Press Release September 4 2007 - Funeral Director leaves a lasting Legacy to his community

Funeral director Gregory Brownless surprised the Tauranga public last night when he announced that he is gifting his funeral business, valued at being worth more than one million dollars, to the Tauranga community.

Driven by his longstanding desire to give something back to his community, Mr. Brownless has gifted the business – now named Legacy Funerals - to the newly established registered charitable trust, Legacy Funeral Trust.

All profits from the funeral business will be distributed to the community as funds allow. In this way, those families who use the services of the Legacy Funerals will also be giving back to their community. This is believed to be the first time that a successful funeral business has been gifted and established, either in New Zealand or the rest of the world, to give all its profits back to the community.

As new owners of Gregory Brownless Woodhill & Tauranga Park Funeral Services, Legacy Trust will use the well respected Acorn Foundation to assist the distribution of all profits from the business for the good of the local community.

Mr. Brownless attributes his time volunteering in Phuket during the aftermath of the Boxing Day tsunami, as the inspiration for doing something for his own community back in Tauranga.
“Working there really brought home to me the value of life,” said Mr. Brownless. “Material possessions actually mean very little to me now. There is much more value in making our community a better place to live and assisting the many worthy organisations which are struggling for funds.”

Mr. Brownless will receive no salary or benefit from the funeral business. His family trust continues to own the Woodhill and Tauranga Park funeral home premises. In this way, he will receive rental income during his lifetime and on his death it is intended that these properties will be gifted to the Acorn Foundation.

“The legacy that Greg has given, and the legacy of those who use Legacy Funerals will have far reaching and ongoing benefits for the local community,” said Legacy Trust Board Member, Bill Holland.

Stephen Tindall of The Tindall Foundation spoke on behalf of philanthropy in New Zealand at last night’s event which was attended by more than 300 leaders and community minded individuals from around the Tauranga area.

“I am astounded and encouraged to see an individual wanting to make such a significant contribution back to their community,” said Mr. Tindall. “What makes this gift so powerful is the ability for others to make a similar lasting gesture.”

Legacy Trust makes regular and full disclosures of fund distribution via our website ( and via press releases sent to local media.