Giving It Everything

Christchurch is a city forged in adversity but the Christchurch Foundation is bringing together residents, donors and volunteers to bring out the city’s best. 

As one of the world’s most interesting cities, it’s not hard to sell Christchurch to the world. But the city has endured two tragedies in recent years prompting renewed efforts to remind the world that Christchurch remains a vibrant place where philanthropic giving can have a major impact.  

The 2010/2011 earthquakes left the city reeling and while the recovery was strong and sustained, the terrible blow of the March 15 terror attacks focused global attention on how best to help a city heal its wounds and rebuild. 

According to the Foundation, the 2010/2011 earthquakes highlighted the need and opportunity for a strategic approach to philanthropy in Christchurch. Capitalising on the global effort to provide support, a mayoral fund and a central government initiative were launched to act as vehicles to enable this, but neither were developed with a long-term view. 

Fast forward to 2017, with the launch of the Christchurch Foundation, which became a registered charity, chaired by Humphry Rolleston with further staff were appointed later that year. 

The Foundation now enjoys a global reputation its work to make greater Christchurch better through innovative programmes, driven by both donor and resident identified priorities. That includes everything from backing an important kaitiakitanga project to enhance the ecologically significant lowland native bush at Riccarton Bush to encouraging companies to become a Better City Business to help make greater Christchurch an even better place to live, work and play. 

A passionate advocate for an adopted city, Paul Beare decided to use his lockdown-inspired long stay to help. He joined the board of the Foundation in February 2021, and now focuses on supporting the UK registered charity with is compliance obligations.  

“I’ve worked with so many smart Christchurch companies over the past few years, both remotely from the UK and now as a resident myself – it’s great to be able to put something back and really push the city both as a destination for investment as well as a cradle for some really good growing businesses looking to expand abroad.”  

“Philanthropy forms part of the city’s overall economic mix so it’s a vitally important that donors and residents feel they are working together to achieve the same things.”  

As someone who has worked extensively in the UK, Australia and NZ, Paul is ideally placed to bring an international perspective to the Foundation’s work, forging links across Europe, the US and beyond.   

“My work with growing businesses means I’m often talking to investors, regulators, government agencies and trade representatives from around the world and I hope I can bring some of my insight and experience to help boost the great work of Christchurch’s companies, volunteers and others.” 

“It’s a great honour as an immigrant to be asked to help my adopted home, and I love working with my fellow volunteers to help what is truly a great city.”