Charity House Project

The Charity House Project is a collaboration between Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology (Toi Ohomai), Rotary Rotorua Sunrise Charitable Trust, Rotorua Lakes Council, Rotorua Chamber of Commerce and the business community. The project brings Toi Ohomai carpentry, electrical and interior design students together with local tradespeople and suppliers in partnership for the community. Many local suppliers provide the build materials, and many of these suppliers are Rotarians in various Rotorua Rotary Clubs. The house is auctioned in early December each year with the proceeds distributed to worthy local charities registered under the Charity’s Act 2005.

The Charity House Distribution Committee will consider requests for funding which must benefit the local community. Only Rotorua based charitable causes or projects will qualify to apply. It is expected that any approved funding will be treated as a partnership between the applicant and the Charity House Distribution Committee.

Funds are generally available to distribute between April and May each year. Applications to apply for funding from the proceeds of the project were closed on 29th March, 2019.

Benefits to Community

The Charity House goes under the hammer at a charity auction. All proceeds go to the Rotary Club of Rotorua Sunrise, the designated local charitable trust to manage the distribution of funds to local charities.

2018 Charity House proceeds were awarded to:

  • Western Heights Community Association
  • Society of St Vincent De Paul
  • Rotorua Mountain Bike Club
  • Rotorua Community Youth Centre Trust
  • Rotorua Musical Theatre Inc
  • Visions of a Helping Hand Charitable Trust Rotorua
  • Rotorua Citizens Advice Bureau
  • Rotorua District Riding for the Disabled Assn Inc
  • Stand Children’s Services
  • Combined Rotary Clubs of Rotorua Charitable Trust
  • Rotorua Hospital Chaplaincy Trust
  • Parkinson’s NZ

2017 Charity House proceeds were awarded to:

  • Age Concern Rotorua Incorporated
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rotorua
  • Kai Rotorua
  • Rotorua Emergency Response Team
  • Society of St Vincent de Paul

2016 Charity House proceeds were awarded to:

  • Age Concern Rotorua District Inc.
  • Alzheimers Rotorua Inc. Society
  • Aratika Cancer Trust
  • Citizens Advice Bureau
  •  Eastern Suburbs Pre-School Charitable Trust
  • Kidscan Charitable Trust
  • Kiwi Can Programme
  • Mokoia Community Association
  • My Future Rocks
  • Ngongotaha Community Patrol
  • One Chance Charitable Trust
  • Parkinson’s Central Plateau Division
  • Rotorua Children’s Art House
  • Rotorua Community Menz Shed Trust
  • Rotorua Community Youth Centre Trust
  • Rotorua Emergency Response Team
  • Rotorua Hospital Chaplaincy Trust
  • St Vincent De Paul Society
  • Waiariki Women’s Refuge
  • Western Heights community Association
  • Work Matters Trust

2013 – 2014 – 2015 Charity House proceeds were awarded to:

  • Alzheimer’s Society Rotorua
  • Aratika Cancer Trust
  • Bay Trust Rescue Helicopter
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rotorua
  • Citizens Advice Bureau
  • Lakes Medical Services Trust
  • Linton Park Community Centre
  • Love Soup Rotorua
  • Manaaki Ora
  • Mokoia Community Association
  • Myalgic Encephalopathy/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Ngongotaha Community Patrol
  • Rotorua Children’s Art House
  • Rotorua Community Menz Trust
  • Rotorua SPCA
  • Rotorua Youth Centre
  • Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind
  • Te Roopu A Iwi O Te Arawa
  • The Salvation Army Rotorua
  • Spoonful of Sugar Charitable Trust
  • Western Heights Primary School Oral Language Programme

The Next House Project is Underway!

The Charity House project meets one of Rotary’s key areas of focus to enhance humanitarian service by participating in a local service project related to economic and community development.

Construction of each Charity House begins in March each year at the construction site at Toi Ohomai, Mokoia Campus, Rotorua.

The project might be considered a mixture of The Block NZ, Design Dealers, and Home Under the Hammer as it involves building a three-bedroom re-locatable house, decorating it, and then selling it at auction.

Toi Ohomai carpentry students gain valuable hands-on experience building the house from start to finish; interior design students will compete for the winning kitchen design and decide on the exterior and interior colour schemes, floor coverings and bathroom design; and electrical students will wire up the house. It’s a grassroots community effort as local suppliers provide the build materials and tradesmen chip in where needed with advice, labour and employment opportunities.

Rotary Rotorua Sunrise has developed a close relationship with Toi Ohomai and the students. As the recipients of the proceeds and responsible for distributing the funds within our community we are actively engaged with the students and partners. Club members are getting to know the students and are finding out what opportunities there are to assist and develop the students’ leadership and ‘soft skills’. There is also the opportunity for students to be identified as suitable candidates for Rotary Youth Leadership Awards and Outbound Bound. Students are interested in helping us with our community projects and have volunteered at the Rotary Global Swimarathon for End Polio Now and Rotorua Lakeside Concert.

Club members have been involved in helping out at the annual build launches, builders’ breakfasts, student barbeques, the Roof Shouts, Open Days and the Presentation of Proceeds to the local charity groups.

“This is an exciting and unique community project for Rotary Rotorua Sunrise to work along-side students training to become our next generation of tradespeople and designers. Carpenters are in short supply in New Zealand and with the rebuild of earthquake-ravaged Christchurch and the demand for housing in Auckland at the top of the government’s priority list, this collaboration is important to our economy and community”, says Sue Gunn, Past President and Charity House Project Coordinator.

“The students love this experience – the hands-on learning, working under close supervision of the tutors, gaining new skills that will go towards their qualification and apprenticeship, working on building a real house that will become a home with a family living in it for many years to come”, says Malcolm Frost, Carpentry Programme Manager at Toi Ohomai.

“This pre-trade carpentry course, which included working on the Charity House has been a really useful stepping stone for me as I came in not knowing anything at all and now I have been taught enough to move on to an apprenticeship. I’ve learnt a lot here at Toi Ohomai because although there are theoretical aspects, most of it is practical and caters to the way I learn best. It goes to show just because you don’t do well at high school, it doesn’t mean you can’t make something of your life, you just need to know what you want to do and how to get there”, says Chance Bock, graduate of Toi Ohomai and now doing an apprenticeship with a local builder.

Partners in the project

This project could not happen without our amazing partners. Please support them for supporting the young learners and the local community.

  • BNZ
  • Carpet Court Rotorua
  • Gib Winstone Wallboards Ltd
  • Hepburn Electrical Ltd
  • Hume Pine (NZ) Ltd
  • J A Russell
  • John Chittenden Design
  • Lee Brothers Cabinets & Joinery
  • Leishman Electrical Ltd
  • MediaWorks – MoreFM Rotorua
  • Michelangelo Plasterers
  • Mitre 10 Mega Rotorua
  • Opus International Consultants Ltd
  • Professionals McDowell Real Estate Ltd
  • Red Stag Timber
  • Resene Paints Ltd
  • Roofing Industries (Taupo) Ltd
  • Rotorua Chamber of Commerce
  • Rotorua Lakes Council
  • Rylock Bay of Plenty
  • Scaffolding NZ Ltd
  • Telfer Young
  • The Lewis Plumbing Company
  • Yellow Fin Painting Ltd
  • Plus Apex Valves – Dux Industries – Kohla – House Transporters Ltd – Hydroflow – Lighting Direct – Marley New Zealand – OCS – Plumbing World – Rheem New Zealand – The Jones Family Business

Egenia Aucamp Kitchen Design Winner 2016