Mike Olsen, Liz Koh, and Richard Mansell presented the new firefighting tool to John Backler who is the Chief Fire Officer for the Waikanae Fire Brigade.
The generosity of private donors from the Kapiti region has enabled the Waikanae Volunteer Fire Brigade to buy a new tool that will give faster access to burning buildings.
A recent $750 grant from Nikau Kapiti Fund was presented to the Brigade last week. This is the first ever grant from the newly- formed Kapiti fund.
The Nikau Kapiti Fund was set up in 2013 specifically to benefit the Kapiti region. It invites locals who want to leave a lasting legacy for their local community to contribute to the Fund. The Fund's capital remains intact and the distribution of the ongoing interest is given in community grants, creating sustainable community support.
The grant to the Waikanae Volunteer Fire Brigade was the first one made by the Fund.
Senior Station Officer Simpson said "this tool will allow us to do our job more efficiently. It will help us gain access to buildings very quickly when time is critical. It was on the top of our list of most wanted items."
Nikau Kapiti Fund chair, Liz Koh, said the grant was an exciting milestone but it was imperative that the Fund grew so more groups could be assisted.
"We have begun but we need to build so we would welcome anyone who is interested in this sort of legacy to get touch with us," says Ms Koh.
"People are more likely to give if they know it's going to benefit local people. And I think people have a strong drive to give back when it's their time to move on. They've bought up their families here, run businesses, used the facilities; and now they want the next generation to have the same benefits as they had. If we all did that, we'd have a sustainable community. I really believe that."
Kapiti Nikau Fund is under the umbrella of Nikau Foundation. Nikau is part of the world's fastest growing movement in philanthropy – Community Foundations. They are also a funding manager for The Tindall Foundation grants for the Wellington region.
Kapiti Nikau Fund is leading the way as a similar fund is underway in the Wairarapa region.