Chloe Wright was a New Zealand businesswoman, philanthropist, and social entrepreneur who co-founded BestStart Educare, the largest early childhood education franchise in the country. She was also the founder of the Bethlehem Birthing Centre and the Wright Family Foundation, which funded various organizations that supported women, children, and families.
She was known for her passion, vision, and generosity, as well as her sharp business acumen and desire to uplift others through education. She passed away at her home in Ōmokoroa, Tauranga, on September 24, 2023, leaving behind a legacy of positive impact on thousands of lives.
Her Net Worth
According to some sources, Chloe Wright had a net worth of over $50 million at the time of her death. She and her husband Wayne Wright were listed on the NBR rich list, which requires assets worth at least $50 million to qualify.
They restructured their successful family business, which received $200 million in government funding each year, into a tax-exempt charity called the Wright Family Foundation in 2014. Chloe Wright personally funded various organizations such as Plunket, Perinatal Depression and Anxiety Aotearoa, and The Parenting Place.
She also founded four privately-run birthing centers, where low-risk women could birth and stay for free. She launched a nationwide campaign to challenge the government’s maternity policy and advocate for more choices and support for mothers.
Teacher to Journalist: Chloe Wright’s Educational Journey
Chloe Wright was born in Auckland, New Zealand, in 1950. She was 73 years old (at the time of her death). She grew up in a large family with six siblings and attended Epsom Girls’ Grammar School. She later studied at the University of Auckland, where she met her future husband, Wayne Wright. They married in 1972 and had five children together.
Building an Empire of Care: Chloe Wright’s Business and Philanthropic Ventures
Chloe Wright started her career as a teacher and then worked as a journalist for several publications. She also ran a successful catering business and a boutique hotel. In 1996, she and her husband co-founded BestStart Education, which began as a single childcare center on Waihi Road in Tauranga. The business grew rapidly and expanded to over 260 centers across New Zealand, employing more than 4,500 staff and providing quality early childhood education to over 18,000 children.
In 2014, the Wrights restructured their business into a tax-exempt charity called the Wright Family Foundation, which aimed to support the well-being and development of children and families in New Zealand. The foundation funded various initiatives and organizations that aligned with its vision, such as Plunket, Perinatal Depression and Anxiety Aotearoa, The Parenting Place, Brainwave Trust, and many others.
One of the major projects that Chloe Wright spearheaded was the establishment of the Bethlehem Birthing Centre in Tauranga in 2014. The center was a social enterprise that offered free birthing and postnatal care to low-risk women in a home-like environment. The center was designed to empower women to have natural births and to provide them with holistic support during their pregnancy and beyond. The center was so successful that it inspired three more birthing centers in Hamilton, Palmerston North, and Wellington.
Chloe was also involved in media and broadcasting. In 2022, she and her husband became the sole backers of The Platform, an online news radio station run by former National MP Sean Plunket. They acquired 75% of the company and joined its directorship board.
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Recognizing a Remarkable Woman: Chloe Wright’s Honors and Awards
Chloe Wright received several honors and awards for her contributions to philanthropy, education, and health. In 2020, she was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. She was also named as one of the Top 50 Philanthropists in Australasia by The Australian Financial Review in 2019. In addition, she received the Tauranga Chamber of Commerce Westpac Business Leadership Award in 2018 and the Zonta International Women of Achievement Award in 2017.
|Auckland, New Zealand
|September 24, 2023
|Ōmokoroa, Tauranga, New Zealand
|Cause of Death
|Businesswoman, Philanthropist, Social Entrepreneur
|Wayne Wright (m. 1972)
|#chloewright on Instagram | Hashtags
|University of Auckland
|Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (2020), Top 50 Philanthropists in Australasia (2019), Tauranga Chamber of Commerce Westpac Business Leadership Award (2018), Zonta International Women of Achievement Award (2017)
Farewell to a Force for Good: Chloe Wright’s Death and Legacy
Chloe Wright passed away peacefully at her home in Ōmokoroa on September 24, 2023, surrounded by her family. She was 73 years old. Her death was confirmed by BestStart Educare in a statement that praised her dedication to helping others and creating positive pathways in their lives. Her funeral service was held at Trinity Wharf Hotel in Tauranga on September 28, 2023.
Chloe is survived by her husband Wayne Wright; her children Matthew Wright, Rebecca Wright-Palmer, Hannah Wright-Stow, Samuel Wright-Stow, and Benjamin Wright; and her 11 grandchildren.
She will be remembered as a force for positive change who touched the lives of thousands of people through her business, philanthropy, and social entrepreneurship. She was a visionary leader who saw opportunities where others saw challenges. She was a generous donor who gave not only money but also time, energy, and expertise. She was a caring mother who nurtured not only her own family but also countless others who needed support. She was a role model who inspired others to follow their dreams and make a difference in the world.