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.’’