We are on a Horowhenua mission to activate the opportunities we have right here!


The Trust  was created in 2018 by members of the business community that saw the opportunity for an independent organisation that could bridge the gap between community, Council and business working to help Horowhenua realise its potential.

With the unanimous backing of the elected members of the Horowhenua District Council and key members of the business community, the Horowhenua New Zealand Trust was born.

The trustees set about focusing resources on the areas that they believed would make the biggest difference to Horowhenua. Within each of these areas, we work alongside others to find opportunities and support solutions by bringing together the right people, with the right resources and partnering with the right enterprises.

The Horowhenua New Zealand Trust established The Horowhenua Company Limited to operate as a commercial entity to:

  • provide economic development services to the district;
  • manage community and property development projects; and
  • act as the operating arm of the Horowhenua New Zealand Trust.


The Horowhenua New Zealand Trust is a not-for-profit organisation, governed by volunteer trustees.

Its mission is to improve economic and social outcomes for the Horowhenua.

We believe economic and social outcomes are closely linked. More jobs, higher household incomes, better access to housing and facilities all help to improve the outlook and quality of life for many in our district.

It formed The Horowhenua Company to enable the Trust to be financially sustainable, functioning as its commercial and operations arm.

The Trust invests in three area:

  • Community development initiatives that drive our mission.
  • Commercial projects that drive income that are consistent with our mission
  • Giving back [link to community distributions] through distributions that back projects and organisations that meet our social agenda.


All change requires agility. The ability to pivot and get things up and running with speed, scale and sustainability. Our structure allows us to create an impact, quickly, through different solutions.

We’re a not-for-profit organisation, governed by volunteer trustees who act in accordance with our Trust Deed. In order to make the difference Horowhenua needs, we needed to have access to sustainable financial resources. As a solution, the Trust created The Horowhenua Company Limited. The Horowhenua Company Limited is 100% owned by the Horowhenua New Zealand Trust, and operates commercially to generate reliable revenue for the Trust’s activities.

Over time, our structure will evolve. With the Trust as our core we will work collaboratively to find gaps, then individualise solutions by wrapping the right people and right resources around it. In some cases, this will mean we partner with the right enterprises, create new commercial companies or establish a specific charitable trust. Whether commercial or charitable, each solution builds on the other, and is what it needs to be to serve our community.


Our trustees came together because they believed that their experience and connections meant that they could make a real difference for Horowhenua. Learn more about our current trustees and their backgrounds.


The Horowhenua New Zealand Trust with the support of HDC, wanted to recognise the achievements of some true icons in the district.

The Trust arranged the installation of a permanent Horowhenua Business Hall of Fame board located in the main foyer of the Horowhenua District Council building. 

It was unveiled at a ceremony on Thursday 31st August 2023 by Mayor Bernie Wanden and Trust chair Antony Young in front of many past recipients and their families at the Business Kāpiti Horowhenua mayoral event.  

 The Horowhenua Business Hall of Fame Laureate honour is bestowed once a year to a local business leader whose accomplishments and influence on our community are palpably felt. Each year, a panel of dedicated individuals, brought together in confidence, collaborates to aid Mayor Wanden and Business Kāpiti Horowhenua in identifying these outstanding individuals.

Past Horowhenua Business Hall of Fame recipients:

2008     Bill Crighton            

2009     Roger Halliwell                

2010     Jake Slykhuis, John Turk  

2011     Collis Blake    

2012     George Sue     

2013     Graeme Bagrie

2014     Larry Ellison     

2015     Johnston Mac Tatana  

2016     Ross Crowe                    

2017     Stuart Irons         

2018     Ron Turk                        

2019     Geoff Lewis                   

2020     John Clarke, Stuart Pescini

2021     Bruce Little   

2022    Graham & Letitia Montford 

2023   Charlie & Chrissy Pedersen 


The Mayoral Business Hall of Fame laureates were announced at the Electra Business and Innovations Awards, on the 19th of October.

The Award is sponsored by the Horowhenua District Council.

The two exception individuals who have left in indelible mark on our community are Charlie and Chrissy Pedersen. As joint laureate nominees of the Horowhenua Business Hall of Fame for their leadership, business success, and tireless contributions to the Foxton Community, stand as an inspiring example for us all. 


In 2022, the Horowhenua New Zealand Trust earned dividends from the Horowhenua Company and were able to make several notable distributions back to the community.

The Trustees approved grants to the following organisations:


Wahine Toa have been running a programme that aims to empower women affected by family harm.

Founded by two local Horowhenua police constables Fiona Read and Liz Woodley in 2016, they organise and host a full weekend where a handful of participants are encouraged to challenge themselves to push past their own personal boundaries. About 10-12 participants are selected each year to attend a series of workshops, inspirational talks and part boot camp that stretches them both physically and mentally. They are fully supported by four instructors made up of police, social workers and selected members of the community.

This is then followed up with a “pamper day” where volunteers from the community give up their time to do hair, makeup and nails for our ladies, they are then taken out to dinner to celebrate.

This programme is really about empowering women who rarely get a break.

The Horowhenua New Zealand Trust provided funding to cover out of pocket costs for five years.


The Horowhenua New Zealand Trust is stepping up by putting $50,000 towards a Children’s Emergency Department within Palmerston North Hospital.

This is the first fundraising project for the new Palmerston North Hospital Foundation, of which former Horowhenua mayor Brendan Duffy is chairman.

Palmerston North Hospital is the main hospital for Horowhenua residents, providing 24-hour emergency care for Horowhenua families, he said.

A dedicated Emergency Department (ED) for children will be built next year within the existing footprint of the Palmerston North Hospital.

It will provide a separate waiting and treatment area for children, designed to meet their physical and emotional needs.


Highlighting Horowhenua as the key connection between Wellington and the Central North Island.

The stretch of road between Ōtaki and North of Levin has long been an accident hotspot and the cause of congestion on State Highway 1. The Government recognised the serious failings of this stretch of road, and began the process of identifying a preferred corridor for an expressway that would run from Ōtaki to North of Levin.

Once this corridor was identified - everything stopped. For the people who had properties in the proposed corridor, they were left with the uncertainty of not knowing when or if the road would be built, and unable to sell their properties for a fair price while the decision was in limbo. Businesses and the wider community put commercial decisions on hold, and still - people continued to die on this dangerous stretch of road.

Build Our Road is a campaign backed by the Horowhenua New Zealand Trust that sought to bring together community voices in a way that would have real impact with the decision makers of Government. 

By telling the Build Our Road story through different perspectives using Facebook, events, local newspapers and national media, and drawing on our extensive networks we were soon able to send a representative group to Government to talk with the Minister of Transport. 

Shortly after our meeting - an announcement was made by the Government that they were designating full funding for the design and construction of a two-lane expressway, with a delay on the construction start date.

Through content creation and our strategic relationships, we continued to advocate to the Government for the full, four-lane expressway and an expedited construction date. In January 2020, the Government made another announcement - this time designating funding for the full, four-lane expressway with construction to begin in 2025. 


Hope Kete operate a food bank in Levin based out of the Hope Church premises on Kent Street.

Set up during the first Covid lockdown. They collect food and distribute it. No questions, no judgement. Tania Machuca, Karen Morley and a crew of volunteers, many of whom started off dropping in to receive food parcels themselves, open up on Wednesdays. Right now, they feed between 80 to 130 families a week and hope to expand further.

They have built an operation from scratch. They are not only distributing food, but reduce waste. They typically receive produce from growers and producers that would have thrown out. They distribute food that’s just on or past their BEST BEFORE date. They collect food and provide on the ground resource to distribute it.

The Horowhenua New Zealand Trust funded the purchase of a walk in freezer to store food and other necessary supplies.


Levin was hit by a tornado at approximately 6.30am on Friday 20th May 2022, causing havoc, taking down trees, impacting power lines and taking off roofs. Over a hundred houses, properties vehicles and businesses that were in the path of the tornado suffered damage. A mayoral fund was established to support those affected that were not covered by insurance. The Horowhenua New Zealand Trust made a contribution of $50,000 to that fund.

Chairperson Antony Young said the trust wanted to help where it could and as quickly as it could.

“We felt it important to step up, and do what we could to put back to the community at this moment of need.”


We’re looking for leaders with diverse life experiences and skill sets that want to help us to move Horowhenua forward.

As a community-owned Trust; our strategy, resources and performance are directed and controlled by our trustees. We welcome suitably qualified people to register their interest in becoming trustees.

The Trust Deed requires only:

  • Serious commitment to working for the Horowhenua community in all its facets and amongst all its peoples; and,
  • Willingness to undertake the duties required by the legislation – these are not onerous, and the main requirements are being “straight”, working openly and honestly for the purposes of the Trust in all matters.
  • Anyone not excluded by NZ’s Trust legislation can become a trustee.

The trustee appointment process is set out below and in the Trust Deed.


The things the trustees consider when making appointments are simple. They include:

  • Mandatory requirements set by the Legislation - New Zealand legislation has some requirements applying to all Trusts (no children, generally no undischarged bankrupts, etc)
  • Composition of the Trust (how many trustees)
  • Diversity and the need to represent all voices
  • Continuity amongst trustees and institutional knowledge
  • The Trust’s succession plan
  • Knowledge and experience


We recognise that governance and being a trustee is a journey. We all must start somewhere, and we all need to keep learning. To support this, the Trust operates various development and training programmes.


Alongside our trustees, we need the support of our community to move Horowhenua forward. If you have expertise in a particular area and want to support your community please get in touch.


We regularly review registrations and interview potential candidates. When vacancies arise, you will be considered.

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In 2022, the Horowhenua New Zealand Trust earned dividends from the Horowhenua Company and were able to make several notable distributions back to the community.  

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