Karen Spires' favourite Charities

Dress for Success

Dress for Success Auckland helps women get into or return to the workforce by providing them with clothes for a job interview, grooming tips, career advice/help and once they land a job, continued mentoring.  They are a not-for-profit organisation and part of a worldwide network.

Ponsonby Primary School

Ponsonby Primary School: our school motto is ‘Steadfast and True’, ‘Kiau Kia Pono’. It is depicted by a symbol of the Pegasus. Annually the school reaches 377 students.

It is the belief of our learning community that we are all here, teachers, parents and students to enrich children's learning. It is the close co-operation between parents and teachers that ensures quality educational experiences for our students. The school’s core business is children’s learning. We hold the belief that every child will be provided with opportunities to achieve success and develop their personal pride. Our learning community values the culture of this school, where high quality learning and success, are encouraged.

The School Mission Statement is “Together we will encourage, challenge and inspire each other towards a life-long love of learning. Our children will be individually valued as they strive for personal excellence within a secure and happy environment.”


Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra

Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra is the city’s leading performing arts organisation, and Auckland’s only resident full-time professional symphony orchestra. 

In more than 80 performances annually, the APO presents a full season of symphonic work showcasing many of the world’s finest classical musicians. Recent and upcoming soloists include the likes of James Ehnes, Midori, Nikolai Demidenko, Deborah Voigt and Dame Evelyn Glennie. The APO is also proud to support both the NBR New Zealand Opera and the Royal New Zealand Ballet.

Renowned for its innovation, passion and versatility, the APO collaborates with some of New Zealand’s most inventive artists, including recent performances with Warren Maxwell, Nathan Haines and the Topp Twins. Additionally, the APO is orchestra of choice for visiting international acts such as Diana Krall, Serj Tankian and Natalie Cole.

The APO promotes a vibrant arts culture by providing leadership and support. Through its numerous education, outreach and community initiatives the APO offers opportunities to more than 30,000 young people and adults nationwide to participate in music, ranging from hip-hop and rock to contemporary and classical. In 2011 the orchestra launched Sistema Aotearoa, the first music education programme in New Zealand to be based on El Sistema, one of the world’s most successful music and social development projects.

More than 100,000 people hear the orchestra live each year, with many thousands more reached through special events, other media and recordings on the APO Live and Naxos music labels.

Most APO concerts are broadcast live nationally and streamed online, allowing everyone the chance to share the excitement of a world-class performance

New Zealand Red Cross

The mission of New Zealand Red Cross is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilising the power of humanity and enhancing community resilience.

our Fundamental Principles

  • humanity
  • impartiality
  • neutrality
  • independence
  • voluntary Service
  • unity
  • universality

New Zealand Red Cross shares our Fundamental Principles with 185 other National Red Cross and Red Crescent societies. Across this vast geographic and cultural diversity, almost a hundred million members and volunteers share the seven common principles, which guide us in all that we do. 

Mercy Hospice Auckland  provides a range of specialist community palliative care and hospice services for people facing life limiting illnesses, caring for them with the utmost professional skill, compassion and quality of service. We also offer support to family, friends and carers to help them cope with problems arising from the illness and to rebuild their lives afterwards. All our services are offered free to patients and their families, regardless of age, ethnicity, means or religion, thanks to the generosity of our community. We support people living in the Auckland District Health Board area. This covers Auckland City and the central suburbs from Glendowie in the east to Avondale in the west, Herne Bay in the north to Mount Wellington in the south. Specialist inpatient care is also provided to people from Waiheke and the islands of the Hauraki Gulf. Our services are provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our range of services include: Specialist care in the community, 13 inpatient beds, a Day-stay programme, counselling, family/ spiritual/ cultural support, education and training.

Plunket is a community-based organisation unique to New Zealand providing free services that help to ensure young children are cared for by knowledgeable, confident and loving families. Strong networks of clinical staff and volunteers work together in communities across the country to provide support for parents and whānau with children up to 5 years of age.

Breast Cancer Research Trust focuses on four key areas of work:

  • Early detection
  • Predictive diagnosis
  • Appropriate treatment
  • Prevention

The Research Trust is always looking for projects to fund that promise more effective and accurate methods of detection and has funded 2 specific grants in this area looking at alternative scanning methodologies.