The Sutherland Self Help Trust was conceived in 1941 by Arthur Sutherland, son of Ben Sutherland. The Sutherlands owned and managed New Zealand’s first major chain of grocery stores – the Self Help Co-op – and it was their wish to create a trust fund to further community welfare in New Zealand.

The Sutherland family donated property to form the capital for the Trust. After a period of 20 years the income generated by this capital was distributed to causes judged worthy by a Board of Trustees.

Patricia-McGavin-cutting-ribbon-with-John-Sutherland,-Jackie-Johnson-supporting,-Copeland-St-29Jan2013-030The board of trustees is made up of two Sutherland Family appointments, and one appointment each from the Law Society, Medical Council and The Institute of Chartered Accountants.

The first distribution was made in 1962. In that year $41,360 was distributed to 17 organisations. Since then over $28 million has been distributed.

Today, the Sutherland Self Help Trust provides grants to community organisations throughout New Zealand. Its current policy specifies the areas of interest for each year.

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2019 Grant Policy

The Trustees of the Sutherland Self Help Trust Board advise that 2019 grant funding will be made to;

community organisations that assist the elderly.”

In 2017 the Care and Support Workers Settlement Bill passed to redress the undervaluation of about 55,000 predominantly female aged-care and disability workers. Over a five year period, the bill seeks to support the principle that men and women should be paid the same for doing different jobs that are of equal value.

To support the transition of aged care facilities to achieve the principles of pay equality and improved elderly care, for 2019 we will focus our capital expenditure funding to assist the elderly.

Organisations are asked to send in a single-page summary of their specific project and organisation details before 31st January 2019.  Organisations selected by the Trustees will then be invited to apply on an official online application form in March 2019.

Projects eligible for consideration include buildings, equipment, & other capital expenditure.

Funding will not include operating expenses, salaries, research, vehicle operation and administration costs.  Grants will be made only to charitable organisations (not individuals) and are for use only in New Zealand. We will focus funding between $25,000 and $50,000 for each organisation. Funding will be distributed from June 2019.

Organisations applying should provide an email address, postal address, physical address, charities registration number (if applicable), phone number and contact person.

Please send in your project summary by 31st January 2019 by email to:


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