Click here to view the 2020 Annual Report

For over 31 years, Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®) New Zealand have offered their services under the simple premise – to give families with a hospitalised child what they need most — each other.

Our Ronald McDonald House® programmes located in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch provide accommodation and support – free of charge – to give families across New Zealand, while our Ronald McDonald Family Room® programmes in these cities as well as Invercargill, provide a place for families to rest and recharge inside the hospital, moments away from their child’s bed.

Families can take a welcomed break together at our Ronald McDonald Family Retreat in Rotorua, and our Ronald McDonald Care Mobile® program brings dental care to Northland and South Auckland children.


For families with a child in hospital, RMHC® New Zealand is their safe space – for some, it may be their home for months at a time, even through a global pandemic.  

We are proud to say that in 2021, RMHC New Zealand never turned an eligible family away.

Despite the challenges faced, we remained 100% committed to our mission: keeping families safe, services open and available, and making sure our operating model was sustainable.

We are an essential service to families, not just during this crisis period, but every single day and we will continue to give families the support they need regardless of the pressures on our services and facilities.

Our COVID-19 response is highly effective and was constructed to ensure the safety of families and staff. We moved to contactless operations in a matter of hours, and our team were extremely efficient and agile, making the transition under alert levels as smooth as possible for families.

The families staying within the House programmes received hotel-style food delivery services to their door, up to three times a day. Families staying offsite in Alert Level 3 and 4 were provided with care packages to make three meals a day in their self-serviced apartments. We also completed daily welfare calls to check the mental wellbeing of our families.

No new families entered Ronald McDonald House® New Zealand programmes during Alert Levels 3 and 4, increasing our need to offsite families in nearby accommodation close to the hospital. We saw a huge increase from 2020 where we housed 724 families for 4,052 nights compared to 1,073 families for 7,433 in 2021.

The necessary changes in operations and the increase in offsite accommodation has had a major financial impact. However, the driving force of our mission never wavered: keeping families close when they need it most. 

It has been more than 30 years since the first Ronald McDonald House opened its welcoming doors in New Zealand.  I continue to be immensely proud of our people’s commitment to our mission of supporting families with a child in hospital away from home.

2021 continued to be another year of disruption due to changing COVID alert levels, lockdowns and social distancing.  Through it all, the response from our staff, volunteers, supporters and partners has ensured that we kept families together while their child was receiving medical treatment.

The need for our services is as great as ever and in 2021 we had 3,893 families staying with us; some for a few weeks and others for nearly a year. We saved families an estimated $6.7 million dollars in accommodation costs alone.

A further 27,690 family members found a space to relax and recharge in a Ronald McDonald Family Room; just steps away from the high dependency or paediatric intensive care unit. Our dedicated volunteers supported our staff and families with over 15,700 hours of selfless service to others.

I want to offer my heartfelt thanks to our family of supporters.  Your generosity makes an immeasurable difference to our families and ensures that they can stay together when they need each other the most.   With your support, our Houses can alleviate some of the practical, financial and emotional burdens our families face when they have a child in hospital.

I am grateful to my fellow trustees for their determined spirit and considered governance this year. It has not been without its challenges. I deeply appreciate their passionate voices and perspectives that help us to shape our future.

To the staff of RMHC New Zealand, led by our CEO Wayne Howett – you have my continued admiration for your unwavering support of New Zealand families and for ensuring that no eligible family was ever turned away.  You work tirelessly every day to provide a home away from home that is filled with compassionate care, support and encouragement and that makes all the difference

With thanks,

Mark Conelly

Chair, RMHC New Zealand

As the number of families who need our support grows, so too do the pressures on delivering a high level of service and a welcoming ‘home-away-from-home’.

In 2021, our programmes across New Zealand served 3,893 families, saving them over $6.7 million in accommodation expenses. Due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, more families were also assisted with off-site accommodation where we ensured daily necessities such as meals were supplied. Despite the challenges faced in 2021 we have found it rewarding to continue to support families in this way.

The need for our services is as great as ever, with the costs and the way we deliver that help growing more complex each day. Our focus remains on our vision to expand our social good offering and to continue to supply care and support to families with a child receiving hospital care across New Zealand.

To our Founding Partner McDonald’s Restaurants Ltd, thank you for being by our side since the beginning and helping to provide stability and support to families across New Zealand.

Thank you to the many businesses, individual donors, trusts and foundations, and community groups for your generosity throughout 2021. Our overarching goal, to provide better outcomes for more families, cannot be achieved without your support.

I would also like to extend my gratitude to our Board of Trustees for your invaluable contribution and governance through a challenging year, to our crucial volunteer work force, and the RMHC New Zealand staff for your dedication and commitment to the mission.

On behalf of RMHC New Zealand, and the families who call our Houses their ‘home-away-from-home’ – thank you for all your support, over this last year and the years to come.

Family stories

The Leggett Family

Since Toby was just seven weeks old, the Leggett family had been visiting their local South Island hospital every month or two because of pneumonia and wheezy breathing.

Several years later, Toby’s mum Louisa heard something scarily different in his breathing. “He was rushed to ED, then to paediatrics. Ultrasound and x-rays showed that his lung had collapsed.”


The O’Leary and Ogden Family

During pregnancy, Sarah learned her two unborn babies were experiencing Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome. TTTS can happen to as many as 1-in-7 sets of identical twins. For some, the baby with increased blood supply and amniotic fluid can develop heart complications.

Sarah and Darryl found this was the case for one of their boys and were warned that he may not survive the pregnancy. If he were to die before being born it could pose a very serious risk for their second twin.

Our Impact

Ronald McDonald House and Ronald McDonald Family Room programmes take care of the practical things in life so that families can focus on their child staying in hospital away from home. 


Note: Numbers identified are for Ronald McDonald House programmes in Auckland and Wellington only. This excludes Ronald McDonald South Island.

Reason for Stay

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Family Ethnicities

Numbers identified are for Ronald McDonald House programmes in Auckland and Wellington only. This excludes Ronald McDonald South Island.

Premier Partners

A huge thank you to all our premier partners that have been by our side during 2021, keeping families close™.

McDonald’s® Restaurants

(New Zealand) Ltd

From the moment the first Ronald McDonald House was opened, McDonald’s franchisees, crew, suppliers and customers have helped provide stability and support to families across New Zealand.

Our Founding Mission Partner restaurants collectively raise over $1.5 million each year, as well as gifting their time and in-kind services. RMHC New Zealand wishes to express our heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for all their support that helped families so significantly in 2021.

Photo caption below: McDonald’s Head Office cooking for families at the Auckland Domain House.

McDonald’s Campaigns

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Share the Love

From the 10th to the 23rd of November, McDonald’s restaurants across the country encouraged customers to buy a $1 Heart sticker, to help fill the House with love. Customers heard the call to action and headed to their local restaurant to help support families with a child in a hospital away from home.

Annual Appeal

McDonald’s joined the fight to fund a night by kick-starting RMHC New Zealand’s 2020 Annual Appeal with a $100,000 donation. On top of that they did the Macca’s match donating a further $100,000 – that means if you donated $10, RMHC New Zealand received $20. Thank you Macca’s!

Supper Clubs

In 2021, three Franchisee-led Supper Club events were hosted across the country, collectively raising $495,587.

A huge thank you to the Nelson, Dunedin, and Auckland Supper Club Committees who overcame all of the obstacles of 2021 to support families with a child in hospital.

Ronald McDonald Family Retreat Rotorua

During 2021, 68 families had the opportunity to stay at the Ronald McDonald Family Retreat in Rotorua. Our two Family Retreat Houses provide one week of free holiday accommodation for families who have experienced the impact of a chronic/long term illness or bereavement in their family.

Franchisees Rob and Linley Parry and their Rotorua crew volunteer their time to oversee the day-to-day operation of the Family Retreat, alongside their supportive committee and local supporter network.


Ray White

The generosity of the Ray White family with donations, in-kind support and fundraising events enables RMHC New Zealand to support and care for so many families. They have been a Premier Partner and key supporter for 14 years.

The partnership has gone from strength to strength, and not only does Ray White New Zealand make a significant annual financial donation, the Ray White community likes to show support locally by organising golf days, fashion shows, auctioneering at our signature events and cooking at our Houses.

Ray White also has the annual ‘A little Ray of Giving’ initiative which began in 2012, where they call on local communities to collect Christmas gifts for families with a child in a hospital away from home. 

Thank you so much for your support Ray White!

Photo caption below: Ray White Millwater masked singer fundraiser

1-day Partnership

1-day has been supporting us since 2012. They generously donate auction items for our signature events: Red Shoe Ball and Supper Clubs. They donate gifts for our House families to enjoy and they raise funds through customer giving and digital support on their website.

We have also been the charity of choice for the 1-day Junior Tough Guy and Gal Challenge since 2019! The event is New Zealand’s biggest mud run series for all age levels and families from across the country and they rally together to raise money for RMHC New Zealand. 

Thank you 1-day, for your continued support in so many ways!

La-Z-Boy Partnership

Giving to RMHC New Zealand means so much more than just providing comfortable furniture. To La-Z-Boy it means being able to provide an opportunity for families to spend time together in a calming and relaxing environment, and that is exactly what happens at our Houses across Aotearoa.

Thank you, La-Z-Boy for the ultra-comfy sofas, chairs, and recliners that allow families to spend precious time together.

Sealy Partnership

A good night’s sleep is so important for a family to be able to focus on their child’s medical journey.

Sealy has been ensuring our families are well-rested by providing top-quality and comfortable beds at our facilities Nationwide. Thank you so much!

Community Trust Mid and South Canterbury
Essity Australasia
Kindercare Learning Centres
Montgomerie-Whitton Family
Peter and David Picot Charitable Trust
Phillip Verry Charitable Foundation

The Dines Family Charitable Trust
The Lion Foundation
Trillian Trust Limited
Trust Tairawhiti
Trust Waikato
Nib NZ Limited

All the above-listed partners and supporters donated over $10k.

Our 2021 Campaigns

House to House

Thank you to our House-to-House Heroes for making our 2021 Campaign the most successful in RMHC New Zealand history!

Participants were challenged to walk, run, bike, or swim 210km in March while each raising $210. 2,874 supporters took up the challenge and registered as individuals, teams, and workplaces raising an outstanding $583,800.


Annual Appeal – join the fight to fund a night

When a child is fighting for their life, their family fights with them. The stories shared by Phil, Laura and Amani in our 2021 Annual Appeal were raw, deeply personal and an honest account of what it means for a family when a child is in hospital away from home.

“I’ve been through horrible leukaemia. Packing my life into a bag. Six rounds of chemotherapy and 273 nights not in my own bed. But I’m not sick. My brother Makai is.” – Amani Phillips, House sister

Christmas Campaign

We were able to give families the gift of time together thanks to your continued support of our Christmas Campaign which raised over $260,000. Our friends at Zespri matched all donations up to $50,000 and we delivered Christmas care packs full of yummy treats and toys to families staying with us.


Emergency Appeal

Our Emergency Appeal launched in August as New Zealand entered Level 4 lockdown once again. Lockdown is a time of huge stress and uncertainty, and as you know, is hard enough in your own home. But for families with a child already in hospital, or needing emergency treatment, RMHC New Zealand was their ‘home-away-from-home’ during the crisis period. Thanks to the generous support and aroha, over $74,000 was raised to help keep families safe.


Our Volunteers are instrumental in providing support to staff and more importantly to the families staying at Ronald McDonald House and Ronald McDonald House Family Room programmes.

Thank you to all our volunteers for your unwavering commitment and support – we appreciate all your hard work and are so proud of your efforts over the last year!


Our Social Impact

Today, more than ever, it is essential to understand the impact our services provide to the families of Aotearoa who use our facilities. It’s more than just about how many families stay with us, but the contribution our mahi has on New Zealand society.  In 2020 we partnered with New Zealand-based ImpactLab to quantify our social value to articulate exactly how much we help change lives for the better. The GoodMeasure report enables us to show that every year RMHC New Zealand delivers over 46 million dollars of ‘measurable good’ to New Zealand society. This social value is recognised through mental and physical health, jobs and earnings, income and consumption, and housing.

Social Value Breakdown

RMHC New Zealand creates social value across different aspects of people’s lives. This chart shows the breakdown of social value created according to the NZ Treasury Living Standards Framework. Each domain highlights a different aspect of wellbeing, showing the positive impact we have on families that stays with us, with Health being the highest (80%).

For every dollar invested in RMHC New Zealand, there is a Social Return On Investment (SROI) of NZD $4.80, or $4.80 of measurable good to New Zealanders.

Social Value Definition

Social value generated for each successful participant

Measurable benefits as proportion of program cost

Cost of the programme per participant

Financial Summary 2021

Due to the circumstances of 2021 RMHC New Zealand has seen a significant increase in operational costs. The demand to house more families in offsite accommodation and provide contactless food delivery services during lockdown is reflected in our financials


Note: The above financials are pre-audited. Please visit the Charities Commission website to view our 2019 financials. Audit will be completed and uploaded here by the 15th of July. 

Our Trustees

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Support Us

There are so many ways to make a difference to families with a child in hospital. If you want to know how you can support families please get in touch with us at [email protected] 

Every contribution counts, if you would like to donate, please visit or call us on 093658315.

The Leggett Family

Since Toby was just seven weeks old, the Leggett family had been visiting their local South Island hospital every month or two because of pneumonia and wheezy breathing.

Several years later, on his dad’s birthday – December 13 – Louisa heard something scarily different in Toby’s breathing. “He was rushed to ED, then to paediatrics. Ultrasound and x-rays showed that his lung had collapsed.”

This was just the start of his traumatic journey. Toby was taken 250km to Christchurch Hospital for monitoring in the Intensive Care Unit.

The next day in ICU, Toby was intubated ahead of his first non-invasive surgery in Christchurch and stayed intubated until 30th December. His medical team placed a drain in his lung which was used to flush out his lungs.  This works in 80% of cases, however it wasn’t successful for Toby. “He was looking pretty critical at that point,” his Mum remembers.

Louisa, Toby’s Mum, was welcomed by the team at Ronald McDonald House South Island. Thanks to RMHC New Zealand she never had to waver from Toby’s care to think about where to stay or what to eat whilst he was receiving medical treatment in hospital.  

In fact, the Leggett Family had already experienced our incredibly generous care and hospitality at Ronald McDonald House Wellington, when Toby’s big sister Charlie was recovering from birth complications.  

Toby needed urgent, invasive surgery in Auckland, but waiting six hours for a medevac flight was too long. While still in Christchurch Hospital he received a thorochotomy – cutting through his little ribs to reach his lung. He could no longer breathe on his own.

In Auckland Louisa discovered that parents cannot stay overnight in children’s ICU, “so we had the use of Ronald McDonald House Auckland, which was amazing. Even under the Covid measures last year, it still felt homely”, said Louisa.  

“The relief from the financial burden was incredible – with not working and having to be away from home for a long time.”

The Ronald McDonald House helped to provide that support … “and all the extras,” Louisa adds. “We were fed … a lot. Meals being popped in our box in the fridge. Or you could nip up and get lunch, which was incredible, because you didn’t have to spend $20 every day in the cafeteria. 

“We would have just been on packaged sandwiches, but at the end of ward time late at night, there is a lot to be said for a hot meal at the House.”

As Christmas approached, Toby was improving, “so on Christmas Eve they decided to try to remove his tube.”

It was the most frightening event of the family’s lives. Toby’s lungs were too fragile.  His throat became dangerously inflamed. “He had to have an emergency procedure to put him under again.”

After six more days unconscious, “Toby came off the ventilator on the 30th of December.” A strong boy, who within a week was fit to fly home. Despite a few lapses, today he is doing great. So is his family, thanks to Ronald McDonald House.

Louisa will always remember how much RMHC New Zealand supported her family. “It’s perfect. You couldn’t ask for more. An amazing building, so close. The staff are wonderful – very empathetic for those going through a very hard time. The food and facilities are incredible. It is a very, very worthwhile cause.”