There has been a major announcement this afternoon with news that $100 million is being made available to fund environmental and educational projects in New Zealand.
The announcement was by the Next Foundation, the funds from a generous Northland couple.
One of the recipients of the fund is Rotoroa Island.
Located just to the east of Waiheke Island, Rotoroa was formerly a Salvation Army alcohol and drug treatment centre.
It is now a stunning island playground, leased by the Rotoroa Island Trust for the next 99 years, open and available to anyone who wants to visit.
Barrie Brown describes how when they signed the lease in 2007, they have improved the island immensely.
“Since then we’ve cut down 20,000 pine trees, planted 400,000 native trees, built a visitor centre, updated accommodation, and opened it up as a park for the people of Auckland.”
But it couldn’t have happened without funding.
Next Foundation chairman Chris Liddell stands by the basic philosophy that each generation should leave a positive legacy for the next generation.
“We think New Zealand’s greatest asset is our people and our land, so we’ve chosen the themes of education and environment and we’re going to invest in major projects in those areas.”
Major projects like Rotoroa Island, an ambitious project that’s cost tens of millions of dollars, and one that is now paying off.
Rotoroa Island is now inspiring schoolchildren and visitors alike, and the proceeds of the foundation will provide education and inspiration for generations to come.