Funding trust lights up again

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Queenstown’s good causes can breathe easy – Central Lakes Trust is back in the black after two years in the red. 

CLT trustees will go to Monday night’s AGM in Cromwell feeling pretty chipper about their $17.7 million surplus for the March 31 year. 

Last year’s accounting loss was $7.5m, with funds under management down even further at $11.2m negative. 

With its bulging bottom line, trustees are pushing ahead with a new office block – also in Cromwell – at an unspecified cost. 

CLT emerged in 1999 when $155m of cash and assets from power co-op Central Electric was put into the trust rather than returned to consumers. 

Pioneer Generation, Central Electric’s power-producing arm, became a wholly-owned subsidiary of CLT and contributed a $3m dividend to its latest result. 

Controversially, Pioneer plans to dam the pristine Nevis River behind Queenstown’s Remarkables range. 

Local community groups have done well out of CLT – this past year, specific Wakatipu organisations received over $600,000 out of total grants of $4.5m, while the Wakatipu also benefits from other donations to regional bodies such as Alzheimers Society Otago. 

Four of CLT’s six trustees stand down in October when replacements will be elected.