Hospice head ends term

By Erika Venter

Real estate entrepreneur Peter McDonald has completed his term and stepped down as chairman of Hospice Taranaki after six years.

Having been on the board for close on 13 years he says it has been a privilege having been involved in the era when the organisation has grown from "just a small idea" to one of the "most recognisable and respected organisations in New Zealand and especially in Taranaki". This includes the establishment of in-patient units; four Hospice shops around Taranaki, including in Stratford; a big warehouse; and what Peter describes as "wet weather covering".

"By establishing the Hospice Foundation we have future-proofed the organisation, securing a strong financial foundation people can have confidence in donating and leaving bequests to."

He says when first asked to attend a meeting, he was not very keen, but soon was hooked.

"I got far more out of it than I put into it - a lot of satisfaction and enjoyment. Six years is the maximum term for a chairman and while I am sad, it is time for someone new to take the reins."

He adds however, that he would not be short of things to do, being chairman of the Age Care Central which is currently upgrading facilities and establishing a dementia unit at the Maryann Residential Care Home And Hospital in Stratford.

"They have asked me to stay on the board, which I will do for the time being," he says, adding that he will still act as auctioneer at Hospice Taranaki's quarterly auction fundraisers.

Hospice Taranaki last month honoured Peter with life membership.

Kevin Nielsen CEO of Hospice Taranaki says Peter has led the organisation through a time of significant growth.

"His stewardship will be missed. We also acknowledge that McDonald Real Estate have been a fantastic supporter, particularly being the naming rights sponsor of our five major stage productions. Having their support on each occasion provided us with an excellent base to seek support from other sponsors. In addition Peter's skills as an auctioneer for our HospiceShop auctions have been invaluable and he has always been so willing to give of his personal time."

Mike Brooke from New Plymouth has been elected new chairperson.

- Stratford Press

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