The Project


In response to a community call for information and connectedness, the Te Puke Centre Steering Group was formed in 2017. This Steering Group has now transformed into The Te Puke Charitable Trust and The Trust Deed was signed by the Trustees in December 2018.

  • THE TE PUKE CENTRE CHARITABLE TRUST BOARD was incorporated under the Charitable Trusts Act 1957 on the 7th of January 2019.
  • The constitution of Te Puke Centre Limited was developed and the Company incorporated on 31 January 2019 (See Operating Model)
  • TTPCCT obtained New Zealand Charitable Status on 27 of February 2019. Number CC56527

With the Trust now formed, all members of the Working group took on the role of  Trustees and continued the work of driving the vision to establish a Te Puke Centre which will provide a strategic and central home in the business district for Te Puke and the surrounding areas to promote and celebrate our region.

Early in 2019 the opportunity arose to enter negotiations with NZ Post regarding purchasing the NZ Postal and Payment Services in the central location of 81 Jellicoe Street Te Puke. This purchase was enabled with the help of the community funding which raised $ 65,000 via Pledgeme and other funding means to contribute to the purchase of the operation of the NZ Post in the existing position. The Trust entered into lease discussions with the landlords of 81 Jellicoe Street which resulted in a non-binding MOU outlining the future scenarios and possibilities with regard to the future lease arrangements. This opportunity to operate the NZ Postal and Payment services allowed for the profits from the NZ Post operation to go back to the Te Puke Centre Charitable Trust to enable the establishment of the Te Puke Centre in the same location.  This social enterprise model has underpinned the Trust’s vision for the financial sustainability of the Te Puke Centre.

  • The NZ Postal and Payment Services Agreement between Te Puke Centre Ltd (The Te Puke Charitable Trust is the sole shareholder of Te Puke Centre Ltd.) and NZ Post Ltd was signed by the Directors on 29th of July 2019. The commencement date of for the takeover of the NZ Post service was 7 Oct 2019.
  • At Dawn on October 7, 2019 a blessing was held under the guidance of the local iwi and and Te Manawa, the Te Puke Centreand the new NZ Post service was opened.

Te Manawa (The Heart) was the name gifted to the Centre by local iwi as well as a whakatauki “Tuituia te here tangata”. See the Te Manawa, Te Puke Centre brochure for further information.


The Vision of The Te Puke Centre Charitable Trust is to:

  • Endeavour to work holistically with Tangata Whenua by following principles Mana Atua, Mana Tūpuna, Mana Whenua, Mana Tangata. 
  • Promote and celebrate the history of Te Puke, the Kiwifruit story and other stories by being a Front Door and showcase to our town and district.  
  • Create a place where all feel they can belong.
  • Create a place where people can share, learn and connect.
  • Provide a place for the provision of information and activities for the benefit of all those who make up and visit our community.
  • Be responsive to the needs of the kiwifruit industry by being attractive to seasonal workers.

The Te Puke Centre Charitable Trust through its subsidiary company Te Puke Centre Ltd and the social enterprise model outlined in the Te Manawa, Te Puke Centre brochure aims to develop The Te Puke Centre to service a thriving town, via place-making, community connections and community led development.

Te Puke is a place of diverse ideas, cultures and backgrounds. When we work together, we bring our communities together, and we create something strong and powerful to sustain and grow our town and its surrounding areas for many years to come.

The Te Puke Centre aims to:

  • Develop and operate the Te Puke Centre;
  • Run outreach projects and centre activities, and use those projects and centre activities to build and maintain a strong and resilient Te Puke community.
  • Provide co-working space, board room and meeting rooms as part of the social enterprise model. See Te Manawa, Te Puke Centre brochure for more information.
  • Provide a central online space to support and coordinate the sharing of community facilities, information and knowledge.
  • Promote and celebrate social cohesion within the Te Puke community, including promoting a sense of community, engagement and identity in connection with the local environment, industry, tourism, history, culture and people.
  • Establish, maintain, operate and support social enterprises.
  • Seek, raise, accept and receive donations, subscriptions, subsidies, grants, endowments, endorsements, sponsorships, gifts, legacies and bequests whether in money or in kind or partly in both.
  • Seek, accept and coordinate volunteer support.
  • Undertake such other activities and enterprises to further the charitable purposes of The Trust as the Trustees may decide.


  • To be a charitable organisation responsive to the community that is non-denominational, apolitical, multi-cultural and all-age encompassing, working in partnership with existing organisations in the area to facilitate new opportunities for the benefit of the people and environment.
  • To work holistically with Tangata Whenua and actively apply the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi to our way of working.

Operating Model

The Trust

Te Puke Charitable Trust

The governing body of the Centre is the Te Puke Centre Charitable Trust-Pending (TPCCT). The Trustees are members from the community with diverse strengths, backgrounds and a wide knowledge base. The Trust is able to  bring in people with skills on an as needed basis. It is envisaged that the TPCCT will engage a CEO who will manage operations  on their behalf. The TPCCT will encourage community engagement through a ‘Friends of the Centre’ type organisation. The input from this group will allow the Centre to respond to community needs.

The Trust:

  • Endeavours to work holistically with Tangata Whenua by following principles Mana Atua, Mana Tūpuna, Mana Whenua, Mana Tangata. 

  • Promotes and celebrates the history of Te Puke, the Kiwifruit story and other stories by being a Front Door and showcase to our town and district.  

  • Creates a place where all feel they can belong.

  • Creates a place where people can share, learn and connect.

  • Provides a place for the provision of information and activities for the benefit of all those who make up and visit our community.

  • Is responsive to the needs of the kiwifruit industry by being attractive to seasonal workers.


Karen Summerhays

Karen Summerhays


Karen is a returned resident of Te Puke, having moved back to the area in 2014. Presently self- employed as a Community Development Specialist. She has experience in the establishment of community social infrastructure, environmental programmes and place-making. As a former Bay of Plenty Regional Councillor she understands civic and RMA processes and, due to her recent work with SmartGrowth BOP, the projections and impacts of future growth in the Te Puke area.

Karen was a founding trustee of the Tauranga Environment Centre Charitable Trust (Envirohub), a current Founding Trustee of the Sustainable Endeavours Trust and several other community governance positions, she has a deep understanding of the challenges faced by, and the opportunities for the not-for-profit sector; in particular social enterprises and community led development In the past Karen has managed large scale sustainability and social projects which involved the supervision of a diverse range of contractors. She is presently completing her Masters of (community) Education and has a deep passion for empowering communities through the development of Community Plans.

Monique Lints

Monique Lints

Deputy Chairperson/Funding

Monique is an event planner, co-ordinator and volunteer who strongly supports the community through connections and providing platforms to strengthen district wide organisations, businesses and groups.

Currently resigned after her 5th term as President of Te Puke Toy Library, she has lived in Te Puke for over 8 years and is lucky enough to be a home owner, where she brings up her 3 boys along with her Husband.
Monique is a proud supporter for the community of Te Puke because of the sense of belonging she feels with her family, she plays her part in creating this for other families and individuals across the town through events and other activities.

Currently working with Tauranga City Council as a Community Liaison Co-Ordinator she is enjoying being out and about in the district and making further connections across all sectors.
Monique serves on the Community Response team, Community Garden and also facilitates the Te Puke Community Markets, Brick Kids and other Community events which develops her skill set further and provides great opportunities for community development as a volunteer and role model.

Nicola Cooke

Nicola Cooke


Nicola has lived in Tauranga/Te Puke since 1981 with the last few years in Te Puke.  Currently she is working in Real Estate for Eves Realty and has been for the past 15 years. Nicola has raised her three children and now has five grandchildren.

Her past working experience includes managing a medical practice, teaching English as a foreign language, working in project management in the residential building industry, experience in the insurance industry and other roles. Her education includes a BA in English and Anthropology along with a Diploma of Business Studies.

Her volunteering history includes various fund raising activities for the primary and intermediate schools her children attended. Nicola was a Trustee on the Waldorf Schools Trust and was heavily involved in the development of the school land and buildings in Welcome Bay.  She remains a Founder Trustee on the Waldorf School Trust.

Life in Real Estate has precluded much time left over for other voluntary activities but Nicola has found the development of the Te Puke Centre Project worthwhile and invigorating, with  the clear need for the asset for the Te Puke community: a central co-ordinating and information hub for all groups and a Front Door to Te Puke.  

Jenny Wotten

Jenny Wotten


Jenny has worked as an Electorate Agent in Te Puke for several respected Members of Parliament since 2001 and been a Justice of the Peace since 2002. 

In her other, part-time role, she is an Executive Officer for a NZ statutory body (Council). Jenny is a diligent and efficient team member with a variety of skills gained from her previous work experience including Executive Officer for Tauranga Hockey Assoc, Financial Controller for a medical practice and public servant in Canberra for 13 years

Jenny’s volunteer roles started in Canberra as President of a large Social Club, organising activities for staff. On arriving in Te Puke in 1997, she took on many new roles mostly relating to her children’s activities as they grew up including Kindergarten Treasurer, school PTA member and President, Focus Te Puke committee, Secretary Neighbourhood Support and the local It’s Not Ok Campaign in which she is a Champion against family violence.

In her spare time, she is involved in the local Squash Club as the Communications Officer (previously Secretary then President). Jenny holds a General Manager’s Licence and is the Bar Manager at the Te Puke Squash Club.

While Jenny is a busy mother of 3 now grown up children, she still finds time to help with activities like fundraising, feeding the homeless and other volunteer roles. She is a very giving person who doesn’t think twice about pitching in to help the community.

Dale Snell

Dale Snell

Trustee/Community Liaison

Dale has lived in Te Puke for 17 years with her husband 3 children and 2 grandchildren.

Dale is employed by Plunket as the Community Services Coordinator for the Western Bay of Plenty. She has close connections with many Health Providers and Social Services throughout the WBOP rohe, from Whakatane through to Katikati, and in particular within Te Puke.  Dale is an active member on the committees of Te Puke It’s Not Okay, Te Puke War Memorial Hall Society, Te Puke Community Response Plan and the Te Puke Community Events group.  Previously Dale had a 10 year association with Te Puke Primary School, as a Trustee, Chairperson of the PTA and netball management. She still offers her services to the PTA for their major fundraisers. 

Dale has a 15 year history as marketing manager/Administrator for a group of financial advisors in Mount Maunganui, including running business networking groups.  She is admin to a variety of Social Media programmes and is involved in organising and managing many local community events, both for Plunket and in her volunteer capacity for Te Puke.  

Dale and her family spend most of their weekends helping out other community groups and digging in to working bees. Dale’s enthusiasm is contagious and her drive to complete projects makes her a valuable team member. 

Viv Brownrigg

Viv Brownrigg

Trustee/Business Advisor

Viv is brand new to the Steering group but is already enthusiastic about the project. Viv is a Chartered Accountant who commenced sole practice in Te Puke in 1994, founding and developing a thriving business, The Business Results Group Limited, now known as BRG. In November 2011 she was awarded a fellowship by the NZ Institute of Chartered Accountants for her outstanding contribution to the accounting profession.

Recognising an industry need for systemisation, in 2002 Viv founded Business Fitness NZ Ltd, providing process driven content to hundreds of NZ accounting firms. In 2011 Viv sold Business Fitness to CCH New Zealand, part of the Wolter Kluwers international publishing empire.

Her latest business creation, The Gap 2014 Ltd, provides a bespoke Business Coaching portal to hundreds of accounting practices worldwide, enabling them to coach their SMB clients towards business success . Viv sits on a number of private company boards and is passionate about the creation and success of the New Zealand small business.

Viv is delighted to be contributing her financial and commercial skills to the Steering Group and is loving working with a group of passionate, dedicated and, at times,  comedic women.

The Te Puke Centre Working Group