lessons for underserved groups, which can’t always be accommodated in mainstream schools.

Tiniroto School and Community bus

Bayleys agent Simon Bousfield, of the Bousfield Macpherson team, will receive funding for the Tiniroto School and Community van. This will provide a vital boost for this isolated Gisborne community which was hard hit by Cyclone Gabrielle. The main route to Gisborne remains closed and the expected completion date is up to 5 years away. The only alternate route to Gisborne is 4WD access. The grant will help fund a 4WD van, which will be an important life line to this community and its tamariki, enabling students to access outside education and community activities.

Nelson Women’s Refuge

Harcourts Platinum Blue’s Tracey Charlett will receive a grant to help women and their tamariki as they go through the Nelson Women’s Refuge centre and pick up their lives after family abuse. Nelson Women’s Refuge provides a number of services including “Safe Nights,” transitional accommodation and safe houses for families. The grant will enable the charity to access more resources and to do more advocacy in the community on their clients’ behalf.


Tall Poppy’s Paul Doney nominated the Wellington charity Sailability. They are looking to buy a HANSA 303 boat for teaching children with a disability. Sailing is a sport that many children with disabilities can excel in, says Paul, and accessibility is the first step.

Give A Kid A Blanket (Christmas Campaign: Operation Kindness)

Ray White Swanson’s Krystal Emmott, has flagged a real need in her community from over 140 families for some of the basic fundamentals of life as Christmas approaches. The funding she receives will be used by the Give A Kid A Blanket charity to buy food, personal care items, blankets, bedding, clothing and special personalised gifts for the families who are nominated by the police, social workers and nursing staff.

Rotary Community Breast Milk Bank

When Calder & Co Residential’s Michael Calder became the new father of a baby girl this year, he found out first-hand the true life saving value of the local Rotary Community Breast Milk Bank in Christchurch. The milk bank, which supports hundreds of breastfeeding mothers with its supply of short-term donor breast milk.

Marist Kyokushin Karate

A community grant will empower the Marist Kyokushin Karate club to offer free or subsidised classes to children from underprivileged families and at-risk youth, says Ray White Johnsonville agent Philip Reeve. The classes taught at Marist in Johnsonville focus on the values of discipline, respect and community engagement, as well as fostering physical fitness and instilling valuable life skills.

Highfield School Timaru

In 2022, Bayleys Timaru’s Wayne Frewen and his office raised $1,000 through a sausage sizzle for the Te Whare Maru special needs facility of Highfield School in Timaru, which caters for 14 special needs learners from around South Canterbury. This community grant will extend this help and keep the facility and its new sensory room supplied with equipment as needed.

Disability Golf New Zealand

Gabriella Troutbeck, from Eves Realty Te Awamutu will use the community grant to help Disability Golf NZ get closer to their goal of purchasing a paragolfer cart. It’s thought there is only one other such cart in New Zealand; and this is privately owned. Golfers with a disability will be able to play from the cart which will open up the sport to a vast array of people. The cart will be available to people in Te Awamutu and around the country.

Hamilton Volunteer Fire Brigade

Rototuna Harcourts’ Chris Young says a grant will help the Hamilton Volunteer Fire Brigade buy a key piece of equipment for all the community to benefit from. The grant will fund a powerful, portable lighting tower which will be used for the bulk of fire and emergency call outs and will save both lives and property.


Bayleys Auckland Central’s Lloyd Budd and Zara Morris received a grant for the charity LegaSea which will go toward paying distribution costs for the Kai ika Project. This initiative collects fish parts from recreational fishers and large seafood companies like Sanfords and redistributes them to vulnerable families and marae groups all over Tamaki Makauru. This project is about educating the public that the whole fish can be utilised and a way to introduce rangatahi to how ancestors before prepared and cooked food which has been lost through the generations.

Ōtorohanga Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA)

Ray White Rosetown Realty’s Lorraine Fox will use the community grant funding for the Ōtorohanga RDA to help cover the cost of a riding coach. The equine teacher helps riders improve their balance, coordination and overall sense of wellbeing. This part-time coach will work with 30 young riders with disabilities from a wide geographical area.

Kai for Kids Charitable Trust

RE/MAX Town To Country (Top One Real Estate)’s Ariska Mijnheer in Ashburton will receive a grant for Kai For Kids, a charity which cooks meals for over 700 Mid-Canterbury school and kindergarten children, as well as families in crisis every school day. The community grant will enable the charity to expand to 2000 lunches, filling a very strong need in this region, says Ariska.