$10 Million Donation A Christmas Present Aimed At Giving Kiwi Kids An Equal Chance To Thrive
New Zealand philanthropist and former social worker Liz Greive has donated $10 million to ensure ongoing support for charities dedicated to lifting children out of poverty.
“It’s my Christmas present acknowledging the enormous potential of New Zealand’s marginalised kids. I want to help children get the same chances we had, and I want to make sure those chances keep coming, long after I’m unable to personally help.”
The $10 million will form the basis of a Charitable Foundation, with investments managed by Harbour Asset Management, and overseen by a Board of Trustees that will fund all the operational expenses of Share My Super, the charity she set up four years ago, in perpetuity.
Share My Super’s vision is an Aotearoa where every child has the chance to succeed.
Liz Greive set up Share My Super when she turned 65 and became eligible for her first pension payment. She did some research and learnt she was among up to 53% of New Zealanders who indicated they were in the fortunate position of not needing all their superannuation payment. She knew however her pension would make a huge difference to a family in need. She also discovered about $110 million in universal superannuation in New Zealand is not claimed every year.
Her big idea was to create an organisation to enable her generation to join together to help alleviate the impacts of child poverty in New Zealand, lifting up children in poverty to create a brighter future for all New Zealand.
Share My Super has now helped hundreds of superannuants to donate more than $1.6million to 11 charities, all chosen for their effectiveness and ability to make impactful change.
The organisations are Women’s Refuge, First Foundation, Hillary Outdoors, Digital Future Aotearoa, Child Poverty Action Group, Te Pā, Variety, Wellington City Mission, Kids Can, Pillars, Ako Mātātupu: Teach First NZ.
"I have watched with concern the growing devastation poverty has wrought on New Zealand’s Tamariki and Rangitahi. At the same time, I am heartened by the difference that the right resourcing can make to a child’s circumstances,” says Liz Greive.
One in six children live in households with limited or uncertain access to nutritionally adequate and safe foods, and a record half a million kiwis every month use food banks regularly, according to the Growing Up in New Zealand study in May 2023. While income poverty rates for children have remained largely the same for the latest 2-4 years reported when housing costs are taken into account, overall rates of material hardship for children appear to have been dropping reasonably steadily over the last four years from 13.2% in 2019, a decrease of around one fifth according to Statistics NZ, year ending June 2022.
Liz Greive doesn’t just look at statistics and listen to the experts. She has herself worked with families in need for years and knows first-hand the challenges they face.
She qualified as a social worker in England and, in 1977, moved to New Zealand. Here, she worked in her chosen field for some years, working largely with the Māori and Pasifika communities in South Auckland. She later returned to London, where she did more studies in social work and set up her own consultancy, training social workers and working with deeply troubled children.
Back in NZ again, she took time out from working to support her family, who had interests in Flight Centre and Barkers, the menswear clothing company.
While she might be forgiven for sitting back and taking a well-earned rest in retirement, Liz Greive is pursuing her vision to lift NZ children out of poverty.
About Share My Super
Liz took a considered approach to structuring her charity, taking into account that there are more than 6,000 registered charities in New Zealand focusing on children. Share my Super researches, reviews and monitors their chosen charities, reassuring those who support Share my Super that their donation is impactful and helping provide meaningful change.
She ensured donating is easy – donors can turn off and on donations, can donate regularly or make one-off contributions, and can choose which of the partner charities they fund. Receipting is made simple, instead of having to collate receipts from a number of charities.
In addition, Liz personally funds the operational costs of Share My Super, meaning that 100 per cent of donations go to the organisations supported.
Share My Super doesn’t just pass on funds, it has also played a critical role in educating and raising awareness of the issue of child poverty, helping donors find out more with a range of communications and regular events where the likes of social analyst Max Rashbrooke and forensic child psychiatrist and Share My Super patron Hinemoa Elder talk about their work.