Following the backlash surrounding the reported rejection of a substantial donation by the Starship Foundation (see separate story), Starship Foundation CEO Aisha Daji Punga has issued a second statement to 1News to try to clarify the situation… now suggesting she torpedoed due to time constraints. business and not the “partnership obligations” she referred to earlier.
A joint statement from the Starship Foundation and Waikato Stud (Mark Chittick) reads:
“The Starship Foundation welcomes donations from gaming companies and the horse racing industry and has long been a grateful recipient of donations of this nature. Donations are the lifeblood of the Starship Foundation, and every single dollar enables Starship Children’s Hospital to provide first-class medical care to children.
“Mark Chittick’s offer to get involved and be a potential beneficiary of the charity component of the Golden Eagle Race came at 3pm and required us to make a quick decision by the end of the business day that day. As with any charity, due diligence is an essential part of our responsibility for accepting donations. In this case, unfortunately, considerations of the size and off-shore nature of the donation could not be resolved within this time frame.
“We are extremely disappointed that we were unable to meet the deadline and become the recipient of this incredibly generous donation. Had we had more time, the decision could very well have been different.
“We spoke directly to Mark this afternoon and he is also disappointed with the result but accepts it was a time crunch. He would be delighted to join the Golden Eagle with the Starship Foundation as a beneficiary and remains a huge supporter of the incredible work the hospital does for children and families in need,” the statement said.
“Both the Starship Foundation and Waikato Stud have huge respect for each other’s work and the industry and intend to work together to build the partnership in the future.”
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