Foundation fund

The legacy of the Taranaki man will live on years after his death

New Plymouth man Bruce Carter has set up an endowment fund through the Taranaki Foundation which will allow charities and sports clubs to receive regular donations for up to 15 years after his death.

LISA BURD/Stuff

New Plymouth man Bruce Carter has set up an endowment fund through the Taranaki Foundation which will allow charities and sports clubs to receive regular donations for up to 15 years after his death.

Bruce Carter may not live to be 100, but his generosity will outlive him for at least a decade, benefiting the people of Taranaki and New Zealand.

The 79-year-old has set up an endowment fund, which will see donations continue to flow to the 15 organisations, which help the young, the elderly, the sick and those in need, to which he currently gives until well after he left.

“I have calculated that my estate can probably last about 15 years – it will keep on giving,” he said. “I am very passionate about those to whom I give. I just want to keep giving them.

Carter, born in Stratford, has always donated to charity but only started building a substantial list when he moved from Australia to New Plymouth eight years ago.

READ MORE:
* The new philanthropists: how everyday Kiwis are making a difference
* The Taranaki Foundation Celebrates Six Years of Grantmaking
* The endowment fund was launched in memory of sports great Steve ‘Coach’ McKean
* The Te Karaka Foundation becomes the Taranaki Foundation

Locally, he supports groups like the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter, Tū Tama Wāhine, Women’s Shelter, Taranaki Retreat, and the Coast Guard.

As well as the Tukapa Rugby Club, for whom he played rugby as a “boy”, and the West End Croquet Club, a sport he learned in his old age.

Carter also donates to St John Ambulance, Blind Low Vision NZ, Lifeline Aotearoa, Cancer Society, Heart Foundation NZ and World Wide Fund for Nature, and Australian Children’s Law, which supports abused children.

He says there are others too.

Carter, 79, has always worried about what will happen to his estate as he has no immediate family.

LISA BURD/Stuff

Carter, 79, has always worried about what will happen to his estate as he has no immediate family.

While Carter, who worked as an entrepreneur for decades in Australia, was married and divorced once, he never had any children and no longer has any close family other than two nephews.

“I have lived alone since 1989.”

When Carter turned 45, he realized retirement was not too far off and began putting money into a retirement pension fund.

“I can live quite frugally,” he said. “Every time I got a raise, I put it straight into the fund.”

The New Plymouth Boys High School alumnus had lived across the divide for “exactly 50 years” before moving home in 2014.

He soon became involved in community work and began donating to those he deemed worthy, but his estate was always on his mind.

Carter knew he would leave some money for friends and family, but he wasn’t sure what to do with “the residue, which is a good amount.”

“I managed to save a reasonable amount of money,” Carter said. “It’s been a big worry on my mind, having no family, no one to leave anything to.”

It wasn’t until he raised these concerns with his accountant, while discussing estate planning, that he heard of the Taranaki Foundation, formerly known as the Te Karaka Foundation.

“I found out I could start a fund,” Carter said. “They take the worries away [charity donations].

“I am grateful to the Taranaki Foundation.”

Now he’s so “really glad” to have made the switch – and to have figured out what to do with his estate.

“I’m much happier being home in New Plymouth with the mountains,” Carter said. “I tell everyone that it was the mountain that brought me back.”