Mitre 10 New Zealand Community of the Year 2020 Finalists

27 Jan 2020

Mitre 10 New Zealand Community of the Year finalists, from left to right, Foster Hope Charitable Trust, Good Bitches Baking and ZEALANDIA (Karori Sanctuary Trust).
Mitre 10 New Zealand Community of the Year finalists, from left to right, Foster Hope Charitable Trust, Good Bitches Baking and ZEALANDIA (Karori Sanctuary Trust).

Our judges have chosen three finalists who’ve contributed to the economic, social or environmental health of their community.

Foster Hope Charitable Trust

Foster Hope

The purpose/mission of Foster Hope is founded on the belief that every child in foster care deserves to know that their community cares about them. Many of these children arrive at their new placements with little more than the clothes on their backs and a few possessions in a plastic bag. Foster Hope backpacks (essential items as a symbol of love and support) brings a little light and compassion into what is a highly stressful time in the lives of the children and their caregivers.

Foster Hope was established 10 years ago and there are now eight branches spread throughout New Zealand - from Northland to Otago. It provides support to 150 agencies

Foster Hope relies on donations/koha from many individuals, groups and local businesses. Items are also donated by individuals, community groups and businesses, including large corporates. Foster Hope has been successful in applying for grants from local and national community organisations to help to fund the items contained in the backpacks. Some branches organise fundraising events in their own communities - from sausage sizzles to movie evenings – to support its cause.

Foster Hope relies entirely on volunteers to run and co-ordinate the branches in their areas. All the management board are also volunteers.

There are more than 6,000 children in foster care in New Zealand. During 2019 Foster Hope distributed over 5,230 backpacks and 132 flatpacks to regions all over New Zealand. This year it arranged five very successful Foster Hope Events for children and their caregivers – providing respite. Foster Hope’s volunteers tirelessly worked for more than 6630 hours helping to ensure that children know there are people in their community who really care!

Good Bitches Baking Trust

Good Bitches Baking

Good Bitches Baking (GBB) is a registered charity which delivers home baking to New Zealanders going through trauma or difficulty. In the past five years it has helped more than 650,000 people. As a charity, it relies on public donations and its enterprise to keep running.

GBB’s purpose is to make Aotearoa the ‘kindest place on earth’. The charity was founded by two Wellington women, Nicole Murray and Marie Fitzpatrick. Both women were recipients of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen’s Birthday awards in 2019.

The charity regards itself as a virtual community with 2100 volunteers throughout New Zealand, in 24 local chapters. GBB is volunteer driven – with only one part-time staff member for general administration.

The volunteers’ baking is distributed by the 170 other charities that GBB supports - organisations such as Women’s Refuge, mental health group homes, Rape Crisis, Age Concern, night shelters, missions, hospices and hospitals.

Among several innovative initiatives, in 2018 GBB ran a trial programme at Rimutaka Prison. This gave men an opportunity to be volunteers and to learn the practical skill of baking. Over nine weeks GBB volunteers visited the prison once a week, baking a new treat each time. The men donated their goods to Women’s Refuge and other charities.

ZEALANDIA (Karori Sanctuary Trust)


ZEALANDIA is the world’s first fully fenced urban ecosanctuary, with an extraordinary 500-year vision to restore Wellington’s valley forest and freshwater ecosystems as closely as possible to their pre-human state, and a 20-year strategy to transform the way people live with nature.

The 225-hectare ecosanctuary is a ground-breaking conservation project that has reintroduced 20 species of native wildlife back into the area, some of which were previously absent from mainland New Zealand for over 100 years.

Over 40 different species of native birds have been recorded in the sanctuary valley, 24 of them endemic. Dozens of reptile species, hundreds of plant species and thousands of types of invertebrates have made ZEALANDIA their home. A local author has written of ZEALANDIA: “The valley that transformed a city”, and it was named as one of the World’s 100 Greatest Places (2019 by TIME Magazine)

ZEALANDIA is governed and managed by the Karori Sanctuary Trust, a not-for-profit community-led organisation with its own Board. It became a Wellington City Council Controlled Organisation in 2016 . It relies on a variety of sources for funding and support provided by members, sponsors and partners, who are involved in a wide range of different initiatives. The sanctuary’s latest report records visitor numbers of 183,141 (40 per cent were international). Membership stands at 10,932 and is supported by 608 volunteers.

Meet the 2020 New Zealand Community of the Year Semi-Finalists

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