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Save the Children NZ Executive Director retires

October 1 2008
For immediate release

Save the Children New Zealand Executive Director retires

The Board of Save the Children New Zealand (SCNZ) has announced that John Bowis, Executive Director of Save the Children New Zealand for more than 21 years, is to retire from the role in November.

Mr Bowis began his association with SCNZ – a member of the International Save the Children Alliance – in 1975 as a local branch volunteer in Whakatane. He took on the role of Executive Director in 1987, becoming the organisation’s first official paid employee. Between 2005 and 2008 he served on the International Save the Children Alliance Board.

During his stewardship Mr Bowis steered SCNZ towards its strong child-rights focus and initiated its advocacy-based domestic programme. He developed the organisation’s Wellington-based national office which now has a staff of 25. Income has also significantly increased from an average of NZ$2.5 million a year to more than $15 million today.

Reflecting on his career with one of the world’s leading aid and development agencies, Mr Bowis said: “I consider myself extremely fortunate to have been able to spend half my working life in such a challenging and rewarding role and to have enjoyed the support of some very capable and dedicated colleagues and committed volunteer supporters and donors.”

Highlights, he adds, include establishing the SCNZ programme in Papua New Guinea and initiating a successful community sponsorship scheme in India.

Dr Allan Freeth, Chairman of the Board of SCNZ says: “The board is extremely appreciative of the depth of John’s commitment and dedication to the work of SCNZ.

“His efforts to create a better world for disadvantaged children have seen this organisation develop into one that has been able to bring together different cultures, experiences and resources, resulting in a greater overall impact in our work and providing a stronger, global voice for children everywhere.”

Martin Hawes, President of Save the Children New Zealand, adds: “We are indebted to John for his diligence and determination to do the right thing for children. He has represented us very well here and overseas. We wish him well for the future.”

An announcement regarding the appointment of an Acting Executive Director will be made later this month. The Board of SCNZ will begin a formal search process for a successor in 2009.


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