Chris gets a kick out of help­ing


Chris Kirk-Burn­nand’s work as chair­man of the Whi­tireia Polytech­nic board has had a lin­ger­ing ef­fect on his life.

Kirk-Burn­nand chaired the board for 61⁄ years and said one of the best parts of the job was be­ing in­volved in cap­ping stu­dents at their grad­u­a­tions.

It was a job that made an im­pres­sion on some of the stu­dents as well.

‘‘The few times I have been in hospi­tal I have had nurses come up to say I capped them,’’ he said.

He’s spo­ken to other stu­dents dur­ing emer­gen­cies as well.

‘‘I’ve had to call 111 a few times and I’ve had stu­dents who trained at the poly­tech recog­nise my name. It’s a great feel­ing.’’

Kirk-Burn­nand was in­volved in set­ting up the Whi­tireia foun­da­tion, which this year granted $130,000 to­wards stu­dents’ ed­u­ca­tion costs.

‘‘I have a real in­ter­est in ed­u­ca­tion and help­ing peo­ple bet­ter them­selves.’’

The Porirua man was last year awarded a 50th an­niver­sary medal by Porirua City Coun­cil in recog­ni­tion of the work he had done for the city and its peo­ple.

He said that while get­ting the award pleased him, he didn’t do his com­mu­nity work for thanks.

‘‘You do it be­cause you be­lieve in it.’’

Kirk-Burn­nand has lived in Porirua for 37 years and spends much of his time try­ing to make the city a bet­ter place.

He chaired the Pataka and Aquatic fundrais­ing com­mit­tee and is proud of his work to cre­ate as­sets for the city.

The job he re­ally loved, though, was chair­ing the Whi­tireia Polytech­nic board.

‘‘It fits my views of help­ing de­pen­dants be­come providers. I be­lieve in nur­tur­ing peo­ple to bring out their very best.’’

His in­ter­est is driven by a be­lief that all chil­dren are born with po­ten­tial and, if given the chance, can achieve won­der­ful things.

Kirk-Burn­nand lights up when he talks about his work on the board of the Life Ed­u­ca­tion Trust, which vis­its pri­mary schools around the coun­try.

‘‘It re­ally makes a dif­fer­ence to chil­dren.’’

The proud grand­fa­ther to three grand­chil­dren has trav­elled ex­ten­sively and wants to visit In­dia.

‘‘My favourite place is wher­ever I amat the mo­ment. You only have one chance to live.’’


Chris Kirk-Burn­nand: ‘‘You only have one chance to live.’’

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