About the Plunket Foundation

The Plunket Foundation’s role is to ensure funds entrusted to Plunket make the most impact in the lives of future New Zealand kids and whānau. Our Trustees goal is to give Kiwi tamariki the best start in life and make New Zealand, “the best place in the world to raise a child”.  

The Foundation’s objectives are:

  • to help New Zealand raise healthy happy children who thrive 
  • improve the health and well being of New Zealand families and help communities care for their children 
  • build a world-class endowment fund to enable investment in the health and well being of New Zealand children 
  • build strong relationships with philanthropic New Zealanders to help them be part of supporting Kiwi families.

Foundation trustees 

Professor Richie Poulton, CNZM, FRSNZ leads the famous Dunedin studywhich is one of the most detailed studies ever of the human life-course. Richie maintains numerous national government and NGO advisory roles within New Zealand, including a role as the inaugural Chief Science Advisor to the Minister of Child Poverty Reduction (Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern).  Richie regularly provides international consultations on how to optimise child and youth development and promote population wellbeing. A self-confessed rugby and cricket fanatic, he enjoys following sport in his spare time. He is married to Sandhya and has one daughter Priyanka who is studying at the University of Otago. Riche still has his Plunket book from 55+ years ago! 

Sir Graham ‘Ted’ Henry, KNZM, is one of the greatest rugby coaches of all time, and also an educator. He has taught generations of Kiwi school children over a 40+ year career, including more than a decade as principal of Kelston Boys High School (he also taught Richie Poulton 40+ years ago and claims credit for anything positive he has achieved).  He is the author of several books, and currently one of New Zealand most well-recognised and trusted public figures. He, along with his wife Lady Raewyn, has always supported those who are struggling. He is the recipient of many honours and was most recently inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame following last year’s World Cup.  

Raphael Yan (B.Com/LLB) is the Co-Founder of Artemis Capital Limited, a family office based in Auckland which manages public and private debt and equity investments. Raphael acts as a director or alternate director for several private companies and this office also manages a charitable trust portfolio. Prior to forming Artemis Capital, Raphael was a Vice President at Salomon Brothers/ Citigroup based in Hong Kong where he advised Australasian Corporate and Sovereign Debt Issuers. During his time in the international capital markets he was member of the HK Stock Exchange and the U.S. National Association of Securities Dealers. Raphael and his wife Eugénie have three children and have been beneficiaries of the services of Plunket NZ. Raphael and Eugenie are immensely grateful for the medical and social services provided to New Zealand parents and the fundamental importance of these to our changing community. 

Henri Eliot is the Founder and CEO of Board Dynamics, author of the best-selling governance book ‘Board Shorts’ and part-time adjunct lecturer at the University of Auckland Global Studies Program. Henri is currently Chairman of Balle Bros Group, Dodson Motorsport and Plunket Foundation Trustee. Henri received his LLB (Hons) from the University of London, his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from McGill University, his MBA from Richmond University, Master of Legal Studies from the University of Auckland and a master’s Level PgD in Entrepreneurship from the University of Cambridge. Henri is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Directors in New Zealand and Associate Member of Arbitrators & Mediators Institute of New Zealand.  Henri trained as a mediator at Harvard Law School. 

Carol Becker (ONZM) has been involved with Plunket since 1987. Carols initial role was as a new mother at a local level as sub-branch president and treasurer. In 1997 she was elected to the Plunket national board and became vice president in 2003. After four years as vice president she was elected to the role of president at the centenary conference in DunedinCarol served in this role until November 2011. During Carol’s time as presidentPlunket went through a governance reviewwhich resulted in many positive changes. The increased relevance in society and the inclusion of independent board members were the two most important changes. After retiring as president, Carol worked full-time in an accounting office with her husband Russell and eldest son Kurt. They are owner operators of a rural transport and farming business. Carol and Russell have recently become first-time grandparents. They look forward to the same support for their daughter and grandson from Plunket that Carol enjoyed as a new mum.  


The Plunket Foundation is funded by the Truby King Bequest Society and a dedicated Major Gifts Programme.

The Foundation maintains and grows the endowment fund to help support major projects that will improve health outcomes for Kiwi children and their families. Without the ongoing support of the Plunket Foundation, Plunket would not be able to undertake these large projects. 

The Plunket Foundation looks for four key things when funding a project: 

  • impact on the wellbeing of the lives of under fives 
  • how it will improve services to families 
  • how great is the need 
  • sustainability of the project. 

Our fundraising activities 

Plunket Foundation 1000 Club 

Requires a contribution of $10,000, which is payable over five years. Members will have a dedicated relationship manager who can be contacted at any time. The Foundation Trustees ‘walk the talk’ and are also contributing foundation members.  

Annual lottery 

Our annual lottery features over $250,000 of prizes including experiences that ‘money can’t buy’. Tickets are sold by volunteer students from the Association of Boys' Schools New Zealand under the campaign ‘Boys Helping New Zealand Mums’. 

Plunket Foundation fundraising gala  

The gala is a bi-annual event headlined by famous national and global citizens, plus an auction, which includes objects of great historic importance to New Zealand.  

The Foundation's impact

The Foundation supports a wide-range of Plunket activities and programmes that help whānau across New Zealand. 

Current areas of support

Whirihia – Antenatal Education: A specially developed kaupapa Māori antenatal programme in the Waikato.

Whirihia, supported thanks to funding from The Foundation

How you can help

You can make a difference in the lives and wellbeing of New Zealand families and ensure that every child lives the Kiwi dream of a healthy and happy start to life. 

Please contact us at philanthropy@plunket.org.nz  if youre interested in the Plunket Foundation’s work or the projects that it has helped fund.

Need free support or advice?

Call PlunketLine 24/7 on 0800 933 922