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Sad Loss Of John Bowis, MNZOM, Save The Children New Zealand’s First Executive Director

Save the Children New Zealand’s Chief Executive Heidi Coetzee acknowledged the sad loss of the organisation's first Executive Director John Bowis after his death last week and his immense contribution to improving the lives of children in Aotearoa New Zealand and around the world.

"Over 32 years until his retirement in 2008, John contributed to Save the Children’s work, first as the North Island Vice President, then as New Zealand Executive Officer and the New Zealand Executive Director for 10 years respectively.

"As the first salaried official for the organisation, John was responsible for Save the Children New Zealand’s overseas programme and established an operational programme in Papua New Guinea; the first and largest by a New Zealand non-government organisation. He was a member of the New Zealand Agency for International Development’s External Reference Group during the agency’s establishment and was involved in the campaign for positive parenting and the repeal of Section 59 of the Crimes Act 1961.

"John was also a key member of the Every Child Counts Steering Group. He served as an elected member on the International Alliance Board and was involved in the development of the 2005-2010 Alliance-wide Strategy.

"In 2018, John became a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to Save the Children New Zealand - a worthy honour for an incredibly special individual.

"While I didn’t have the opportunity to get to know John personally, I have long been inspired by the legacy of his work for children here and around the world."

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