“We love the idea of giving back to the community that has accepted us so wholeheartedly. It’s very humbling to know that that once we are gone, we will be able to continue to give back to the region that has given us so much.”

Marcia and Matthew Millard recently chose to leave a bequest through Taranaki Foundation – a decision they say they made for two reasons: “First, the donations and the management of them is the core business of the Foundation and they get their full attention; secondly, the Foundation is for the Taranaki community, based in Taranaki and professionally run by Taranaki people.”

Originally from South Yorkshire in the North of England, Matthew and Marcia moved to New Zealand in 2012.  After initially settling in Auckland, they soon realised it didn’t provide the lifestyle and work- life balance they were looking for. They relocated to Taranaki nine years ago, falling in love with the region straight away.

In 2017, after being together for more than 18 years, the couple decided to get married at Taranaki Pioneer Village. In 2018 they became New Zealand citizens in a ceremony at Stratford Council with Mayor Neil Volske, “Taranaki is our home and we really do feel we have found our place.”

Marcia says that it was through her work that she and Matthew became aware of the Foundation when it was first starting out. They have become much more familiar with its work and the progress that has been made since Marcia joined the Taranaki Foundation Distribution Committee in March 2022.

After talking to the Taranaki Foundation team, Marcia and Matthew decided to create the M J Millard Taranaki Animal Welfare Fund under Taranaki Foundation. The couple decided to structure their fund in two ways: One is a named fund which will support causes close to their hearts; the other is by also donating to the general Taranaki fund.

“It just made perfect sense. It means our gift isn’t just a one-off donation to a local cause but will provide a reliable and sustainable source of income that will be gifted back to the community by the Foundation in line with our wishes each year,” they say.

Matthew has this advice for anyone thinking about setting up a fund and leaving a bequest to Taranaki Foundation: “Making a will and an intention of wishes isn’t always high up on your ‘to do’ list. We all have busy lives; however, it is really satisfying once it’s done.  The catalyst for us was our recent house move and needing to update our existing wills.”

“We certainly plan on being around for many years yet! But it’s the right time to think about supporting our community and what we’d like our legacy to be. It’s a really warm feeling to know that we can affect change to causes that are dear to us, even after we have gone.”