“Supporting Aviva is an easy decision to make”

“Why do I think it’s important to support Aviva’s mahi? Because it stops that cycle that people get caught up in… Supporting Aviva is an easy decision to make.”

These words come from Brett Anderson, Chief Executive of Christchurch Casino – a long term supporter of Aviva and Champion Sponsor for our 50th year.

He explains how the Casino’s charitable giving works.

“Through our Charitable Trust we give a percentage of our revenue annually – so far, we’ve made over $5.5 million in donations. We make it as easy as possible for organisations to apply and try not to limit what we support. As far as I’m concerned, if it benefits the organisation, it benefits the community, so why would we limit it? Basically, if we’re in a position to help we will. Whether it’s a grant, a discretionary donation, an auction item or supporting an event. Because it’s the community we operate in, and we have over 270 employees and it’s their community.”

The Casino also likes to enable their employees to engage with charitable giving.

“We recognise employee anniversaries [of their time working for the Casino] – as well as a bonus, we will give money to a charity of their choice under their name. Employees find it empowering.”

General managers are also provided with funds to make donations to charities of their choosing. Recently through this, a donation was made to Aviva’s safe@home service, which allows families to stay in their own homes, rather than have to leave to escape violence.

“Aviva’s work is so important,” says Brett. “Especially now – when there’s stress [like earthquakes, pandemics, economic crashes], abuse goes up. We know that. And it doesn’t end in the home, it has knock on effects in schools, workplaces, the whole community. And it continues. All the research points to early intervention and that children need to feel safe to thrive and be children.

“Still in New Zealand, there’s things we don’t talk about – things like suicide, domestic violence, and sexual violence. It’s shameful. It means that businesses don’t want to put their name to those charities. But those are the ones where there is the most need.

“We need to get beyond the stigma and really look at the impact and what will happen if we don’t do something about it. Talking about it doesn’t normalise it, but it does humanise it.”

Ultimately, says Brett, this is why The Casino is supporting Aviva for our 50th year.

“You deserve it. It’s about recognising all of those that had the foresight and the courage to see what was happening and do something.”