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The Beginning

Birthright Hastings
Birthright Hastings was formed by Hastings Lawyer, Mr. Peter Gifford and the Hastings Junior Chamber of Commerce, following a public meeting on 23 November 1955 to address the need for an organisation whose emphasis was on the welfare of children. His aim was to form a voluntary organisation to support and care for the children of one parent families in the community. Birthright Hastings became an Incorporated Society in March 1956.

Birthright grew to be a National body throughout New Zealand
from this time on.

Where did the name Birthright come from?
After much studying of Roget’s Thesaurus, Mr. Gifford came up
with the name of Birthright, claiming that “every child is
entitled to a birthright.”

Peter Gifford received
the OBE in 1973
in recognition of his
work with Birthright

Hawke’s Bay Children’s Home
The Hawke’s Bay Children’s Home was formed in typically New Zealand fashion by a group of individuals who saw a need for help and decided to do something about it.  In this case the ladies of the Napier Baptist Bible Women’s Society at the usual monthly meeting in May 1892 brought up the question of finding means to look after two destitute girls and to consider the advisability of starting a home where neglected children could be cared for.

1892 - 2 bedrooms – Onepoto Gully, McDonald Street
         - 6 bedrooms – Burlington Road

1909 - Randall House – Napier Terrace

1913 - Gordon House

1924 - France House (Eskdale)

1966 - Family Homes:
         - Rochfort House, Rakau Street, Havelock North
         - Edgley House, Pembroke Street, Taradale 
         - Nelson House, Plymouth Road, Flaxmere

1978 - Official opening of Swinburn House

Swinburn House still operates as an Early Childhood Centre.
FamilyCare HB 1990 - 2000
FamilyCare HB represented the joining together of six Hawke’s Bay based community organisations - Parentline; Pacific Islands Community; Women Refuge; Birthright Hastings; Napier Barnardos and Val Belman who saw that there was a need in Hawke’s Bay to provide a fostering service. FamilyCare HB provided short term time out for children with caregiving families caring for children in their own homes. They also provided education programmes for parents.

Birthright Hastings merged with FamilyCare HB in 2000.

Birthright Napier, FamilyCare HB and Hawke's Bay
Children’s Home merged in September 2004 to become Birthright Hawke's Bay Child & Family Care Trust.


If you would like to make a donation to
Birthright HB Child & Family Care
our bank account details are:

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