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A change of guard.

$1,984 of $152,000 goal
Given by 25 generous donors in 9 weeks

To settle the purchase of our property or forfeit our deposit of $149,000.00. $31,000 will give us the deposit for a bank loan.

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Established in 2014 by Lewis Verduyn-Cassells, the Red Bridge River Park Trust was created in response to a growing concern that New Zealand’s waters (particularly freshwater) are at risk and need a voice. The objective of the Trust is to protect and enhance the mauri of our waters beginning with the Clutha/Mataau River. Water monitoring, water care and rejuvenation of native plants along the river (in particular at the Luggate area) are fundamental activities of the Trust.

The Trust manages a one acre property and a small “River Keeper’s” cottage sitting at the side of the Clutha River near the Luggate Red Bridge. Lewis, as chairman of the Trust, silently chipped away at the Trust’s objective. Maintaining a small nursery, the cottage, gardens & grounds and occasionally clearing the river of debris.

Lewis had negotiated for the Trust an agreement to purchase the property from Contact Energy. Thanks to a donation of $149,000 from the Verduyn-Cassells family, and to the generosity of Contact Energy, the balance required to settle the sale and purchase agreement is only $151,000 – newly negotiated as due by either 2nd of June 2020 or ten working days after that date if we are not at level two.

In February 2019 Lewis became unwell. Sadly, he passed away mid August 2019. As part of Lewis’ Estate discovery, the remaining Trustee; Jeromy Van Riel, took on the task of upholding the original vision and establishing the current status of the Trust.

Jeromy has been hard at work reviving the Trust, re-claiming it’s identity, transparency and opening it for new Trustees. Jeromy asked two further people to take on the roles of Trustee. Subsequently; Anthony Olsen and Timothy Ryan agreed to be Trustees. Fyfe Karamaena Law helped assist the Trust in dealing with legalities of re-establishing the Trust as a working entity. They are now the nominated Lawyers for the Trust.

To date the Trust has:

Updated its status with the Charitable Trust Registrar

Filed the Trust’s returns for 2018 & 2019

Maintained open & transparent communication with Contact Energy

The Trust intends to uphold the vision Lewis created, to ensure future generations have pristine water ways and a place to enjoy being a part of their natural environment in perpetuity. The Trust is committed to serving our communities and the interests of all life that shares our waterways.

It now invites community input as we remember the unfortunate passing of our founding Trustee; Lewis Verduyn-Cassells. It seeks how to best define and provide for “the protection of human interaction as part of our natural environment” with its injection into the guiding principles of the Red Bridge River Park Trust Charter.

We need your help.

The Red Bridge Riverpark Trust is seeking immediate financial assistance to pay the outstanding balance of $151,000 to Contact Energy by June 2020.

If you can help in any way, please contact:

About us

We intend to provide a river park focused on native restoration, stewardship, education and research, where children and adults can learn about river ecosystems and how to protect and restore them.

Use of funds

To pay contact energy in full for the purchase of our property. If there is surpls we will use it to create much needed repairs to the building and creating a better parking area.Should we fall short we will apply for a mortgage.

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Latest update

Meeting tomorrow night  17 June 2020

Posted by: Red Bridge River Park Charitable Trust

Kia ora mai taatou.

Firstly, thank you everybody for your support. We have no measure by which to express our gratitude to you ( many of who are strangers to us). Thank you for your kindness.

We have called a meeting for 6pm Thursday 18 June at the Hawea Flat Hall to update our community on where we are at and to rally a committee together. We take the position that we won't let covid 19 and it's political and social effects affect us, we will push through. Our hope is to secure a loan with the bank and secure our property and then work to apply for as many projects as our committee are able to. The house has been rented for the present in order to show some earnings to the bank and to keep a representative of the river keeper on sight. We're getting excited now, only $150000 more to raise!!! Keep wishing us luck! Thank you

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Latest donations

Libby on 18 Jun 2020
Emmilee on 16 Jun 2020
Adam on 15 Jun 2020
forrest on 10 Jun 2020
Tom on 09 Jun 2020
Awesome! Good luck :)

Who's involved?

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Created by, and paying to a verified bank account of, Red Bridge River Park Charitable Trust (Charity)

Registered Charity A Registered Charity has legal recognition under the Charities Act 2005.
Tax credit Donations of over $5 are eligible for a New Zealand charitable giving tax credit.
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This page was created on 24 Apr 2020 and closed on 30 Jun 2020.
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