Why we formed a charitable trust:

The neighbours of SALT District learned from experience how helpful it could be to have a shared legal entity that could make hyperlocal collaborations easier. It could enable risk-sharing, asset-sharing, and hopefully eventually, resource-sharing if we were fortunate enough to be able to employ our own place resource.

It is for this purpose that we formed the SALT Collective Charitable Trust, with neighbours across the district volunteering to be trustees on the board. In addition to our trustees, we had a small amount of resource thrown into the mix from Ōtākaro Ltd and from ChristchurchNZ to help us get set up in a way that other neighbourhoods could replicate.

At a practical level, this means we:

  • Look after the network and culture, share vision and inspiration
  • Support ‘greater good’ collaborative projects
  • Enable shared assets and risks
  • Build local placemaking knowledge

Why we wrote our charitable purpose the way we did:

In New Zealand, charitable trusts must have a trust deed which outlines the commitment made to their charitable kaupapa/purpose. Lots of trust deeds are very simple. But ours isn’t. We needed to convince the Charities Services that it was valid to focus our activities at the scale of a neighbourhood rather than a region, and demonstrate that we were not simply trying to benefit business. So our trust deed has been written to:

  • Clearly set out our intended activities
  • Reflect our commitment to the Town Team Charter
  • Reflect our commitment to support the strategic priorities of our local government (to Active Citizens and Connected Communities)
  • Do so in a way that others can also understand and replicate if they wish.

Here is ours:

To support SALT District to become a positive and proactive neighbourhood with welcoming and vibrant places for people at the heart, inclusively shaped by the people of the place for the enjoyment of all, supporting the success of the surrounding area, by:

  • Being positive and proactive leaders for SALT District
  • Being inclusive and working on behalf of the whole community
  • Fostering social cohesion and creating a more caring, resilient community in SALT District
  • Organising and holding community events
  • Enabling and empowering active citizenship, by:
  • Providing educational opportunities
  • Providing shared resources
  • Working with others to advocate for local aspirations
  • Facilitating locally-led initiatives which improve the creative, innovative and cultural vitality of the area and generate community pride (such as installations, events and public art)
  • Engaging young people, artists and mana whenua alongside local investors, businesses, workers, schools, community groups and city partners
  • Fostering citizen leaders

The second part of our purpose is:

To support Christchurch’s social, cultural, physical and environmental regeneration and inclusivity after the earthquakes of 2011 by working with others to:

  • Improve the ways public places support wellbeing through supporting more sustainable, participative practices, and more progressive, regenerative place-based policies, which enable local people to play a greater role in shaping and activating their local public places
  • Promote SALT District as a model for equitable community-led development and placemaking
  • Contribute to a thriving cultural scene, enriched recreational opportunities and a vibrant urban experience for the benefit of residents and visitors to the city

We would like to thank Steven Moe of Parry Field, New Zealand’s leading social enterprise lawyer, for his advice and support in our bid for acceptance by charity services, and Ōtākaro Ltd for providing placemaking support to draft our deed and engage Parry Field.

We were incorporated on 31 October 2019, and our trust deed is now regarded as sector-leading in New Zealand. You can meet Steven here and listen to his podcast ‘SEEDS’ interviewing purpose-led people here.