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Farewell to a Great NZ Philanthropist and Leader

Media Statement
For Immediate Release

3 September 2007

Farewell to a Great New Zealand Philanthropist and Leader

It is with great sadness that Philanthropy New Zealand today marks the passing of one of New Zealand’s most remarkable philanthropic leaders, Sir Roy McKenzie.

Sir Roy, 84, died in Wellington after a long illness.

Philanthropy New Zealand executive director Robyn Scott said Sir Roy spent his life giving to the New Zealand community, not just in terms of grant making activity but also in the personal support and guidance that he provided countless Community and Voluntary Sector organisations.

“Sir Roy truly embodied philanthropy - where it is not just about giving, it is also about a generosity of spirit. New Zealand is much better off as a result of Sir Roy’s philanthropy,” she said.

Sir Roy served on the J.R.McKenzie Trust Board for over 40 years and set up two other grant making bodies: the McKenzie Education Foundation and the Roy McKenzie Foundation, both of which were renowned for their innovative approaches to supporting community activities.

“His support, both grants and personal support, were often directed at issues that were before their time or even unpopular. He could see beyond the immediate towards what would be good for the future of our communities,” said Ms Scott.

He was prominent in developing and supporting organisations, such as Outward Bound Trust, Women’s Refuge, NZ Council for Educational Research, Birthright, Te Omanga Hospice, and others.

He was also credited with working towards professionalising philanthropy in New Zealand, with the Roy McKenzie Foundation becoming the first grantmaking trust to employ professional staff and to send both staff and trustees on sabbaticals.

Sir Roy was knighted in 1989 for his services to education and the community. .

“He will be greatly missed by the philanthropic sector and the community and voluntary sector. But his life’s work will carry on in our communities every day and for that we will always be grateful,” said Ms Scott


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