Charitable Trust

The Dunedin Casinos Charitable Trust invites applications for grants from charitable organisations in the Dunedin and Otago region in November and May each year.

The objective of the Dunedin Casinos Charitable Trust is to assist charitable organisations in:

  • The relief of poverty
  • The advancement of education
  • The advancement of religion
  • The advancement of sports for the benefit of the wider community
  • Or any other charitable purpose deemed beneficial to the community by the Trustees

In order to meet the criteria, your organisation must be registered with the Charities Commission and be able to provide your registration number on the application form.

As a general rule, the Dunedin Casinos Charitable Trust is unable to make grants to individuals, for travel, for salaries and other administration costs.

The Dunedin Casinos Charitable Trust invites applications for grants from charitable organisations in the Dunedin and Otago region twice a year.

The May funding round is for a one-off large grant (in the vicinity of $50,000) followed by the scatter grant for several organisations in November.

Applications for donations are called for in April for the May funding round and October for the November funding round. 


How to apply for funding from the Trust?


May Funding Round

This funding round is for major projects (project funding, not operating costs) with a significant process around applications. Supporting documents are to be limited so that the complete application is 20 pages maximum. For an application form please click here.


November Funding Round

This is the scatter grant where several organisations will be allocated smaller grants. Applications for donations must be made on the Trust's standard application form.

For more information on the activities of the Trust, or for an application form, please contact:
Jackie McBride, phone (03) 474-9714 or for an application form please click here.


The Trust is administered by Polson Higgs, Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors, who controls the assets and carry out the administration functions of the Trust. Charitable Trustees are appointed to assist the administration trustee in setting donations criteria and to decide on the allocation of donations.

If you require any further details in regards to applying for a grant, information can be obtained from the Polson Higgs website, emailing or by calling Jackie McBride at Polson Higgs (03) 474 9714.




  Haley van Leeuwen 

Raised in Alexandra, Central Otago and educated in Dunedin, Haley started work in the share broking industry at the age of 19.  Following some years studying by correspondence and part-time at the University of Otago Haley graduated with a degree in Commerce and a diploma in the NZX markets.

Haley has a depth of experience in portfolio management and the financial markets which she uses to work closely with a wide array of clientele from corporate trusts to mum and dad investors.   Her passion lies in assisting clients making smart decisions regarding their assets and helping younger investors make the right choices early on to create a brighter future – seeking investment advice shouldn’t be an intimidating experience!

Haley has an active role in the Dunedin community, Haley is currently Chairwoman of the Dunedin Casino Charitable Trust and previously she has served as Chairwoman of the Fortune Theatre Trust.  Using this experience of working with an organisation that is heavily reliant on funding has given Haley a valuable insight into the challenges of operating charitable organisations and the value of these within our community. 

In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the back country of New Zealand on her mountain bike and competing in endurance mountain biking events with her husband around the world.


 Suzanne Kinnaird

Suzanne Kinnaird has over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry, having joined Forsyth Barr Dunedin in 1998. 

Suzanne is registered as a financial adviser and is accredited as an NZX Adviser. She has a Bachelor of Science majoring in Mathematics and a Diploma for Graduates majoring in Finance, both from the University of Otago. Suzanne holds the NZX Diploma and has also completed the Introduction to Financial Planning through Adviserlink.

Suzanne is a Council Member for St Margaret’s College and a Trustee of the Dunedin Casino Charitable Trust.



  Malcolm Wong 

Mr Malcolm Wong is a Chartered Accountant and founding partner of Dunedin Accountancy Firm Cook North & Wong Ltd. 

He is immediate past Chair of the Dunedin Shanghai Association, a position he held for ten years, and has been Chair of the Dunedin Chinese Gardens Trust since 2008. Malcolm has been a University of Otago Council member and a Trustee of the Otago Community Trust since 2018, a Trustee of the Chinese Poll Tax Heritage Trust since 2017 and currently serves as the Otago Community Trust representative on the William Sheriff Charitable Trust. He has been actively involved with the Chinese community and the Anglican Church organisations in Dunedin. Malcolm has been a a Trustee of Dunedin Casinos Charitable Trust since November 2021.



 Nadia Wesley-Smith 

Of Kai Tahu, Kati Mamoe and Waitaha descent, Nadia was raised at Ōtākou on the Otago Peninsula. Starting work in the Tourism industry at Dunedin’s iconic Larnach Castle, she has since gained 20 years leadership experience in the Tourism and Hospitality industries across New Zealand, Australia and Scotland. In May 2021, Nadia returned to Dunedin to manage Te Rūnanga o Ōtākou.  

Her passions lie with enabling organisational growth and community engagement through effective and transparent communication and management.

Nadia is also a trustee of Te Poari a Pukekura.



  Henry van Dyk

Henry represents Polson Higgs as the administration trustee.  Henry is Dunedin born and bred. After attending Otago University and graduating with a bachelor of commerce degree he joined the Dunedin accounting firm of Lawrence Anderson and Buddle.  He is a partner in what is now Polson Higgs.

Henry has expertise in a number of areas including business advisory, business valuation, litigation support along with general accounting and taxation.  As administrative trustee, he ensures that the obligations of the trust are met and that the charitable distributions are made in a timely, effective and appropriate manner.

Henry is also a trustee of Corstorphine Baptist Community Trust and the Otago Foundation Trust Board.


Trust Deed

Dunedin Casinos Charitable Trust | Trust Deed


Complaints Process

Dunedin Casinos Charitable Trust | Complaints Process


Summary of Grants 

November 2023

May 2023

November 2022

May 2022

November 2021

May 2021