A marketing budget of $200,000 to give back $1m

The trusts aim to give back a "significant financial return" from alcohol sales.
SIMON SMITH/FAIRFAX NZ

The trusts aim to give back a "significant financial return" from alcohol sales.

West Auckland's alcohol licensing trusts spent $200,000 to promote giving $1 million to community groups.

The trusts' chief executive Simon Wickham said the marketing budget of its Million Dollar Mission helped attract groups to apply for funding, and has kept the public informed and engaged.

Thirty organisations, including schools, clubs and charities, were selected for a share of the $1m.

The public would cast $5 votes each day on milliondollarmission.co.nz until the end of April or until the money has all been given away.

More than $650,000 had been allocated by the public since March 1.

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"Most of the profits from liquor sales around New Zealand are retained by store owners," Wickham said.

"Under the model we operate within, the proceeds are returned to the community."

The 30 organisations were selected out of 130 applicants by judges, which included comedian Dai Henwood, Sir Bob Harvey, and netballer Linda Vagana.

Wickham said the judges were not paid but volunteered their time as they believed it to be a worthwhile cause.

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West Auckland's licensing trusts were formed in the 1970s to be the sole retailer of alcohol in west Auckland. The trusts also had a monopoly on operating taverns in west Auckland.

The organisation has given away $500,000 to groups and events for each of the past two years as well as a similar amount on community giveaways of smoke alarms and toolkits.

The Million Dollar Mission was in place of this year's community giveaway.

Wickham said it had put close to $10m in the past year into diversified managed funds as part of its investment strategy.

"We need to look after the current and future business, and then pay a dividend to the community to ensure we meet our strategic aim of long-term, inter-generational giving back to west Auckland."

Wickham said the Global Financial Crisis of 2007-2008 were tough trading times, and the idea was to create a more stable business for the future.

It aimed to give $2m-$3m each year back to the community by 2019.

The Million Dollar Mission platform would be used in the future, he said.

The trusts' Statement of Social Responsibility said it would make a "significant financial return" to the community from its profits.

"Our commitment is to continually, progressively, increase the profits from our business and return the maximum possible financial dividend to the community," it said.

 - Stuff

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