Trust Tairāwhiti trustee Kristen Kohere-Soutar said the Trust was pleased to approve the Rua Bioscience grant which would lead to improved employment opportunities for youth in an emerging cannabis industry.

Rua Bioscience will receive $50,000 ($25,000 a year over two years) towards a two-year initiative to develop the capability of East Coast rangatahi.

Rua Bioscience was founded in 2016 and began life as the Hikurangi Cannabis Company. It now has more than 25 employees and applied for funding to provide training and opportunities to young people on the East Coast who are rurally isolated. It aligns with the elements of Equity, Sustainability and Integrity that make up the Waharoa of He Tohu Ora, the wellbeing framework.

The company was formed on the request of hapu in the Waiapu Valley, with a strong endorsement to support the creation of economic opportunities in the district. It maintains regular engagement with marae, hapu and communities along the Coast through quarterly community upPublishDate hui.

In the application Rua Bioscience was able to show how this investment would bring economic benefits by providing education and training to youth who live in the remote East Coast. Rua Bioscience wants to attract residents in the Waiapu Valley and wider East Coast who are interested in a career in a high value, well-paid safe industry. The foundations of the company support pathways to employment for Ruatoria residents.

The Gisborne International Music Competition will receive $30,000 paid in increments of $10,000 over three years specifically for local Tairawhiti engagement events."

Running annually since 1989, GIMC is open to all players of orchestral instruments aged 16-25 years and attracts musicians to Gisborne from around New Zealand, Australia, Asia, USA and Europe.

GIMC is trying to widen the audience and make the music competition more accessible across age, ability, ethnicity and economic demographics.

Under the category of investigation, research and feasibility (IRF) Trust Tairāwhiti has approved funding to Cedenco Foods NZ Ltd - $28,422, Kawea Ltd $25,300 and Respond International Ltd - $30,000.

The Trust will co-fund phase two of Cedenco Food NZ"s research trial using UV light to eliminate pathogens from trade waste before it is discharged. Cedenco has agreed to share the research findings to improve the region's understanding of waste water. This is an environmental project which can be scaled to commercial applications, especially trade waste systems.

Kawea Limited will receive $25,3000 towards a project to provide market validation and financial modeling to assess the feasibility of developing a logistics platform for the forestry sector and other commodities. Equity elements of this IRF grant were highlighted as it will be supporting smaller players within the industry to be efficient.

The third recipient of IRF funding is Respond International Limited which will receive $30,000 to con-fund the "Respond System" as a trail in a high country farm application.

Respond is an integrated and IP-protected system for restoring and enhancing soil health. This increases the profitability of faming by improving the yield and quality of pastures resulting in increased stock weights, improved animal health and reduction in synthetic inputs.

"This new piece of work is to understand the impact the "Respond System" can have on high country farming and we are exciting to be part of what could be a game-changer," says Ms Kohere-Soutar.

"Restoring good health to our soils means healthier and more nutritious food which contributes to healthy and happy communities."

"This investment is a continuation of the close working relationship we have with Mr Hamilton. It is a great example of a Tairāwhiti success story and shows how assistance from the Trust can make a positive different to innovative new products and businesses," Ms Kohere-Soutar said.

Six smaller grants of $10,000 or less have been approved for strategic and focussed purposes. A grant of $10,000 has been approved for the Ruatoria Aero Club to partially fund events around its 60th Commemorations. It hopes to increase knowledge of the industry and inspire young people to develop plans for the future involving aviation.

Tairāwhiti Community Voice will receive $10,000 to fund a coordinator for 20 hours per week to provide NFP organisations network meetings and support.

Te Aroha Kanarahi Trust will receive $6,600 to cover driver and petrol costs which will reduce the barrier of transport issues for those who want to work in a remote area. It will pay for two vans to travel daily from Matakaoa to Te Kaha.

Eastland Swim will receive $6,255 to hold The Hawkes Bay Poverty Bay Swim Champs with more than 300 swimmers due to take part. Funding reduces barriers to entering for local competitors and the event brings benefits to local accommodation and hospitality providers.

The Ruatoria Gamers Club which provides a space for youth will receive $1,526 towards resources for games, power and food. It will also go towards a mural project they are planning.

Multicultural event, the Tairāwhiti Lantern Festival will receive $1,000 to support an event which promotes the appreciation of cultural diversity."