The Inevitable Left-Wing Backlash Against Philanthropy
Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 9:46AM
Bill Barclay

It was inevitable of course that the left would immediately react negatively, against the incredible $50m donation of a complete childrens' hospital to Wellington and the southern North Island by engineer, and property owner Mark Dunajtschik (who?).

It started with snide questioning of the Chief Executive of the Health Board by Kim Hill yesterday morning. She questioned why it was necessary for the Government to rely on outside donations for facilities of this nature when it should have priority as a tax-payer funded facility. Not one word of gratitude to Mark Dunajtscik (who is that again?) was expressed during the course of the interview - just resentment.

Subsequent interviews with union representatives, while exprssing grudging gratitude, questioned how and where adequate services would be provided to run the hospital. Assurances from the Board and Government were insufficient - utter scepticism was the order of the day. What a miserable bunch.

Then we had the spectacle of Iain Lees-Galloway - that paragon of Labour rectitude and values, praising Mark on the one hand, while attacking the Government for not providing the facility when it appears nowhere in any plans announced to date by Labour.  He went on to say that it is a facility that "should be provided as a community through our taxes." Is he mad, or somehow so distorted in his thinking that only reversion to Stalinist principles will suffice for him.

It would appear to have escaped the notice of our Labour stalwarts that elsewhere in the World, and even in this country, medical and educational facilities have often been provided by individuals, and groups of generous donors. It is the way that many wealthy people prefer to give back to the community - it is a means by which their generosity can be recognised for years to come, and we at the same time get to benefit. I don't care if they get a tax deduction, and have their name plastered all over - though perhaps Mark's Hospital will do in this case!

The left for some reason resent this manner of funding capital facilities, presumably because they question the method of accumulation of the wealth that enables the generosity in the first place. Or is just straight out envy? Who would know - all we do know is the element of seething resentment the moment anything of this nature comes to light that seems to extend right through the ranks of the left.

I welcome Mark Dunajtschik's generosity - it must surely represent the greatest single act of munificence seen in this country and should be recognised along with all the other donations he has made over the years.  If only some of the other 'high-wealth' individuals who established their fortunes on the backs of financial manipulations over the last thirty years odd felt the same way about the country that has enabled then to accumulate billions, yes billions, rather than spending on vast so called yachts, and similar extravagances, then we would have something even greater to celebrate.

Three hearty cheers for Mark M. and may he enjoy the acclaim of all and sundry (other than you know who, of course!). An immediate knighthood would not be out of the question - or perhaps on opening, just in case the money runs out.




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