Mourning the loss of humanitarian Chloe Wright

Wright Family Foundation CEO Chloe Wright. File photo.

In a profound and sombre announcement, the Wright family has shared the heart-breaking news of the passing of New Zealand humanitarian, Chloe Wright, at her residence in Omokoroa, Tauranga, this past weekend.

Chloe's unwavering commitment to improving the lives of others, with a special focus on young mothers and children facing adversity and disadvantage, leaves an indelible mark on the hearts of countless New Zealanders.

Her legacy as a catalyst for positive change has touched the lives of thousands, not only as a devoted matriarch to her own loving family but also as a life partner to her husband, Wayne.

As one of nine children, Chloe grew up with a strong belief that children are precious. With five children of their own, Wayne and Chloe have had a passion for helping children, families and their community, particularly those in vulnerable circumstances.

For more than 20 years, the couple have tirelessly dedicated their time, as well as generous financial contributions, to providing educational services that improve the lives and prospects of New Zealanders, with a particular focus on mothers and children.

They built New Zealand’s largest privately owned early learning childcare organisation, BestStart.

Through BestStart they 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.

In January 2015 Best Start was transferred to the ownership of the Wright Family Foundation, a charitable trust. It marked the beginning of the foundation.

The foundation supports educational initiatives through New Zealand Spelling Bee, Kids’ Lit Quiz and House of Science. It also supports Mothers Matter, Love Grows Brains, Brainwave Trust,  SuperGrans Aotearoa, Warriors Community Foundation, The Parenting Place, I Have A Dream, BestStart Educare,  Birthing Centre, Roots of Empathy, Graeme Dingle Foundation, Great Potentials - Hippy Programme, NZ Bumble Bee Conservation Trust, Arohanui Strings, Wellington Breastfeeding Trust, New Zealand Book Awards, Plain English Awards, Plunket Whanau Awhina, Stardust, Viruoso Strings, and Young Ocean Explorers.

Wayne and Chloe Wright, in 2017. Photo: SunLive.

On their website, Chloe has written that while she and Wayne are chalk and cheese in life, the Tauranga-based humanitarians have the same down-to-earth philosophy and expectation – which, as she has put it, is kindness and compassion in its simplest form.

In a statement on her website, Chloe has written: “Have joy, take delight and ultimately it’s about people. It’s not just never do harm, it’s do good. My life is nowhere near as important as the effect it can have on others.”

About their life and journey together, Wayne has written: “I wonder some days why I am where I am in life. Since getting married to Chloe I spent the next thirty years getting our family established and financially secure”.

His website statement goes on to say “The next eighteen years were committed to making a positive difference in the lives of New Zealand preschoolers and assisting Chloe to guide our children to become who they are today.”

A belief Chloe and Wayne have held is that for a child to grow and become a successful adult two things are needed – roots and wings. She has believed that being given strong roots in security, tradition and strength, a child is provided with the tools to grow into someone with wings ready to fly and unlock who they are.

It is the constant vision, dedication, passion and support for others that has seen Chloe and Wayne go above and beyond when it has come to making a real difference in the local community.

Chloe Wright at the Bethlehem Birthing Centre, in 2018. Photo: SunLive.

As co-founder, CEO and trustee for the Wright Family Foundation, Chloe has stood by her statement that “it matters not the measure of my lifetime, but only that through nurturing and life's experiences I have come to this place where so much is possible, where I can achieve outcomes in the lives I may be honoured to touch”.

She also wrote: “I believe the pathway to change requires courage, commitment and perseverance. All that underpins my actions is the firm belief that we are all unique and therefore irreplaceable. Given that, as each of us discovers our own talents and abilities, we are able to make choices that become solutions for betterment or problems for ourselves and others. I choose people over all else.”

Wayne has said about their humanitarian work together that “it's about giving back, and it's absolutely thrilling to see our Foundation assist multiple projects to fruition, as they strive to make New Zealand a better place”.

Chloe’s statement on her website goes on to say “It is important to me to honour my ancestors for the life I have been given, to find fulfilment in my family's contribution to our people - the people of New Zealand. As a daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother and friend, you and I will follow the pattern of life to our ultimate conclusions and if we are wise and fortunate we will discover the true source of happiness during this journey. In my case, what's important is freeing the true self, being present in the moment, and paying it forward.”

She ends her personal statement about their Wright Family Foundations’ work with a quote from Confucius: "Help they brother's boat across and lo, thine own has reached the shore."

Chloe Wright's “boat” has safely reached that distant shore, and her passing leaves a void that will be deeply felt across the nation, a testament to her enduring dedication to building brighter and happier futures for all.

As the Wright family grapples with the immense loss of this remarkable woman, they kindly request privacy during this profoundly challenging and immensely sad time.


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