Retirement years busier than expected

Retirement years busier than expected

31 August 2018 - Gisborne Herald Colin Christie golf web jpg

Join Sunrise's deputy chairman Colin Christie at the Emerre & Hathaway Cancer Society Golf Tournament on Sunday, 23 September. It’s all for a great cause, raising money for the Cancer Society Gisborne East Coast Endowment fund at Sunrise.

At 73, he has now been fully retired for five year but says it is much busier than he thought – although he does get to play golf more than he used to.

But he wouldn’t like to be doing nothing either, he says.

“I liked being an accountant, so I just carried on for a few years.”

Colin has lived in Gisborne for almost 50 years, working his way up early on to become a partner at the accounting firm on the corner of Peel Street and Palmerston Road, which is now BDO.

He is often asked on to boards and committees for his financial expertise, which can be bitter sweet.

While he loves to help, it can sometimes mean tough financial decisions are left to him.

Colin the deputy chairman of Gisborne’s Sunrise Foundation.

The foundation holds donations and bequests in permanent endowments, using the income from the investments to fund community organisations.

They’ve just topped $2 million in donations in Gisborne and are well on the way to $3 million.

The structure of the Sunrise Foundation means in about 20 years, endowments will double in size and grants to the value of your original donation will have been granted to worthy causes.

The strength of the endowment model is that all donations and bequests are invested, protected and grown so they keep on working for our community forever.

For charities, societies and organisations that do not have government funding, endowments such as these are a dream come true.

They are a source of sustainable income for the future without having to do endless sausage sizzles and fundraising campaigns which can take people away from the job at hand.

Some people leave their whole estate to the Sunrise Foundation, knowing their money will keep on giving in their memory forever.

It’s a concept Colin likes and understands.

Understandably most people want to leave the bulk of their estate to their children, but also want to leave something to the Sunrise Foundation to benefit the community their family grew up in.

That way in 500 years their family legacy still supports their community. Both Colin and Sir Stephen Tindall think 10 per cent is a good number.

“Leave 90 percent to the children and 10 percent as an endowment for the local community.”

Colin is one of the “originals” from the steering committee who got the Sunrise Foundation started in Gisborne.

It was after an inspiring talk from Sir Stephen Tindall, known for starting up The Warehouse.

Sir Stephen has been instrumental in encouraging community foundations around New Zealand to get off the ground.

Colin is also a trustee of Community Foundations New Zealand, which supports the development of new community foundations.

He thinks every New Zealander should have access to a local community foundation.

Colin is also on the board of the Poverty Bay Golf Club.

It’s all voluntary and Colin says there is heaps for people to do at all levels for anyone who wants to get involved in volunteering through their retirement.

Colin and Diane Christie met while playing hockey in Gisborne. They married in London and came back to New Zealand with a baby on the way and their Triumph sports car in tow.

They have two daughters and four grandchildren.

Colin and Diane both love to travel. Right now they are in the discussion phase of where to go next – Diane wants to go to Croatia, Colin would prefer the Baltic States.

Colin is also a keen reader with often about three books on the go – his favourite genre is historical fiction – and he is also a great consumer of the news, mostly online.

“When I was in 6thform, there were only two of us left and four teachers, that’s why my English and Maths is so good.”

Colin say at the end of that year came the decision of what to do next.

“Dad was keen for us to go to university, even though Mum or Dad never went.”

Their neighbour in Taihape was a land surveyor and Colin remembers working out the area of the land with him using trigonometry.

He expressed his interest in the profession to his father who told him there was no money in surveying and to be an accountant.

So he did.

He studied at Victoria University in Wellington, which was free back then, he notes.

During his student years he became a cadet at Mobil Oil. He sometimes came to Gisborne on holidays and stayed at the Waikanae motor camp.

He also played a lot of hockey, and played representative hockey for Wellington and Poverty Bay.

It was through this sport he met his wife Diane, who was English, and had played hockey for the England B team.