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Million Dollar Mission Voting Phase Kicks Off With A Bang


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Million Dollar Mission Voting Phase is underway!

The first phase of The Trusts Million Dollar Mission is complete and we were overwhelmed with the number of applications we received as well as the breadth of those applications. (In fact, we received more than $6m worth of applications in total!) In this update we will let you know about the next phase of Million Dollar Mission (the selection phase) and tell you more about how you can support your favourite causes in the public vote.

Who was on the selection panel?

Perhaps the toughest job of anyone involved in the Million Dollar Mission belongs to the people on the selection panel, who decided which applications went through to the next phase (the public vote). Given the quality of the applicants and the fact that all are truly deserving, it was a tough task to choose those that went forward. The selection panel is made up of three independent West Auckland personalities, elected members and key personnel from The Trusts.16602264_10155081940063413_1672241745437814088_o

The first of the three independent panel members is one of West Auckland’s most beloved citizens, Sir Bob Harvey. Sir Bob was of course the mayor of Waitakere City from 1992 until the four former Auckland councils amalgamated in 2010. He says of his involvement in the selection panel, “For almost half a century The Trusts have made a huge difference to our way of life in the West. What a contribution to community it’s been. They have given back to the West to our clubs and community life and our young people are better for it. Now with an amazing million dollar project, well deserving community organisations are to be supported. I am delighted to be on the selection panel. It’s not going to be easy, every application looks like a winner and so deserving.”

Joining Sir Bob on the panel was one of New Zealand’s best comedians and Avondale resident, Dai Henwood. You have seen him on the television as one of the stars of 7 Days and host of Family Feud, he is also the winner of three top honours available to local comedians; the prestigious Billy T Award, the Fred Award and the Reilly Comedy Award. Dai says that “being a West Aucklander means being part of a unique diverse community with a superb sense of humour and the will to love their environment. West is Best! (has anyone ever said that before?).”

The last (but by no means least) West Auckland personality on the Million Dollar Mission panel was none other than former Silverfern, Linda Vagana. Linda played 61 tests for New Zealand in her fourteen year career at netball’s highest level. She grew up in West Auckland and found her love for sport and recreation through the schools she attended and sports clubs she belonged to. She says she is “looking forward to giving back to the community and ensuring the opportunities that I had growing up are bigger and better for others growing up in the West.”

Other panel members include Linda Cooper (President of Waitakere Licensing Trust), Ami Chand (Vice President of Portage Licensing Trust), elected members Warren Flaunty & Janet Clews and Simon Wickham (CEO of The Trusts). The panel will be chaired by Brian Corban (Chairman of West Auckland Trust Services). They had some tough decisions to make when it came to figuring out which applications made it through to the next round, where the public (that’s you!) vote for the organisations you would like to see get funding.

How does the public vote work?

From the 1st of March until the 30th of April (or until the money runs out) you can have a say in where the Million Dollar Mission funding goes by voting for your favourite organisation(s) through the Million Dollar Mission website

You can vote once per day throughout the voting period and for as many different causes as you like. Every time you vote, you will be giving $5 to the organisation you vote for until they have reached the amount of money that they requested in their application.

We encourage you to vote as often as you can and share who you are voting for via social media or whatever it takes to get round up the number of votes for your favourite organisations.

After the voting has closed, we will be presenting each of the successful organisations with a cheque for the amount of funding they have secured through the voting process.

We are really excited to see the fantastic response that Million Dollar Mission has had so far and can’t wait to see which organisation the panel will select for the voting phase. If you would like to learn more about Million Dollar Mission, visit our website at you can also find us on Facebook here.