A philanthropist is a person who helps others. Usually a philanthropist gives money although people who volunteer their time to help others are also philanthropists. New Zealand is lucky to have many volunteers, many people who give donations of money to charities and some people who give very large donations.

Last weekend we heard that an Auckland couple, Neal and Annette Plowman, gave Rotoroa Island, which is in the Auckland harbour, to the people of New Zealand as a Conservation Park. It will open in February next year. The Salvation Army have used the island for more than 80 years for a drug and alcohol treatment centre. The Plowmans have bought a 99 year lease from the Salvation Army so that the island can be open to the public. It is 82 ha, has historic buildings and four beautiful beaches.

Another philanthropist was Arthur Harrison of Blenheim who left $10m to the Canterbury Museum in his will. He died towards the end of last year.

In 2006, Pierre and Jackie Chatelanat gave their 843ha farm, Atiu Creek Farm, to the people of New Zealand. It is a beautiful farm on the Kaipara harbour in the Far North, worth $10m. They wanted the farm to be a park and to give people access to the harbour. The farm has forest, wetlands and historical buildings.

Last year Julian Robertson promised 15 expensive paintings, worth more than $100m, to the Auckland Art Gallery when he dies. Listen to May 7th 2009 for more about this.

Perhaps our most famous philanthropist in recent times was Sir Roy McKenzie who donated between $50m and $100m over his lifetime. He died in September 2007. He liked to quote Winston Churchill who said, “We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.”

Questions to think about
Do you agree with the quotation from Winston Churchill? How does giving help to make a life?
If you were a millionaire or a billionaire, would you give money to help your community? What would make your community a better place?

7 thoughts on “Philanthropy”

  1. I agree with Winston Churchill’s quotation. By giving things, we make a life for others.

    If I was a millionaire I would not give money to my community, but I would use my money to build schools and hospitals for elders, for handycaps, for poor people.

  2. Yes, I am agree with him , when u give mony to the people , and make people happy , this a life
    yeah , sure i gave mony to people ,and help all of the pepole need help , and i was build school , university, hospital,…

  3. i am agree with him because you can feel happy and when you do not have, the others will be able to help and for me it is not neccesary to gift just money you can help others in different forms for example when the people needs an advice or a help in different form

    if i were rich i think that i help other people, but i will not give money, i would give employment or i would give education for poor children

  4. Im totally agree , i always thought if god give me the oportunity to have Money, i would like can help to people who need, its so hurtfull for me, see people dying in the streets, and cant help them.

    I would like help mainly boys and dogs, if a could, i would give them food as much as posible, i would like dónate Money at schools and foundations.

  5. Yes, I am agree with Winston Churchill’quotation, and I think, who does not live to serve, not serve to live.

    if i were a millionaire won’t give money, but i would building harbor and community restaurants, also i would create free art schools.

  6. I`m agree with Winston Churchill. We are better people when we give our best. We make a good life, respecting the people, listening the ideas to other people, to being friendly, honest and kind whith our family, friends, partners and all the people around our. And we don`t forget to help people need.

    I would built a fundation when people can learn to make many things for example courses about sewing, cooking, building, mechanics, etc. Them, this people can work in any place and contribute to society.

  7. I`m agree with the quotation from Winston Churchill, because I think than anything that we could give to the other people (money,time or advice), have consequences positives in your lives. But is important to make difference between give a solution self-help than to permit growth up and developmentally into society doing of this person an active member, and give help without to demand or remunerate nothing.

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