In the early 1980s Mrs Józefa Konieczna approached a Christchurch solicitor, Mr Zbigniew Maciaszek, about setting up a small fund aiming to support students of Polish origin.
The Konieczna Trust was established after her death a few years later, with a fund of $10,000. Meetings were held annually by the Trustee Zbigniew Maciaszek who co-opted two members of the Polish Association over most of those years, namely Mrs Lidia Janiec and Mr Józef Kubiak. In these annual meetings, they considered applications from tertiary students who qualified under the criteria and grants were linked expressly to the tertiary fees incurred by them. The grants were made both on educational and hardship grounds. As the trustees can only apply interest to the purposes of the Trust, these grants amounted to in effect several hundred dollars every year.
In 2005, Mr Stefan Musielinski died. Under his will, his entire residuary estate was to pass to the Trust. This comprised more or less the sum of $550,000 which, when added to the $10,000 already held by the Trust, created a fund of $560,000.
The Trust was formalised and a more structured governance and administration process was put into place. Mr Zbigniew Maciaszek formally appointed three additional trustees – Józef Kubiak, Alina Suchański and Peter Maciaszek. The Trust was registered under the Charitable Trusts Act 1957 and its powers, duties and responsibilities were recorded in a more modern form of trust deed. However, the objects and purposes necessarily remained the same.
The trustees then considered how they should continue to meet the objects and purposes of the Trust. In the first instance they resolved to continue to focus on the provision of grants to university students, which had been the sole application of the grants in the preceding years. The trustees however also considered how else grants might be made pursuant to the other objects and purposes of the Trust, e.g. towards projects promoting Polish language, culture and benefiting the Polish community in New Zealand.
Given the focus on tertiary education grants, the trustees resolved to meet twice a year and to establish two funding rounds in each year. Since 2006, pursuant to the new procedures, the trustees have, with a few exceptions, almost entirely applied the funds available to them (net accrued interest) by way of grants to tertiary students in payment of course fees, books and materials.
In August 2009 Mr Zbigniew Maciaszek resigned from his function as a trustee and appointed Mr Mariusz Talaśka as his replacement. Mr Zbigniew Maciaszek remained on the Board of Trustees as an advisor until his death in 2012. Under his will, an amount of $30,000 was to pass to the Trust. This, when added to the $560,000.00 already held by the Trust, created a fund of $590,000.00. The trustees continue to apply interest only to the purposes of the Trust.
In 2018, Mr Józef Kubiak retired from his function as a trustee. The Trustees appointed Mrs Ludmiła Sakowska as his replacement.