Maurice Paykel Charitable Trust

Supporting registered charities throughout New Zealand since 1982

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About us

The Maurice Paykel Charitable Trust (MPCT) was established in 1976 by the late Maurice Paykel, a well-known philanthropist and the co-founder of the Fisher and Paykel group of companies.

Mr Paykel had launched a medical trust three years earlier, during the time of his appointment as chairman of the Medical Research Council of New Zealand. In that position he saw an urgent need for increased funding of research in health-related fields, so the Maurice and Phyllis Paykel Trust (MPPT) was established for this purpose. More information about the work of MPPT may be found on its website at

The MPPT was also able to make charitable donations, but this provision applied only during the lifetimes of Maurice and Phyllis Paykel. It soon became clear to Mr Paykel that the needs of the charitable sector justified establishment of a more permanent source of funds for its support. The MPCT was developed to fill that need and its Trust Deed was executed on 5 August 1976.

The first six years were spent in building a durable financial base for the new trust and in planning its activities. Initial funding ($250,000) was provided by Mr Paykel in 1982 and five years later he ensured the future of the Trust by a further significant donation of over 1.4 million dollars.

The Trust was officially registered as a charity in 1982 under Part 2 of the Charitable Trusts Act 1957: its certificate of incorporation was executed on 25 March 1982. This official status was re-confirmed in June 2008 by its registration as a charitable entity under the Charities Act 2005.

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Our mandate

The Trust Deed empowers the MPCT trustees to use its funds "for or towards such charitable purposes in New Zealand as the Trustees shall from time to time specify." This mandate has been interpreted quite broadly over the years to provide donations to many charities representing a wide range of services to the community. More recently the trustees have placed an increasing emphasis on support for the young and the elderly facing health problems. To qualify for consideration, charities need to be officially registered, either under the Charitable Trusts Act 1957 or the Charities Act 2005.

Growth of the programme

Registered charities were first invited to apply to MPCT in 1982 and four donations, totalling $15,250, were made in that year. This modest sum marked the start of an annual programme which has grown over the years to become an established part of philanthropic activity in New Zealand. The lists of annual donations have varied from year to year, reflecting the nature of the charities applying for help and the investment income available to the trustees at the time. In earlier years the trustees were able to offer a degree of stability to selected charities by providing support for several years in succession. However, the number of new applications has grown in more recent years and repeat donations have become less frequent. All applicants, whether returning or applying for the first time, are now required to submit new applications, and these are considered in open competition with others received in the same year. Practical details of the programme are given in the next section.

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How to apply

A meeting of the Trust Board is held in July each year and a new list of donations is confirmed at this time. Applications for possible inclusion in the list may be submitted up until 1 June for consideration in that financial year. Applications received after that date are held over for consideration in the following year unless special circumstances apply.
Using this website any registered charity can create an account, and then make application for a charitable donation. When a charity creates an account it will be asked to provide the following:
  • Information about the organisation
  • Details of the governing structure
  • A copy of the Trust Deed
  • Confirmation of charitable status (including CC number)
  • A financial statement for the previous year
The trustees will consider applications relating to all types of charitable work, although in recent years funding has been predominantly directed towards health-related activities and work benefiting children and young people, and the elderly. The funds available each year are not large and individual donations are mostly within the range of $3,000-$10,000.

Decisions reached at the annual meeting of the Trust Board are actioned as soon as practicable.  All applicants are notified immediately following the Trust Board meeting in July and donations to the successful charities disbursed by mid-August each year.

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