Suncorp New Zealand makes $100,000 donation to Shine

21 April 2020

Leading New Zealand insurer, Suncorp New Zealand, is helping children affected by domestic violence stay connected with their schools and online learning through a one-off $100,000 donation to the domestic violence charity, Shine.

Suncorp New Zealand has supported Shine as a community partner for the past two years and recognised that during the Covid-19 level four lockdown there is increased need for education support for children impacted by domestic violence, particularly those in emergency accommodation.

Suncorp New Zealand CEO Paul Smeaton, says, “With New Zealand children now reliant on virtual learning we knew it was important for students who’d experienced family harm to stay connected to the outside world and their learning.”

“Domestic violence incidents have unfortunately increased during the lockdown. Everybody deserves to be safe and feel safe in their own home. We hope our contribution helps lessen the burden for children in these situations.”

The $100,000 donation is in addition to more than $100,000 of support Suncorp and its people has already provided to Shine over the past two years, and will give families access to digital devices and one-on-one support through the KIDshine programme.

Mr Smeaton says, “Suncorp is all about being there for the moments that matter and supporting our communities at this difficult time is just one way we can deliver on that.  We are also delivering for our customers by offering Vero and Asteron policy holders a range of practical support options to help them get through too.”

Those options include the establishment of Suncorp New Zealand’s $2M Customer Hardship Fund, launched specifically to support its Vero and Asteron Life customers under severe financial pressure as a result of COVID-19.

Shine’s Acting General Manager, Sally Ward, says Suncorp’s $100,000 donation will relieve considerable stress for families living in temporary accommodation where access to devices or reliable internet services is not always available.  

“It’s not unusual for children to escape domestic violence with their parent, with only the clothes on their backs. Being able to access digital support means they’re not burdened with the added pressure of falling behind in their schoolwork.

“We are immensely grateful to Suncorp for recognising the huge social impact of domestic violence on families and communities. We’ve been part of their Brighter Futures Community Giving programme for the past two years.  Unfortunately, the lockdown has seen an escalation in the incidence of domestic violence, and we expect this to continue over the coming weeks.

“While home is the safest place for most New Zealanders right now, for some it is also where the danger lies. It’s therefore more important than ever, to look out for neighbours, friends, family, work colleagues and customers who might be trapped in lockdown with an abusive family member.

“Just like insurance, Shine is an essential service. We’re working closely with the Police and our Helpline to respond to domestic violence. If you, or someone you know is in danger, please contact the Shine helpline on 0508 744 633.”

More information:

Shine is a Domestic Violence Charity that works to create safer homes and stop domestic violence in New Zealand.

Shine provides effective, practical and innovative services that directly help thousands of adult and child victims every year. Shine also raises awareness through its professional training programmes, education programmes in schools and its DVFREE workplace programme and health sector partnerships.

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Media enquiries: Kimberley Cameron +64 27 208 1268 

Shine Communications Manager: Kiri Carter +64 21 734 382