Whopping $500K donation to Wakatipu High

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Wakatipu High is hailing a whopping $500,000 pledge as an incredible mark of support. 

Charitable trust the Wakatipu High School Foundation – launched last October to turn the school into one of New Zealand’s top five – has already got the first $250,000 of the huge new amount. 

The locally-based Peter Wilding Estate behind the jaw-dropping bequest will complete its pledge by matching dollar for dollar the next $250,000 raised by the foundation during the coming year. Prior to the $500,000, the foundation fund sat at about $88,000 thanks to donations from Colliers International ($20,000), Trinity Construction and Harcourts ($10,000 each) plus a dozen other donors. 

Wakatipu High principal Steve Hall told staff the latest good news on Wednesday morning: “It’s huge for us, it’s an incredible mark of support from the community for the foundation and the school. 

“People have always said if the school is doing a fantastic job, the community will support it and this is just an amazing example.”

“We feel very grateful, humble and determined to do a fantastic job of delivering education to our kids.”
Hall says staff were blown away – “as you would be”. 

“The foundation’s not been going that long and already it’s doing an amazing job. Thanks to all the people who got on board early like Colliers – it adds a stamp of credibility to the value of the foundation.” 

The foundation supplements funding from the Govern-ment’s Ministry of Education – the school is rated decile 10, the highest socio-economic rating a school can have, meaning lower Government funding. 

Foundation chair Mark Taylor says trustees are hugely grateful for the Peter Wilding Estate’s substantial donation: “This bequest recognises the ongoing vital role the foundation can play in the future wellbeing of our high school community and its strive for academic excellence. 

“We’ll be working hard to gain the recognition and support of our business and family communities in supporting the foundation’s goals and to reach the target of raising a further $250,000 to match the contribution from the Peter Wilding Estate over the next 12 months. I was lucky enough to know and work with Peter, and this bequest is absolutely in line with his community mindedness and very generous nature. 

“These funds will be invested to provide additional income for the school for generations. Being the only high school in the district, the benefits of Peter’s legacy will be very widely felt.” 

Already, the foundation has stumped up for three key new members of school staff – a full-time sports coordinator, part-time arts coordinator and E-Learning coordinator. 

It’s also supporting a $20,000 hardship fund. 

Taylor says trustees are very pleased with community support to date and will work extremely hard behind the scenes to ensure they can uplift the remaining bequest. 

The first trustees of the foundation are Taylor, Trinity Construction’s Wayne Foley, Craig Robins, Jonathan Gurnsey, and Michelle Trapski along with Hall and school board chair Alistair Nicholson as advisory trustees.

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Contact Wakatipu High School Foundation general manager Jane Todd at: Jane.Todd@xtra.co.nz