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Our history. Your history. Our future.

To tatou hītori, tou hītori to tatou heke mai

Rātā Foundation has invested in hundreds of organisations in our communities over the last three decades through our funding.

Some milestones in our history…


Canterbury Savings Bank established.

- 1968

Frank Dickson, first CEO of the Canterbury Savings Bank, leader and inspirer of the team which created over $300 million of funds The Canterbury Community Trust.


The Canterbury Community Trust was established and in 1988 it received an annual dividend from TrustBank Canterbury which it distributed to not for profit organisations throughout its four funding regions of Canterbury, Nelson, Marlborough and the Chatham Islands.


Made its first grants to the community - $0.9m.
Christchurch Community House (CCH) established as a collaborative joint project between The Canterbury Community House and the Christchurch City Council to provide affordable office accommodation as a way of promoting a one-stop shop for social services in Christchurch.


The release of a $25 million Special Fund to support the social infrastructure in the medium and long-term recovery of Canterbury post earthquake.


The Canterbury Community Trust changed its name to Rātā Foundation

This was our first public update in identity since our inception in 1988.  

We were set up to hold ‘in trust’ for the communities of Canterbury, Nelson, Marlborough, and the Chatham Islands the proceeds of the sale of the communities’ shares in what was previously the ‘Canterbury Savings Bank.’   The new name – Rātā Foundation - reflects our desire to be inclusive of and give a sense of belonging to all of our four funding regions, something our previous name did not achieve. 


This year we hit the milestone of over $500 million in grants made across our funding region's since inception


The Board of Rātā Foundation announced our new Purpose – We strive for an equitable and sustainable society under the korowai of Te Tiriti o Waitangi

Our Purpose isn’t a change – it is a more focused and aspirational version of what it has always been. We want to empower communities to thrive by investing in sustainable, intergenerational social change. For more information on our Purpose and what it means, please visit - and