Bobby Stafford-Bush

A Registered Charitable Trust

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A Living Inheritance

Bobby was young but he was passionate about the sea, marine life, art, technology, inventing and making things. He was energetic and lived life to the full.

He was a very capable young man who had his life ahead of him when he was so tragically killed in a car accident at 16 years of age in 2001. Some time has passed since Bobby died and the family have decided that the formation of a charitable trust would in a sense be a living document to Bobby and in essence be an extension of what if he had lived.

Accordingly, the Family decided to create a "living inheritance".

The Bobby Stafford-Bush Foundation was formed in Auckland in 2013 and is a registered Charitable Trust donations for which, qualify for a tax rebate. It also has Donee Status.

The Trustees are:
Brian Stafford-Bush (Bobby's father)
Paddy Stafford-Bush (Bobby's mother)
Shaun McGivern (solicitor)


The Foundation aims to help, support and give opportunity to young people and community groups who likewise have a desire, a passion, or objective which maybe unobtainable without financial assistance.

The Foundation will look at applications from individuals or community groups who fulfill the above criteria.

So if you have a dream, a drive, an ambition to succeed and want to show the world just what you can do and need a helping hand, do apply we would love to consider your application.

The Trustees will meet 3 or 4 times a year to consider applications.

Grants will be made from the income of the Foundation.

The Trustees will be favouring payment of a specific form such as fees, lessons, equipment, airfares or courses rather than cash grants.

Recipients will be expected to have a profile on the web site and to participate in a Blog.

Bobby Stafford-Bush

We do not know what direction Bobby would have taken...
But what he did have and what was widely recognized by everyone he had contact with was the drive, determination and capacity to enjoy and explore life.

During his short life, of 16 years he had a love affair with the sea and fish. From an extraordinary young age of 2 he drew pictures of fish and became an accomplished artist. He loved to go fishing at a young age. He had his own wooden dinghy with a small outboard motor and could often be seen in the Auckland Harbour, the Hauraki Gulf and Matheson Bay near Leigh.

As he grew up his passion for the sea never lessened. He became a scuba diver as soon as he was old enough to qualify and moved on to become a proficient free diver. Most of all he loved to share his love of the sea. A day fishing with Bobby was a delight. This was the same for his diving.

Underwater Photography had just become part of his ocean exploration and together with his amazing and huge knowledge of marine life and the ocean he was a walking encyclopaedia. Life for him, was an exciting and challenging place and he took every opportunity to learn and develop his passions. He loved life.

Another side to Bobby was his willingness to help those less fortunate. We knew of his friends but tragically it wasn't until after his death that a number of people came forward sharing their experiences. He always seemed to sense when others needed assistance and encouragement.

Bobby was an inventor. Always in the family garage making something out of nothing. His creations changed with his age and his last were the making of underwater spear guns and other fishing and diving equipment for friends and himself.

Being an artist Bobby taught others to see things beyond the immediate. Looking at the detail, colour and location. This was very evident in his school art and technology assignments.

Bobby Stafford-Bush

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Joseph Millar – Athletics

Joseph Millar – Athletics

I was lucky enough to be supported by the foundation to chase my dream of sprinting at the Olympics games and although I did not succeed in getting to the Olympics I had an amazing journey where I experienced a whole new world and gained knowledge unobtainable on New Zealand shores.

A last minute opportunity arose to head to the UK and train with some of the fastest athletes in the world. After convincing the Foundation I was worth a shot, I had just 10 days to prepare before my 28hr flight to London. I was so excited I got a total of 1.5hrs sleep on the flights over.

In London, I trained daily with guys much faster that I had ever experienced in my life. Not only was it mind blowing, but I physically struggled with accessing my speed. Each time I hit the go button nothing would happen, but it gave me the chance to examine what these faster guys were doing from arguably the best seat in the house.

By my 4th week by speed had finally returned and I was feeling amazing. My body was in the best shape it had even been in and I was ready to throw down something quick. Unfortunately my luck was about to run dry.
I set out to catch my flight to Switzerland the day before the race on top of ‘Magic Mountain’ (named due to the amazing performances achievable there). As I arrived at the airport I learned that my flight there had been cancelled. The airline wasn’t offering a plan B option until the day after my race so I searched for alternative options and rushed to another airport in an effort to make another flight in time, but failed there also. There was one other flight that day so I booked that, headed to the airport and waited as that flight became more delayed as time went on. I could only keep laughing at my situation as I knew at some stage my luck would have to turn around in a big way to balance everything out.
By the time I had arrived in Switzerland the last train to Magic Mountain had just left the station. My next best option, and to avoid any more ‘bad luck’ I pulled up a trolley and spent the night in the airport, determined to catch the very first train in the morning.
Convinced that my luck was turning around, I caught the train and got the Magic Mountain with just over an hour to spare before my first race which I jogged through very comfortably to make the final. After a quick power nap, I lined up for the final, feeling positive and fast. I exploded from the blocks well and flew down the track increasing my pace with every step until I hit half way, and felt a grab in my left hamstring. Grinning and shaking my head, I stopped running, realizing that my bid for the Olympics was over.

I always knew going over that one of two things was going to happen. A. I was going to qualify for the Olympics or B. I was going to return a new athlete. And with all that I learned from this experience there was no real chance of failure. We either win or we learn and I am now better equipped with the knowledge of my body, what is possible and how I am going to get there.

Thank you for the opportunity and ability to return with the new tools and experience to go faster.

Hattie Jones

Hattie Jones

I arrived home this morning from my trip away to Chile for the Junior World Cup with the New Zealand U21 team. I had an incredible time and have made memories that will last a lifetime.

I just want to say a huge thank you again for making the incredible opportunity a reality, it was an experience that I not only enjoyed, but also learnt a large amount from.

Below I've written about my time over there, I have also attached a couple of photos of the team and myself playing over there.

We headed off in the afternoon on the day of my last school exam, so it was fairly manic getting all packed as I'd really had very little time to get everything sorted. However, my hope was that the tight schedule would mean I would feel very tired and would therefore sleep on the plane over. Unfortunately this wasn't the case and I had a restless 10 hour flight, but we made it to Chile and our very nice hotel, all in good nick.

The accommodation was sorted for us by the International Hockey Federation, so it was really up-market... equipped with a pool, limitless internet and it included breakfast, which was a treat every morning! We arrived 6 days before the official tournament started which gave us a good amount of time to adjust to the time zone, temperature (averaged about 32 degrees) and the different pitch/stadium which held about 4000 people, so had an awesome atmosphere. We also played two warm up games against Japan and Argentina (who went on to win the tournament), which were really good to get a full hit out before official proceedings began.

Heading into the first game against Belgium, everyone was really nervous, but also really excited to get a long campaign actually under way. The outcome was obviously not what we wanted, and it was disappointing to not get the result we hoped for, particularly after having most of the possession. It was a similar story over the next two games, which left us bottom of our pool and only able to play off, at best, for 13th place (which we achieved scoring 24 goals!). At the time this was heartbreaking as we had put so many days and hours into preparing for the event, but did not achieve anything near what we had hoped. Despite being hard at the time, I have learnt a huge deal from the disappointment and am now even more motivated to continue playing and improving, as I don't want to have the same feeling again. It is a bitter sweet thing where you tend to learn more from failures than successes, so the importance of the preparation, along with being able to perform when it counts, is something that I now fully understand. The following two games didn't quite have the same excitement or anticipation as the previous three, but it was good to comfortably win both matches and as a team score some really good goals. Alongside playing ourselves we were able to watch a number of other games, including the final which was really good, as there were a number of players at the tournament who play at top level and went to the Olympics so I picked up on a lot from just watching them.

Despite the result, the whole thing was an incredible experience and an event in my life I'm sure I won't forget. The group that I was away with were so much fun and I've made friends that I will definitely stay in touch with long term, despite some of them living miles away! The country itself was eye opening, going in I didn't appreciate the amount of disparity there is in Chile. Driving from the airport to the accommodation we passed shanty towns which were struggling to make a living, but then also many fancy buildings, including the tallest in South America, so it was a bizarre thing to see. Having a couple of rest days we were able to explore Santiago a bit more which was really cool. We visited a coastal town called, Valparaiso, which contained hundreds of coloured buildings, which was one of my highlights, along with going to a massive street market.

A massive thank you again for your support, it is greatly appreciated.

Alex Jordan

Alex Jordan

I am currently pursuing my goals in the sport of athletics. The start of this process begins later this year and a large chunk in 2017. I am beginning my plans early however as I want to be highly prepared and leave no stone turned from here on out as I begin to try and achieve my ambitious goals.

In 2012 I was extremely close to qualifying for the London Olympics running a time in the 400m of 46.40 and the Olympic qualifying time being 45.80. However since then I developed an Illness which resulted in me being admitted into hospital for a number of days with gastrointestinal and kidney problems after each time I ran 400m race. This became such an issue that I had to give up my dream of attending the 2016 Olympics in the 400m.

Because of this from 2012 through to 2015 I focussed on the 100m and 200m events where I won 2 Bronze medals in the national championships in the 100m and also a silver and a gold in the national championships for the 200m where I am the current 200m national champion. Although this was a successful change of event I have since strived for more and set my short term focus on medalling in the 800m for the 2018 Commonwealth Games I have already made some large sacrifices to attempt this:

1. Moving to Wellington to train with Steve Willis (renowned running coach in New Zealand)
2. Taking up a part time job (24 hours) So I can train as a full time athlete
3. Did a number of tests to test my upper V02 limits and future potential in the event

The Commonwealth Games in 2018 is only the beginning of my goal, from here I aim to attend the World Championships and Olympics and have an end goal of breaking Sir Peter Snells record. In addition to this I want to inspire youth and people at risk to chase their dreams and always live their life.

Alex Jordan

Jordan Bollard

Jordan Bollard

I am an up and coming New Zealand track and field athlete specialising in the 100m & 200m.

At the start of this year I was privileged enough to have the Bobby Stafford-Bush Foundation support me to help further my athletics career. Without their support I wouldn't have been able to compete in a number of events around the world. Most recently I wouldn't have been able to compete at the World U20 Athletics Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland. Not only was competing on an international stage for the first time amazing but getting to learn, see and experience so many different cultures had to be the highlight of my trip.

Thank you for opening so many doors for me and giving me the opportunity to achieve my sporting goals and aspirations without having to worry about any financial issues.

Yours sincerely
Jordan B

Remarkables Adaptive Snow Sports Programme

Remarkables Adaptive Snow Sports Programme

Good news our legs survived!!
Thank you so much for pledging your support for Adaptive Snow sports up at the Remarkables. We ended up doing a total of 35 laps skiing on one ski in 3 hours! Meaning we raised around $2500 which is an amazing effort!!!
These funds are going to be used to help cover volunteer training costs (which is the lifeblood of the program), Purchase two sizes of Walkers (like Zimmer frames but with skis on the bottom) for kids to use who can’t use outriggers (crutches with skis on the bottom) and also funds towards a new more customizable bi-ski.
Thank you to the foundation for their pledge.



Brazilian professor Paulo Teles had his wish fulfilled during October when he got the opportunity to bring his extraordinary arts and multimedia Wishing Tree project to New Zealand.
Dr Teles, who is with the Multimedia, Media and Social Communication Department in the Art Institute at the University of Campinas, Sao Paulo, had already taken his Interactive Sensorial Installation Art and Technology Workshop to schools in a variety of countries, including Brazil, Portugal, Germany and Greece, each time working with students aged 9 to 13. This time he was working with pupils at Auckland’s Somerville Intermediate School, which has a roll of 960 – the largest school he’s been involved with.
The week-long project involved the production of an installation referred to as “The Wishing Tree” – a multimedia interpretation of Japanese and Indian tales about a magical tree that has the power to fulfil the wishes that people attach to it. Organised by Somerville art teacher Ros Craw, a core group of 25 pupils started creatisng the pohutukawa wishing tree out of recycled materials: sliced-up snack wrappers and chip packets collected from fellow pupils over one and a half days. The strips were hot-glued onto an old sculpture that formed the basic frame, then they wired on long canes to create the branches. The “tree” was built from these strips and recycled artworks chosen by Ros and the pupils, with the help of Brazilian artist/sculptor Zay M Pereira, who was here to assist with the project. Multi-coloured leaves were cut out of the artworks and red-coloured wrappers were sliced up and hot-glued together to create the pohutukawa flowers.
Once the tree was finished, Zay attached three ultrasonic sensors at strategic points and covered the wires with more wrapper strips.
Then the pupils sat down to start expressing their wishes in texts and drawings. Eighteen students were chosen to have their wishes recorded by Paulo and Zay, and wishes were recorded in Russian, Maori, Cantonese, German and Mandarin as well as English. Meanwhile, Paulo set about animating some of the students’ drawings.
As news of the project spread through the school, many other pupils became interested and drawings of wishes started pouring in from most classes. Some children cried while creating their wishes during class time.
In all, 660 students and their teachers came to hear about the project and experience the Wishing Tree, interacting with the sensors that through their movements caused different images and animations to be projected onto a large white screen. Meanwhile, the recorded wishes played over the top of a soundtrack provided by the school’s music department. By the end of the project, more than 900 wishes had been stapled to the walls of the Wishing Tree room.
An evening viewing was also held and this attracted parents, friends and other students. Some pupils even came for a second or third viewing. Some of the wishes were so heartfelt that the teachers and children reading them were reduced to tears. No one who saw the tree and read the wishes could fail to have been moved by the depth of thought that had gone into the bulk of them. Although some wishes were more self-centred, most pupils had given serious consideration to problems in their family, their school and community, their country or in the wider world. The project opened their minds to the world around them and made them realise that not all their classmates had the same untroubled lives as they did.
It is Paulo’s hope that at some point in the future he will be able to collect the Wishing Trees from the various countries in one place, along with the teachers, and create a Wishing Forest.
Many thanks to the Bobby Stafford-Bush Foundation for providing funds to help this project get off the ground.
Alison Mudford
NZ co-ordinator

Emily Scott

Emily Scott

My name is Emily Scott. I am 25 and I am currently a Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artist with New Zealand Opera.
I feel very privileged that the foundation is supporting my journey, this means a great deal to me.
In 2014 I graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in Classical Voice Performance from the University of Auckland and was awarded First in Class.

As a Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artist I have recently given my solo operatic début in the role of Kate Pinkerton in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly for New Zealand Opera in Christchurch. I have also had the opportunity to perform as part of the New Zealand Opera’s schools’ touring production of an abridged version of Rossini’s Barber of Seville, which was presented nationwide to over 7000 students to introduce them to opera.

Under the auspices of the Dame Malvina Major Foundation I have recently had the opportunity to perform for Juliana Gondek, Head of Voice Department at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. Ms Gondek has subsequently offered me a place to further my vocal studies on the Artists’ Masters Programme together with a partial scholarship. The Programme commences at UCLA in September 2015 and is anticipated to have a two-year duration.

Following my studies I intend to return to New Zealand where I aspire to join the Young Artists Programme for New

Experiencing Marine Reserves – 2015 competition

Experiencing Marine Reserves – 2015 competition

Since 2002, programme uptake has continued to increase throughout the country and EMR has held an annual competition trip to the Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve for representative students from each school that participates in the EMR programme (for Northland and Auckland Schools only). Support from the Bobby Stafford-Bush Foundation has allowed participation in 2015 from all of our eight EMR regions around NZ (funding flights and accommodation), supporting an experience that would not otherwise be possible for these students and their parents. This competition offers the students an added incentive to produce action projects towards marine conservation within their community. It also gives the students, along with their parents/guardians a chance to experience the magical Poor Knights Marine Reserve, which is a new opportunity for most (especially those coming from Taranaki, Gisborne, Wellington, Nelson, Coromandel and Otago). In addition to the annual competition action prize to the Poor Knights, EMR has introduced a new prize – the Bobby Stafford-Bush Ocean Art prize. The Bobby Stafford-Bush Foundation supports this special prize for young kiwis that have experienced the marine environment with EMR and display that passion and experience through art. Chosen representatives from the eight regions participating in EMR will also attend the trip to the annual competition trip to the Poor Knights Islands.

Experiencing Marine Reserves

Experiencing Marine Reserves

EMR is a national programme of experiential learning about marine conservation.

As an extension of EMR’s programme with schools, EMR developed the free Community Guided Snorkel Days. Support from the Bobby Stafford-Bush Foundation has allowed EMR to expand the Community Guided Snorkel Day events into new areas in Auckland such as Matheson’s Bay and Long Bay Marine Reserve and included supporting nine community engagement events in the Hauraki Gulf region. The snorkel days are a free, fun and safe summer community event. They are a great way for community members of all ages to experience and enjoy their local marine reserve or marine environment while raising awareness about marine conservation. Delivery of these events are not limited to marine reserve locations, we are really keen just to get more people in the water!

Isla Norman-Bell

Isla Norman-Bell

To Paddy, Brian and Shaun,

Thank you so much for sponsoring me. It would have been very difficult without your financial support. I had the most amazing time in the Gold Coast. I wish I could have stayed much much longer. While I was over in Australia with my team we trained every single day in the morning at 8:30a a.m as it was way too hot during the day/afternoon. We stayed at Bayview Apartments in Runaway Bay with the U17 mixed team as well. We played against many different module teams and as we had never played together as a team before we did pretty well. I was the youngest girl in the team so throughout the tour I got to look after one of the touch NZ balls which I found pretty cool. On the last day both the U15s and U17s traveled to Logan which is not too far from Brisbane and played in an indigenous tournament. It was sad to say goodbye to all my team mates. I hope I get this opportunity again.

Yours sincerely,
Isla Norman-Bell.

Young Ocean Explorers

Young Ocean Explorers

Young Ocean Explorers actually came about through Riley's school project! She produced, well…..actually "we" produced!! an interview with a turtle expert about the issue of sea turtles eating plastic. Using my underwater footage cut together with her interview, everyone at her school loved it! Seeing the response of so many kids, my mind started reeling with what a powerful tool this could be to inspire them about the magnificence of the underwater world and to get them emotionally engaged with it. I asked Riley, "Would you like to make more of these videos?" She replied enthusiastically "YES!”, Instantly firing back “We could do.… Sharks, Orca, Maui's dolphins…" and Young Ocean Explorers was born!

Since then it's been an incredible journey for my wife Jo and our family. To cut a long story short we received some funding from a ‘Dragons Den’ type contest, where I pitched the Young Ocean Explorers idea and won, and also the Environmental Initiative Fund from the Auckland City Council as well as self-funding to produce the 10 episodes. In 2014 we ran a successful Kickstarter campaign and with the amazing generosity of the Bobby Stafford-Bush Foundation we have created our new book "Young Ocean Explorers - Love Our Ocean" and will launch it in March 2015.
- Steve Hathaway - Creator 'Young Ocean Explorers'

Project Jonah

Project Jonah

Project Jonah is an animal welfare charity that provides emergency response to stranded whales and dolphins Throughout New Zealand. They empower local communities by training members of the public to become Marine Mammal Medics and help save lives. Project Jonah campaigns for greater protection of marine mammals and presents to schools and colleges to grow awareness of the marine environment. You can find out more here:



Houston is a teenager with a serious passion for dance. Her recent success at the World Hip Hop International Championships in Las Vegas, America, was the culmination of hundreds of hours of training and preparation. Representing New Zealand at the World Championships was a dream come true for Houston and her crew ‘Duchesses’ finishing 2nd with a silver medal in the very competitive Varsity Division, which showcased the creative talents of dancers from over sixty countries.

The Bobby Stafford Bush Foundation helped Houston to achieve her dream of dancing for one of the top crews in the world. The Foundation supported her in the early stages to get to the audition at the world renowned Palace Dance Studio. This encouragement has given Houston the opportunity to grow as a dancer, to share her passion for dance with others and to pursue a goal that may not have otherwise been possible. She is forever grateful for the financial funding she has received.

Sea Cleaners

Sea Cleaners

The vision of Sea Cleaners, is to preserve New Zealand’s Coastline for the benefit of the marine life and for the enjoyment of all users. Our long term strategy is to educate people, particularly our young people, to dispose of their rubbish in eco-friendly ways, including recycling, and so not to harm the environment. We will build awareness of the project’s vision and goals, create networks of collaborators, assisting the local charities, schools, community groups, iwi and corporates to work together, and educate people of the consequences of littering and work to stamp it out. However, we acknowledge that there is a problem of litter and rubbish entering our waterways and ultimately contaminating our coastlines and the sea. Consequently, Sea Cleaners will also build on and expand the ‘clean-up’ initiative that has been running for nearly 12 twelve years in Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour, which has collected over 3.5 million litres of rubbish. As funding permits, the team will grow; more vessels, crews and educators will be deployed, one harbour/stretch of coastline at a time, focusing initially on those adjacent to major population centres.

Objectives: Enhance and promote the vision of the Trust, in particular:

(a) To develop and promote public information and education programmes that will stop littering and dumping of rubbish.

b) To clean-up coastal and estuarine areas to improve the environment for the marine life and to preserve its natural beauty for the benefit and enjoyment of all users.

Cinzah Merkens

Cinzah Merkens

Cinzah is a visual artist, creative problem solver, and a commercial illustrator.
He has been working within the creative industry for the past 8 years, and has decided to dedicate the rest of his life to avoiding working within the 'real job' stratosphere.

He is currently in the early stages of establishing a long term creative workspace in the heart of Devonport. Alongside two other full time creatives.
Alison Bourne, a local pattern maker, and Buka Woods, a visual artist and tattoo artist.

There will also be 2 hot seat studio spaces available to rent on a short term temporary basis.

The upcoming studio will operate predominantly as a working studio space, but also house monthly 'pop-up' art exhibitions, alongside ongoing youth development and mural workshops, and a number of other events soon to blow up around our leafy Devonport suburbs.

For more information about the space, inquiries into subscribing as a member, and updates on the studio visit -

Contact Us

While the Stafford-Bush family have provided the initial funds, like other foundations before it, its capacity and longevity will be further enhanced and worthy candidates will benefit from your donations.

If you want further information about the foundation, or if you wish to donate please contact us:

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Postal Address

P O Box 33136
Auckland 0740


Paddy 027 277 6340
Brian 0274 908 900