A stunning gift

Stuff reports:

Wellington is to get new $50m children’s hospital paid for by millionaire property developer Mark Dunajtschik.

The philanthropist will pay for, build and gift the hospital to Capital & Coast District Health Board (CCDHB).

That is a stunningly generous gift to the families of Wellington.

The current hospital was the first of it’s kind in New Zealand, and each year more than 30,000 children passed through its doors, including the 4000 or so babies born there annually.

Existing child hospital and outpatient services – currently housed separately – will be merged in the new hospital.

“This amazingly generous offer will have such a big impact on the children we look after, their families and our staff,” CCDHB chair Andrew Blair said.

With an eight month old son we have been fairly frequent users of the maternity and outpatients wards.  The service has been great, but having everything in one modern location will make things easier.

The Herald further reports:

“Dunajtschik has said his philosophy is that people are blessed with a sound mind and body can look after themselves, but those born with or suffering illness and disability need our support.”

Coleman said Dunajtschik, aged in his 80s, had been a substantial benefactor in health, sport and education for 40 years, but this donation was unparalleled.

A good philosphy.

Dunajtschik said he was often asked why choose to build a hospital.

“It is no secret, nor commercially sensitive, that a large part of my income is from government departments as my tenants.

“One particularly large department punctually pays their rent every month throughout the year, but they have the curious habit, at the end of the year they ask for one-third back. It is not called a rent refund. It is a three letter word.


“Needless to say, thoughts had crossed my mind – how to stop this money-go-round?

“Suggestions like contacting some creative accountants in Panama were quickly dismissed…the suggestion [of a hospital] appealed to me on the spot.”

Again incredibly generous. And one of the benefits of removing the tax rebate cap on charitable donations a few years ago.

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