Former Black Cap Gavin Larsen has taken on a new role as chief executive of the Top of the South Community Foundation. Photo: Jonty Dine.

Former Black Cap looks to give back


As a former international cricketer, Gavin Larsen thrives on competition.

So, when the Black Caps legend was given a new role as executive officer of the Top of the South Community Foundation, he immediately looked to established and successful charities, and made plans to reach that level of excellence.

With “thousands” of generous people in the region, Gavin sees no reason why the foundation can’t match it with the likes of a Tindall or Acorn Foundation.

“They have many millions of dollars under management, in terms of what they are returning to the community. I would love to be taking on the Acorns of this world.”

Gavin says he didn’t need to give it much thought when offered the position.

“Once I had ascertained what the foundation was all about, I had a really good feeling. It didn’t take long to light my fire.”

The foundation provides secure options to support charities and community projects of a donor’s choice both in life and after death.

“I am conscious that is a long game but there would be nothing better than to be sitting here in five years’ time having attracted a lot of generous people and organisations from around the Top of the South to come on the journey with us.”

The foundation recently allocated its 2020 grants and Gavin says there were a number of applications that crossed many areas of the region.

“It’s always tough because you can’t allocate money to everyone, but I was excited to be around the table and work through that process.

“We have the nice job now of pushing a little bit of money out into the community, but the obvious goal now is to grow that pot and make even bigger distributions.”

Gavin says his role is all about encouraging and inspiring generosity, as well as raising awareness of the foundation.

Donations can be made in perpetuity, or people can make a lasting contribution to the local community through bequest.

“This is an ongoing legacy that lasts forever.”

Among the numerous charities to have benefited from the Top of the South Foundation are Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Nelson Community Toy Library, Riding for the Disabled, Q-Youth, Volunteer Nelson, Life Linc, the Nelson Environment Centre, Age Concern, the Nelson Women’s Centre and many more.

If you or your business is interested in becoming a donor go to