Wright Family Foundation is a registered Charitable Trust.
The Wright Family Foundation’s current areas of focus include early childhood care, child health services, and offering primary birthing options.
Since 1996, Chloe and Wayne Wright have built New Zealand’s largest privately owned Early Learning Childcare organisation, Best Start (formerly Kidicorp).
This stemmed from a desire to make a positive difference in New Zealand society by helping to promote and demonstrate to our youngest members the values of collaboration, sharing, and kindness. We believe that in the earliest years of a child’s life, it is far more about relationships than skills that prepare the way for confident, able people to enter the world stage.
In January 2015 Best Start was transferred to the ownership of the Wright Family Foundation. It marked the beginning of the Foundation, which is committed to reinvesting in the future of New Zealand citizens where the need is greatest.
Mothers Matter is a collaboration of committed individuals, health professionals and parents who are united in a common goal to have a nationwide discussion around the importance of postnatal care. The Mothers Matter campaign aims to make all women aware of their right to receive 48-hours funded inpatient postnatal support and that they should also be able to make their own choice about where they receive it. It also aims to empower women to use their voices to demand their right to care so that future generations of mothers and babies can thrive in NZ.
Click here to see the latest Mothers Matter television campaign clips.
Significant financial support to Plunket is a key focus of the Foundation. We share Plunket’s vision of providing the best start in life for the children of New Zealand.
In 2017 the foundation made a $500,000 donation to Plunket to ensure that New Zealand mothers would have access to breastfeeding help and advice around the clock. Thanks to the donation, all PlunketLine staff are being trained as lactation specialists who can support breastfeeding mums at any time of the day or night. The donation will also allow Plunket to offer video-calling technology, so mums can show the lactation consultant how the baby is latching, allowing them to offer better, more targeted advice.
The Foundation has been the sole sponsor of this initiative founded by Janet Lucas since 2004. The NZ Spelling Bee currently encompasses over 1000 schools across the country (and some adult education classes too). Year 9 and 10 students compete to win the prize of top speller.
We currently supply spelling resources to over 1000 schools throughout the country, as well as to adult education initiatives. Our vision is to create articulate readers and writers who may go on to higher education with confidence.
An annual literature quiz for students aged 10-13 years, the quiz is held in 13 countries including Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa, United Kingdom, Indonesia and USA, with more than 8000 children taking part worldwide and new countries signing up each year. Winning teams qualify for national and world finals. The Wright Family Foundation is proud to support this initiative, including the World finals held in New Zealand in 2016 and 2018.
N.B. The NZ Spelling Bee and the Kids’ Lit Quiz are open to ALL students in the respective age range within the New Zealand school system.
Birthing centres are part of the foundation’s vision to support New Zealand families from the very beginning to have the greatest impact on communities.
Founder Chloe Wright is an advocate, activist, and educator with a heart for women's wellbeing. A return to primary birthing - birthing without intervention - is one of her imperatives.
"I want for women to have viable choices, and to feel empowered through the strength of their bodies and minds. We have founded and funded Birthing Centre with a view to promoting primary birthing within New Zealand. This has evolved from a desire to give women choice, empowerment, a time for nurturing, respect, and mothercraft during and in the days after birth.”
Bethlehem Birthing Centre in Tauranga opened in 2014, Te Papaioea Birthing Centre in Palmerston North in 2017, and Te Awakairangi Birthing Centre in Lower Hutt in 2018. A birthing centre is also being developed in South Auckland, and the foundation is investigating further sites for primary birthing in New Zealand.
The Plain English Awards are a public pat on the back for plain English champions. They help raise the bar for clear communication. Each year organisations and members of the public are invited to submit documents and websites that they think are outstanding examples of plain English — or examples of gobbledygook. Independent panels of plain English experts and advocates judge the entries and decide the finalists and winners in each category. The Awards are organised by the WriteMark Plain English Awards Trust and aim to improve government and business documents so that all New Zealanders can understand them; raise public awareness of the need for, and benefits of, plain English; create a public preference for organisations that choose to communicate in plain English.www.plainenglishawards.org.nz
The Wright Family Foundation is proud to support the House of Science with a significant annual donation to enable this charitable trust, which was established in Tauranga in 2013, to expand nationwide.
The House of Science has a vision to raise scientific literacy in local communities. Its main focus is on empowering early childhood and primary school teachers with resources and confidence to enable them to foster curiosity through hands-on science activities.
An additional donation from the Wright Family Foundation has enabled the translation of the House of Science educational resources into Te Reo.
The Wright Family Foundation is a foundation member and sponsor of the NZ Bumblebee Conservation Trust (NZBCT). This new charitable trust was established to promote the conservation and long-term future of bumblebees in New Zealand. Its mission is to educate Kiwis about the critical necessity of bees in creating food for people.www.nzbct.org.nz
The Wright Family Foundation supports the Tauranga branch of the Graeme Dingle Foundation (formerly Foundation for Youth Development), with a significant contribution over three years.
These funds, the highest from any private supporter, are enabling the Graeme Dingle Foundation to establish its Stars programme. Using a mentoring model, matching trained Year 12 and 13 students with pupils in Year 9, the teens work together on a number of projects, including adventure camp, community adventure and charitable ventures.
Through these, the younger students build positive relationships, integrity and resilience for the world ahead as they move into secondary school, while the seniors develop their leadership, time management, planning and communication skills – a win-win for both youth and mentor.
Brainwave Trust Aotearoa’s vision is that all children in New Zealand are valued and nurtured so they can reach their full potential.
Its aim is to raise awareness of brain research, and educate everyone who has an impact on the early life of a child about the important implications of this information on our children’s physical, social, intellectual and emotional development.
The Wright Family Foundation has recently partnered with Brainwave and will contribute in a significant way. The foundation’s focus is providing funding to enable families, schools or school groups, who couldn’t otherwise afford the fees, to attend Brainwave’s workshops and programmes.
The Parenting Place is a charity with a heart for New Zealand families. It shares with the Wright Family Foundation a belief that healthy, loving families can transform society. The foundation is contributing in a substantial way to this charity with a heart for New Zealand families. The foundation’s focus is providing funding to enable families, schools or school groups, who couldn’t otherwise afford the fees, to attend Parenting Place workshops and programmes.www.theparentingplace.com
The Wright Family Foundation supports SuperGrans Western Bay of Plenty Charitable Trust. The foundation’s support enabled the branch, based in Katikati, to launch in March 2017, paying for the salary of an establishment coordinator, as well as set-up and operation costs for a year.
SuperGrans is a national organisation that aims to share the skills and experience of people who have brought up families (‘SuperGrans’ and Grandads) with those who are just starting out. Mentors are trained and matched with individuals, groups or young families who could benefit from their guidance and support in their daily lives, typically with growing food, wise shopping, crafts, cooking or preparing for employment. SuperGrans’ mission of ‘helping people flourish’ is aligned with the foundation’s ethos of ‘growing the good’ through education.
The Wright Family Foundation supports Roots of Empathy New Zealand.
Roots of Empathy is an evidence-based classroom programme that has shown significant effect in reducing levels of aggression and bullying among school children, while raising social/emotional competence and increasing empathy. The result is relationships that are more respectful and caring, and reduced levels of bullying and aggression. Its mission is to build caring, peaceful, and civil societies through the development of empathy in children and adults.
The Wright Family Foundation is thrilled to support Te Aka Mauri – a world-first literacy and health hub in Rotorua, incorporating the new Rotorua Library and Rotorua Children's Health Hub. Te Aka Mauri offers untold opportunities for learning, inspiration, education and health, for everyone in this community and visitors to the district, now and in the future.
The foundation funded two stunning David Trubridge art installations. A large tree feature speaks to the story of creation and represents Tāne and the enlightenment he brought to the earth. The symbolism of the tree aligns with the foundation’s logo, which represents strong roots, shelter and growth. The combination of caring for families’ wellness and literate futures is the pathway for youth to know one’s place in the world. The second art installation, Tawhaki, is suspended from the ceiling and sits over the children’s library, speaking to the value of discovery.
The foundation also funded a large-scale video wall in the Community Pride Space, and tiered seating in the children’s library, which both provide opportunities for learning and sharing information. The foundation is a programme partner for the Discovery Centre, committing to a three-year partnership.
The Wright Family Foundation shares with Gecko Press the belief that one good book can spark a lifetime love of reading. The Curiously Good Book Club is a digital and real-life community where people can share knowledge about great books for children and find creative ways to encourage children to love to read. The Wright Family Foundation supports this free initiative so that every child receives a reading journal and “I’m a Curiously Good Reader” badge.www.bookclub.geckopress.com
The Wright Family Foundation has made a 13-year commitment worth more than $1.4 million to the I Have A Dream programme, funding support of 100 students from four low-decile schools from Year 3 until the age of 20.
The I Have A Dream Charitable Trust is a ground-breaking long-term programme inspiring Kiwi kids growing up in material hardship to navigate their own path to academic and life success. Its aim is to create positive role models who add value to their communities.
The Wright Family Foundation's major investment will allow the programme to provide long-term support for an entire Year-level of children in four Northland schools over 13 years. The foundation's support will fund resources and the salary of a full-time I Have A Dream Navigator who will coach and guide this group of children until they are aged 20.
The foundation shares I Have A Dream's belief that every child has potential. The programme's mission is to help uncover and develop that child's dream and unique capabilities.
The Wright Family Foundation is pleased to support Arohanui Strings-Sistema Hutt Valley achieve its mission of giving children access to a quality music programme free of charge in their own neighbourhood. This early-intervention free and all-inclusive music education and ensemble programme aspires to bring about positive change in the lives of vulnerable children and youth.
Learning to play an instrument helps students build confidence and develop many transferrable skills including concentration, personal discipline, responsibility, memory, listening and leading/following, all of which help to ensure a secure path into adult life.
Founded in 2010, the programme teaches violin, viola, cello, bass, singing and music literacy in the Sistema style, providing quality self-esteem building performance experiences.
This Hutt Valley festival celebrates Māori and Pasifika dance, drama, arts and crafts, music, storytelling, sports and games, and language, both traditional and modern.
The festival involves primary, intermediate and secondary schools, as well as cultural groups and retirement villages within the Hutt Valley community.
Camp Quality New Zealand is a volunteer charitable trust dedicated to running camps where fun, friendship and a can-do culture inspire children living with cancer to overcome the challenges cancer brings.
Wellington Breastfeeding Trust
The Newtown Breastfeeding Support Centre is a non-profit community-based centre, where families and babies can get expert help with breastfeeding and see a Certified Lactation Consultant. The Wright Family Foundation is proud to be the primary financial supporter of this service.
The foundation sponsors two categories in the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults - the Wright Family Foundation Te Kuru Pounamu Award and the Wright Family Foundation Esther Glen Award for Junior Fiction.
Supporting literacy is one of our key goals, and we are excited to help bring encouragement to the writers of children’s stories told in Te Reo - both Maori and non-Maori speakers will benefit.
We feel further honoured to have our name alongside that of Esther Glen for the Junior Fiction Award.
The Virtuoso Strings Charitable Trust runs a comprehensive, holistic, free music scheme, including a community orchestra, based in Cannons Creek, Porirua. Through providing music tuition and opportunities to engage cooperatively as an orchestra, Virtuoso Strings equips its students with real skills for life.
The Wright Family Foundation shares Virtuoso Strings’ belief that music education has a far-reaching impact, and should be accessible for all.
Space allows new parents and their babies to connect with others, exploring parenting and children's development in a safe, facilitated environment. Space groups meet weekly, giving parents and their babies the chance to make real connections during baby's first year. Topics discussed include music, movement, books and play experiences.
Stardust Children’s Book
‘Stardust’ is a picture book designed for children of prisoners. Approximately 23,000 children in New Zealand are impacted by parental imprisonment.
Author Ivana Mlinac’s goal is to change the discourse around how we speak about and to these children, and make a positive impact. Education and literature lie closely to Ivana’s heart, and she shares the Wright Family Foundation’s belief that literature can have life-changing impacts on individuals.
The Wright Family Foundation’s support is helping with production and printing of this important book.
iMOKO is an innovative, digitally enhanced healthcare programme developed to deliver high quality basic health services with a focus on communities with high needs - particularly vulnerable children.
The Wright Family Foundation was proud to accelerate the roll-out of the iMOKO healthcare services across New Zealand, including the piloting of this service to 16 BestStart centres initially, and due to its success, to a further 65 centres.
Since 2012 Young Ocean Explorers has been on a mission to inspire kids to love our ocean, through entertaining education. The organisation captures children’s imaginations through great storytelling, bringing the beauty, awe and fascination of the ocean and its inhabitants alive. Its vision is to create generational change by connecting hearts and minds with the importance of enjoying and caring for our oceans and give them tools to make a better future.
The Wright Family Foundation was delighted to be a major sponsor of the Young Ocean Explorers Clean Communities, Clean Oceans Tour, which included talks to schools and teacher professional development events.
In November 2018, the Wright Family Foundation donated an ambulance to St John Katikati. The ambulance is called “Benny”, after Hibiscus Coast boy Benny McSweeney whose life was saved by St John after he fell into a freezing pond when he was 20 months-old. Benny is now a happy and healthy 12-year-old. The ambulance comes with a PowerLoad Stryker Stretcher, making lifting and transporting patients easier and improving safety for both patients and ambulance officers.
This proven life-changing programme is designed to support parents who may not feel comfortable in their own abilities to support their children’s education – breaking the cycle of lack of education, and making generational change. It prepares children aged three to five for the transition to school, while giving parents the skills and confidence to engage in their children’s learning and go on to further education and employment. In 2018 the Wright Family Foundation committed to funding the programme by $230,000 a year for at least three years.
The Champion Foundation has created an engaging picture book designed to give children born early – and their families – a story about their own precious beginning. Earlybird, written by Julie Burgess-Manning and illustrated by Jenny Cooper, tells the moving story of Peri Pukeko, a baby bird who hatched early, as he gets ready to go home and learn to fly. The Wright Family Foundation came on board as a major funder of the book to ensure it will be distributed free to any family with a child born prematurely who go through one of New Zealand’s six Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU), so that cost is no barrier.
Distributions by the Foundation shall be limited to New Zealand and any distributions shall be made within New Zealand. There is no provision for any member of the Wright family to financially benefit from the Foundation. Their time commitment to the Foundation is voluntary.