In memoriam: RMHC® New Zealand legend, Paul Cressey dies aged 80

Remembering health legend Paul Cressey and the instrumental role he played in bringing Ronald McDonald House® to New Zealand.

Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®) New Zealand is deeply saddened by the recent loss of child health advocate, Paul Cressey.

Paul was instrumental in establishing Ronald McDonald House programmes across New Zealand following his son’s medical treatment for leukaemia in Australia. Paul and his wife Sheryn have been associated with RMHC New Zealand for over 30 years.

Paul and his family benefited from staying at a Ronald McDonald House and therefore decided, “we have to have Ronald McDonald houses in New Zealand”.

Paul went about initiating discussions with key groups - both within New Zealand and the United States - to establish Ronald McDonald House Charities as an independent charity in New Zealand in 1989.

RMHC New Zealand CEO, Wayne Howett paid tribute to Paul and his focus on the wellbeing of children and their families.

“Paul leaves a huge legacy, which will live on in the RMHC New Zealand facilities which exist throughout New Zealand.

“These facilities have served 1000’s of families throughout the years, and continue to provide accommodation and support free of charge to over 4000 families every year with a child in a hospital away from home.”

Wayne described Paul as a quiet achiever, well humoured and a principled man. Paul was not only a hugely prominent figure within RMHC New Zealand, but also the many organisations he worked in throughout his life. “The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade they do not expect to sit. This truly sums up Paul Cressey,” Wayne said.

RMHC New Zealand sends their sincere condolences to Paul’s wife Sheryn, his children Mark and Charmaine and his grandchildren Kate, Sam. Grace and Stella.