The Clutha Foundation is a registered Charitable Trust set up to inspire and enable generosity in the Clutha District. We receive gifts and bequests from generous people, businesses and organisations and invest  responsibly to generate income that is then distributed locally to community causes.


The Clutha Foundation has been set up to serve the Clutha District.  Our Trust Deed can be viewed here.

Our Trustees are people who have strong connections to Clutha.  Coming from all over the District,  between them they have a good overview of many of the different communities within the region.  You can meet them here.


Community Foundations are independent, non-profit organisations located in most regions across Aotearoa New Zealand. They focus on a place and its people, running a lean model and governed entirely by super passionate and skilled local volunteer Boards.

Community Foundations build long-term, reliable funding streams for their local communities by investing and growing the donations they receive. So, you’re not really giving to a Community Foundation, but through it. And it means your generosity will have benefits forever.
Plus, Community Foundations are not about one single cause, they're about the place and the causes, projects or initiatives you choose to support.

Established in 2018, the Clutha Foundation is one of the youngest of the many Community Foundations around New Zealand.  You can read more about Community Foundations and what they can achieve in their local communities here.


OUR PATRON: Sir Bill English

Clutha Foundation's patron is former prime minister, and long-serving Clutha-Southland MP, Sir William (Bill) English.  Bill is happy to support the Clutha Foundation, saying, "Giving to the  Clutha foundation is a great way to support our community now and for the next generation. The long term investments are controlled by the local foundation and the decisions about where the funds are spent are made locally."

Bill Thomson

Bill Thomson is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand and was a Partner in Shand Thomson Chartered Accountants, Balclutha from 1978 to 2014. He has now retired and lives in Wanaka, but continues to be a strong supporter of the Clutha District. 

Fiona Hancox

Fiona and her husband are sheep and beef farmers near Tapanui in West Otago, they have 4 grown up children.  Fiona is a very active member of her community and is particularly enthusiastic about the West Otago Community Endowment fund. 

Susie Johnstone

Susie is a chartered accountant in public practice in Balclutha.   She has governance experience across the health, education, tourism, and IT sectors with a focus on finance, audit and risk.   Time as a trustee of the Otago Community Trust exposed Susie to NZ’s vibrant philanthropy community and provided increased insight into the real difference well managed, philanthropic, funders can make to communities. 

Hamish Anderson

Deputy Chair
Hamish has his own farm in Stirling, and works as a Project Manager, assisting farmers with resource consents for activities in waterways. Hamish is very involved in community and governance roles both locally and nationally. 

Kerry Seymour

Kerry has been a resident of the Clutha District since 1983. She is a secondary school teacher and taught for 20 years at The Catlins Area School. Kerry has been actively involved in a wide range off community sporting and educational organisations including governance roles with Sport Otago, Telford Rural Polytechnic, Netball South and the Heartland Life Education Trust.

Noel O'Malley

Noel practiced law in the Clutha District from offices based in Balclutha and Milton for over 40 years. Noel and his wife Kate, have six children, and have resided in the village of Benhar, adjacent to Balclutha, for most of that time.  Noel personally supports the objective of the Clutha Foundation to provide a vehicle for generous people to make a difference in their community by applying their philanthropy here.

Bryan Cadogan

Bryan is in his fourth term as Clutha District Mayor. He grew up in the district and has previously been a local business owner and worked in the farming world, including shearing and owning a farm. As Mayor of the Clutha District Council, Bryan provides leadership and direction to the Council and is happy to support the growth of the Clutha Foundation as a community resource.

Stephen Kornyei

Stephen has been actively involved with the community since he first came to the Clutha District over 25 years ago. He believes that the Clutha Foundation has the potential to benefit our District immensely and is completely Clutha-centric. It provides a way for generous residents to contribute to the benefit of their local communities.

Denise Dent

Executive Officer
Denise is a former primary school teacher, school principal and advisory teacher who has lived in England, Australia, Bangladesh and New Zealand.  Having left education to focus on writing, she moved to Kaitangata in 2017 and very quickly became involved in community organisations and projects, notably the Kaitangata museum and the South Otago Theatrical Society. She is employed part time by the Clutha Foundation and is very enthusiastic about being part of such a worthwhile organisation.