Skip to main content
COVID-19 Alert Level 3: The Foundation North office will be temporarily closed from Monday 1st March.

About The Foundation

Advisor Marilou Sambajon

Moemoeā Our vision:

Whatītike oranga

Enhanced lives

Tā tātou whāinga Our purpose:

Kaitiakitanga, i mua, āianei, ā muri. Titiro whakamuri kia haere whakamua.

Our guardianship, in the past, at present and in the future. Looking back to move forward. To enhance the lives of the people of our region by being responsive to changing community needs and aspirations, focusing our mahi in order to have greater impact.

Ngā ūara Our values:

  1. Kia kotahi te hoe icon

    Kia kotahi te hoe

    Paddling in unison
  2. Whakamana icon


    Enabling, uplifting and reinforcing
  3. Ako icon


    Listening, learning and understanding
  4. Me mahi i roto te tika, te pono, me te aroha icon

    Me mahi i roto te tika, te pono, me te aroha

    Doing the right thing with respect and care

We are becoming a more strategic grant maker.

We are committed to ensuring that, while continuing our traditional community support funding, our focus will increasingly be on working in partnership with grantees and other funders to achieve projects of greater scale and impact for the communities of Auckland and Northland. With our funding, we are aiming to create significant positive change through supporting innovative projects and practices. To help organisations succeed we will prioritise additional support to assist selected organisations to develop their capacity.
Wekaweka Valley Community Trust
Our history
Our history

Our history

The Foundation was formed on 30 May 1988 through the creation of a Trust Deed under the Trustee Banks Restructuring Act 1988. The Foundation was settled with 60 million $1 prepaid ordinary shares in ASB Bank Limited, representing 100% of the issued capital. In 1989 45 million shares were sold to the Commonwealth Bank of Australia for $252 million, which was then donated to establish Foundation North.

On 3 October 2000 the remaining 25% shareholding was sold to the Commonwealth Bank for $560 million.

Because the objectives of the Trust were more restrictive than those of the ASB Bank Community Trust, it was able to obtain charitable status under the then current income tax legislation.

This meant that the Charitable Trust’s income was exempt from income tax, whereas income earned by the Community Trust remained subject to income tax.

The Income Tax Act 1994 was amended with effect from the 2005 financial year to confer income tax exempt status on community trusts established under the 1988 Trustee Banks Restructuring Act. With the Foundation now able to enjoy income tax exempt status, there was no longer any need for the “two trust” structure to continue. Based on advice received, the Trustees of Foundation North decided to distribute the Foundation’s Capital to the ASB Bank Community Trust as a precursor to winding up the Foundation. This distribution took place on 31 March 2006.

Grantmaking for innovation & systems change

Foundation North recognises that there are no easy answers to some of the challenges facing the region, and that new ways of working need to be encouraged and supported. We’ve been on a journeyto grow our understanding and practice in innovation and systems level change.

Read more about some of this mahi in our Reports section and on the G.I.F.T website.

    Pacific Youth Future Makers project launched 2019 South Auckland Community Innovation Fund prototyped 2019 Innovation Team formed and impact investment activity began 2018 Gulf Innovation Fund Together (G.I.F.T) established 2016 Māori & Pacific Education Initiative (MPEI) began 2006 Catalysts For Change programme initiated 2013 Foundation North Established 1988

    Our taonga

    Tūāpapa Taketake

    This carved taonga stands in the Foundation's boardroom, Rimu Tahi. It is the largest of a set of three taonga carved by whakairo | master carver Wikuki Kingi. Over 60 different native NZ and Pacific woods were used in the carving. The taonga were commissioned to signify a landmark point in the Foundation's history - the setting of a new 15-year strategy as well as the 15-year legacy of departing CEO Jennifer Gill and the passing of the baton to current CEO Peter Tynan. The form is influenced by the Foundation's koru logo, signifying permanence and a sense of building on the past and travelling towards the future. The name Tūāpapa Taketake was given by the Foundation's Kaumātua Kevin Prime and roughly translates as 'lasting, or long-established, foundation'.

    Mana Tūturu

    Created from the centre of Tūāpapa Taketake, this taonga was created by whakairo | master carver Wikuki Kingi from an array of different native NZ and Pacific woods. Named by the Foundation's Kaumātua Kevin Prime, Mana Tūturu holds the mauri of Foundation North and is with us when we hold public meetings, at key pōwhiri and hui and community events. Kevin Prime explains, "Mana is a difficult word to translate. Authority, prestige, power, presence, binding, certain, valid, effectual, authoritative are all possible English equivalents of the word mana. Tūturu is not so difficult to translate. Fixed, authentic, permanent, true, real, original, certain are all possible translations. When combined with Mana, the words describe the effect of a mauri stone to a building."


    This taonga was gifted to Jennifer Gill when she left Foundation North after 15 years as CEO in August 2019. Jennifer is pictured here wearing Wehenga with husband Harry (left) and incoming CEO Peter Tynan. It was carved by whakairo | master carver Wikuki Kingi and is a pendant created from the centre of Mana Tūturu. On giving it the name Wehenga, our Kaumātua Kevin Prime said, "It has three meanings - a part of, separation and leaving. All of these meanings have relevance to this special occasion - Jenny (part of us) separating and leaving us."

    Hoe (paddle)

    Named ‘Rangimarie’ (peace, aroha and treasured). This kauri taonga was presented to Foundation North by Sir Hekenukumaingaiwi Busby KNZM MBE, also known as Sir Hector Busby, of the Waka Ngatokimatawhaorua (Waitanga) and Mataatua (Taipa). It symbolises leadership which engenders peace, wisdom and confidence.

    The Commonwealth Quilt

    The Auckland 1990 Festival Committee commissioned the Commonwealth Quilt in honour of the 1994 Commonwealth Games. Designed and made in Auckland, it is the vision of artist Carole Shepheard. The central panel represents the conservation of our natural heritage. Above and below are borders of triangles, representing the migration of different cultures to this country. On either side, the Māori and Pacific panels envelope the quilt and bring it into balance. The project was funded by Foundation North and, after the quilt had toured the country, it returned here to be displayed in our boardroom.
    The Published History of Foundation North
    Foundation North

    The Published History of Foundation North

    In celebration of their 20th Anniversary in 2008, Foundation North was gifted a commemorative book named "Te Kaitiaki ō Te Pūtea: The History of Foundation North 1998-2008".

    Copies of the book are available by contacting the Foundation on 09 360 0291, or email