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Tolaga Bay Inn Charitable Trust

Tolaga Bay Inn Charitable Trust

Kamil Stender

Little bro of the big kahuna Lily. After studying management studies at Waikato University, I went to Europe to start my career. I've been over here now for over 20 years and have worked in banking and finance in London, Frankfurt and Zurich. Though my spiritual homeland will always be New Zealand and with the East Coast being where our Mum is from, being able to give something back through the Tolaga Bay Inn Charitable Trust is a real passion centre for me.


Lily Stender

As a descendant of the East Coast, I feel a sense of responsibility to give back to my lands and people. I left school at an early age and travelled overseas to seek my fortune. I gained much needed life skills from working in many different industries and all types of jobs. These ranged from pizza delivery, video packer, bar maid, receptionist, cook, recruitment until finally a self-made entrepreneur. Upon returning home, I saw the struggles that many people face, just trying to make ends meet. I believe we can build better futures for ourselves by creating our own incomes. My passion lies in supporting grassroots entrepreneurship and helping our people realise their full potential. Mauri ora.

Rico Gear

Born and raised on the east coast, was a professional Rugby player for 17 years, family man and business owner, I have a personal connection to Tolaga bay, Mum being born there and Grandparents. I fully support the initiatives of the inn to provide a place for future generations to converge upon for the better of local community and to provide opportunities for locals to Encourage entrepreneurship and leave a lasting legacy! If nothing changes nothing changes! Nga mihi


Tony King

My name is Tony King and I’m a Trustee for the Tolaga Bay Inn Charitable Trust. My motivation for being involved in this Trust is that I grew up in Tolaga Bay back when the township was a thriving, prosperous place with a strong sense of community. I’m saddened that not just this town but the entire Tairawhiti region is facing economic and environmental problems, preventing more positive outcomes. The TBICT via the Tolaga Bay Innovation program is addressing that directly by providing training to the community to upskill themselves, increase their job prospects and drive new income streams for themselves and their community. The results to date have been outstanding and are providing a legacy for future generations to come. I’m extremely proud to be involved in this and look forward to more of the same.

Dolly Mitchell

Doreen Mitchell, (fondly known as Dolly), is one of our rocks of Uawa. Happily married to Brian Mitchell for over 50 years, they have continuously contributed to our community. From raising their children and many grandchildren, to servicing the supply of goods through their Uawa Supermarket, to spearheading the $5 million wharf restoration. Their values of manaakitanga, whakawhanaungatanga and kotahitanga shine through from their years of support to the community of Uawa. Dolly & Brian believed in our TBICT vision and didn’t hesitant to support this Kaupapa, (mission) from the very beginning. True gems, helping to keep the home fires burning for our next generations.

Our Vision:

Keeping our history alive for future generations.

Our Mission: 

Supporting grassroots businesses through global ecommerce partnerships.  Creating self-sustainable communities through entrepreneurship.

Business Support Services

In 2019 we commenced a pilot programme in partnership with Ministry of Social Development.  We provided wrap around support services to start-up entrepreneurs, walking them through their entire business journey, from creating a business canvas, to applying for a tax number, bank account, social media account, marketing and finding customers etc.  Businesses of all types were created including, native nursery, lawn mowing, medicinal balm, fruit & veg deliveries, clothing brands.  It became apparent after Covid-19, that our businesses would require an online presence to help them reach wider markets for a stronger chance of survival.  We are now creating our Technology hub in collaboration with key organisations to support ecommerce, social media, and digital marketing services.  We are aiming to become masters within this space to create more I.T jobs with global reach for our local people.