Birthright Hawkes Bay - A summary of our journey so far
Birthright began in Hastings on 23 November 1955 when Lawyer Peter Gifford and the Hastings Junior chamber of commerce formed a voluntary organization to address the care and welfare needs of children within single parent families, particularly those impacted by WW2 when many servicemen did not return.
Birthright Hastings became an incorporated society in March of 1956 with a national body and affiliate branches forming across New Zealand in the years following, including Birthright Napier.
The name Birthright was chosen by Mr Gifford after claiming that “every child is entitled to a birthright”. He later received an OBE in 1973 in recognition of his work with Birthright.
A series of mergers in the early 2000s with other like-minded community organizations saw the organization continue to grow and respond to the community it served.
These mergers included Birthright Hastings with Family Care Hawke’s Bay in 2000 followed by a merger in 2004 between Birthright Napier, Family Care Hawke’s Bay and Hawke’s Bay Children’s Home to become the Birthright Hawke’s Bay Child and Family Care Trust.
Birthright Hawke’s Bay currently has a staff of 47 providing a wide range of services and support to individuals, families, and communities from Wairoa in the north to Waipukurau in the south.