A Historical Summary

The inaugural meeting of the Pacific Education Development Trust Board was held on 26 August 1985. Acting on a recommendation from the Principal, the Bay of Plenty Community College Council had taken the initiative and approached prominent people in the region’s industry and commerce to become trustees.

A constitution for the Trust as a charitable organisation was approved in November 1985. The objects of the Trust were to raise funds and engage in business activities that would allow the expansion of educational training opportunities of all kinds in the Bay of Plenty generally and in the Community College in particular. From 1 January 1989 this latter reference to the College was deleted and the Trust now exists to assist “such educational or training institutions as the Board may see fit”.

On 5 December 2007 the Trust changed its name to Bay of Plenty Education Trust to better reflect its area of influence.


The Bongard Centre

From the beginning of the Trust there was a desire to establish a multi-story education complex in downtown Tauranga. The Department of Education supported the concept but was not able to make capital available. The Trust initiated the purchase of the site in 1987, secured Town Planning approval, ran a planning competition, called tenders based on the winning plan, and began construction of the $13 million centre before the project was purchased and completed by the Ministry of Education in 1990.


In 1987 the Trust purchased a $270,000 motel in Whitianga which was developed to become an educational outpost of the Polytechnic. Unfortunately the EFTS funding system rendered this activity uneconomic and in February 1993 the Polytechnic regretfully closed its activities on the site. The property is still leased to the Ministry of Education and is being used for educational purposes by a local committee as the Mercury Bay Community College.

The property was sold in 1997 after the College no longer required the facility.

Papamoa Farm

A $1.04 million farm property of 111 hectares in Tara Road, Papamoa, was purchased by the Trust in June 1990 and leased to the Polytechnic to assist the training of students in farming and related pursuits. In January 1993 the ownership and operating structures were changed to become Education Farms Ltd, the shareholders being the Trust with 660,000 shares, and the Polytechnic with 320,000. The farm operates under a Board of Directors consisting of three farmers appointed by the Trust and two representatives from the polytechnic. The property has shown as increase in capital value of over 50% in three years, an increase in production of some 45%, and is a sound commercial proposition.

The property was sold in 2001 after the Polytechnic restructured its farming courses and no longer needed the farm.

20 Lagoon Place

In February 1993 the Trust purchased a residential property at 20 Lagoon Place for $106,000 plus costs. The site backing onto the buildings adjacent to the Library is crucial to the long term development of the Windermere Campus. The Trust has granted the Polytechnic an option to purchase at $107,000 as it has no wish to make a profit at the Polytechnic’s expense. The Polytechnic subsequently exercised this option and purchased the property.

StrateMM Pacific Limited

The Trust acquired the New Zealand marketing rights for the Transformation of American Industry (TAI) quality assurance programmes based on the Deming philosophy in November 1986. The programmes were so successful that a larger organisation was required to meet the demands. StrateMM Pacific Ltd was set up in 1988 but over the years it proved difficult to devise a structure that satisfied the needs of all the personalities involved. The company was sold to the Polytechnic in May 1992.

Pacific Child Care Centre

The Trust was used as a vehicle for the establishment and management of the Child Care Centre at the Windermere Campus, acting as the licence holder from March 1988. This arrangement later became unnecessary and in 1990 the Centre reverted to full Polytechnic management.


Over the years 1989 to 1994 the Trust made grants of $77,000 to tutors at the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic to enable them to travel overseas and gain experience in their chosen fields to further their initiatives at the Polytechnic.

Since 2000 the Trust has concentrated on the following activities:

Tertiary Scholarships

The Scholarship was introduced in 2000 and was initially called The Millennium Scholarship. The name was changed in 2013 to the Bay of Plenty Education Trust Science, Technology and Emerging Industries Scholarship to better reflect the areas of study targeted by the Scholarship.

Originally they were for three years valued at $3,000 and there was one scholarship for each of the secondary schools from Katikati to Opotiki - 13 schools in total. In 2005 the Scholarship was increased to $3,750 and in 2006 to a four year Scholarship valued at $5,000.

In 2007 Aquinas College became eligible for the Scholarship and in 2008 the colleges with pupils in excess of 1,000 became eligible for two Scholarships. This increased the number of scholarships from 13 to 19. At the same time the Scholarship was increased to $5,750 over four years.

Now the scholarship is $6,000 which is issued over a three year period. This change took place in 2018.
There are five colleges that have two scholarships each.

Each year there are up to 20 scholarships awarded with a total value of $120,000.

Up to the present year 2021 there have been 399 scholars with a total value of $1,544,250.00.

InStep Programme

In 2004 the Trust commenced supporting the InStep Programme run by Priority One. This has five core objectives.

  • To increase the understanding of business and how it relates to economic growth by students, teachers, principals and parents.
  • To inform school communities of local career opportunities and pathways.
  •  Reinforce to students the relevance of what they learn in school to what is required by industry.
  •  Reinforce the importance of internationalisation, innovation and sustainability.
  •  Maintain Instep's relevance to the sub-regions needs.

These objectives are delivered through the identification and facilitation of opportunities for our business community to engage with the sub-region's secondary schools, and a number of existing and new initiatives are targeted to achieve this.

Future Leaders Programme

In 2007 the Trust commenced a Future Leaders Programme for one student from each of the participating colleges in its area of influence. It is a one-year course comprising three one-day workshops throughout the year together with mentoring in between those workshops. In addition there is a further half-day workshop in the following year to gain information on the activities of participants after completion of the course.

The course was originally for Year 13 students however as from 2013 it has been targeted at Year 12 students so that they can apply the skills gained during their programme to their final year at college.


The Trust has also supported other educational initiatives from time to time.

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