It was a simple request.

An inquiry from Clyde Primary School principal Doug White has led to 27 schools in the Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes districts being granted a share of $235,000 to plug gaps in funding due to Covid-19.

The funding comes courtesy of the Central Lakes Trust “Covid-19 Resilience in Schools” programme launched in response Mr White’s request.

“One inquiry from a very small school” had led to funding being rolled out to every school in the trust’s coverage area, he said.

Schools often relied on gaming machine or other community funding for extracurricular activities but that funding stream to schools had dried up due to lockdown.

In the absence of this source of funding the trust initiative was created $20,000 have been made on the basis of school roll.

Mr White said he made the call as a result of being “creative” during early lockdown and the trust came back to him towards the end of the lockdown period.

His school’s share amounted to $5000 based on a roll of 156.

The funding was “very timely” and, although it did not fit with the way the trust normally handed out grants, trust grants manager Mat Begg was receptive, he said.

“For Clyde Primary School, this funding gives our students some sense that the world is returning to normal.

“In terms of student wellbeing this funding will support our winter sports programme.”

That included a three-night ski camp to Coronet Peak for senior pupils, part of the school’s winter programme for 15 years, Mr White said.

“For our junior school it will mean a mixture of ice-skating and curling in Alexandra, or a day trip to the Snow Farm.”

Trust chief executive Susan Finlay said building the resilience of schools had a positive impact on families.

Mr Begg said the trust had positive feedback and some schools had already earmarked where funds would go.


  • Grants to Central Otago schools include; Alexandra Primary School, St Gerard’s School, Dunstan High School, The Terrace School, Clyde Primary School, Cromwell Primary School, Goldfields Primary School, Cromwell College, Roxburgh Area School, Millers Flat School, Poolburn School, Omakau School, and Tarras Primary School.
  • In the Lakes District schools to receive grants include; Wanaka Primary School, Te Kura O Take Karara, Holy Family Catholic School, Mt Aspiring College, Hawea Flat School, Makarora Primary School, Arrowtown Primary School, Kingsview Primary School, Queenstown Primary School, St Joseph’s School, Remarkables Primary School, Wakatipu High School, Shotover Primary School, and Glenorchy School.

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