31 Dec 2022

Wellington benefactor: New knight motivated by desire to help city he loves

1:33 pm on 31 December 2022
Mark Dunajtschik

Mark Dunajtschik has been supporting good causes and charities in the capital for more than 40 years. Photo: Supplied

Mark Dunajtschik who helped to pay for Wellington's children's hospital Te Wao Nui has been made a knight for his services to philanthropy.

The property developer has contributed to many philanthropic causes and charities for more than 40 years.

He helped to found the capital's first helicopter rescue service in the mid-1970s and once it was going, financed the service for 10 years.

He has also pledged up to $60 million to replace Te Whare Ahura Mental Health Centre in the Hutt Valley alongside $53m spent building the new children's hospital for the Capital and Coast District Health Board.

The hospital which provides care for families from Hawke's Bay and Taranaki, to Marlborough opened in September.

Sir Mark told RNZ he loves Wellington - his home of 64 years - and his intention was to leave his money in the city where he had made his fortune.

Mark Dunajschik

Dorothy Spotswood and Mark Dunajschik at the opening. Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

In 2019, he donated $2m to Hōhepa Homes for intellectually disabled children to buy some land to expand their operation in Kāpiti and he has contributed significantly to the purchase of other houses for a trust in Belmont.

He was a founding member of the Michael Fowler Centre and donor to the Wellington Free Ambulance. He funded the establishment of the Mark Dunajtschik chair of sustainable energy at Victoria University of Wellington, a commitment of $2m.

He has supported CCS Disability Action for many years and has made significant donations to Sport New Zealand and the Graeme Dingle Foundation, and is patron of the New Zealand Deerstalkers Association.

He was named a Wellington business icon and won an Absolutely Positively Wellington award earlier this year and was chosen as Wellingtonian of the Year in 2017.

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