Chairman’s Welcome

Hugh Green finished his school days at the grand age of twelve when he left school to seek his fortune. He initially worked as a cattle drover in Donegal before heading to Scotland, where work was plentiful with the Scotland Hydroelectric Board on their “Power from the Glens” project after World War II.

Armed with a “few bob” in his pocket, he bought a ten-pound ticket to Australia, hoping to make enough money to return to Ireland and set himself up in the cattle business. A brief stopover in New Zealand changed everything after he met Moira, with whom he would settle and have his family.

With little formal education, it was no surprise that Hugh had limited reading and writing when he started his contracting business in Auckland with Barney McCahill. Competing for complex public works contracts, it didn’t take long for Hugh to develop his reading skills to a high level, although he never really wrote a lot down. Many of his business colleagues told stories of Hugh getting the better of top legal minds with his ability to understand and interpret complex contracts to his advantage.

Perhaps his life journey was in the back of his mind when he said in his book “The Irish Immigrant that Never Left Home” that education “was the most important tool to escape poverty.”

This year, the Hugo Charitable Trust has donated to New Zealand schools to support improving literacy skills in young people. While we are very happy to help, I don’t think Hugh Green would ever have imagined that literacy in New Zealand in 2023 would be in any way comparable to Donegal in the 1930s, yet here we are.

I hope you enjoy reading our 7th Annual Report and you enjoy the diversity of our donations. One of my favorites is Wish4Fish empowering people with all sorts of challenges to get out on the water and bag themselves a fish in their uniquely accessible boat.

Since our establishment in 2017, we have been able to grow our capital base to over $82m while donating over $16m to New Zealand charities. The Trustees are grateful to the Hugh Green Family Trust and Owens Properties Ltd, who have paid all our administration costs and allowed us to donate the total income from our investments to the charities we support.

Finally, thank you to our founder, Maryanne Green, who established the Hugo Charitable Trust in 2017 to continue the philanthropy of her father, Hugh Green. Thank you also to our CEO, Aoibheann Monaghan and the Trustees for another successful year of giving.

Mark Owens
Chair & Trustee

Mark Owens