John and Bunny Mortimer, who were amongst our foundational supporters, have both now passed away - John died Thursday 24 May 2018 at the age of 94 and Bunny died Thursday 27 May 2021 at the age of 97.
In creating the Taitua Arboretum, the Mortimers have left a lasting legacy for the future of Hamilton and the Waikato. You can celebrate their achievements and support the ongoing development of this amazing place by donating to their Taitua Fund.
Their Giving Story below dates from 2015.
John and Bunny Mortimer recently made a financial decision that will have an effect on the Waikato forever. Their desire to share nature with others long past their own lifetimes led them to Momentum Waikato Community Foundation, knowing it was a way they could support their favourite charities in exactly the way they chose.
Environmental philanthropy has always been important to them both, and they have served in leadership roles on local and national levels in support of the environment and its preservation. The two dendrologists have had a love for trees for decades, co-authoring books about them, becoming heavily involved in New Zealand’s Farm Forestry Association, and also fashioning Bunny’s 50-acre family paddock into a relaxing, shaded arboretum that is open to all and is now loved and enjoyed by our community.
They both spent years collecting over 1,500 types of seeds and cuttings from all across New Zealand, China, America and Australia, nurturing their growth then planting their rare and sometimes exotic selection of trees and shrubs to create what we all know today as Hamilton’s wooded wonderland Taitua Arboretum.
The Mortimers chose to gift Taitua Arboretum to the city of Hamilton in 1997 as a means of ensuring it would be cared for and enjoyed by generations of families. The city council successfully maintains the park, but John and Bunny had been searching for a way to ensure the arboretum could continue to be developed in perpetuity.
Setting up a perpetual fund through Momentum Waikato, John and Bunny have peace of mind that Taitua Arboretum will receive 100% distribution from their perpetual fund year after year, and their $100,000 will continue to grow in perpetuity thanks to careful investment from Craigs Investment Partners and Forsyth Barr, Momentum Waikato’s investment partners. Other charities receiving direct gifts from the Mortimers through the Foundation are the Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust, the New Zealand Native Forest Restoration Trust, Queen Elizabeth II National Trust, Tane’s Tree Trust and the Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.