Q and A’s

What does Make-A-Wish® New Zealand do?

Our mission is to grant the wishes of children who have critical illnesses to give them hope, strength and joy. We believe that these wishes are transformational for the child and therefore all our work is based on positive psychology and through the implementation of what we call the wish journey.

How did Make-A-Wish begin?

Make-A-Wish originated in the United States in 1980. It grew from the dreams of a young boy Christopher Greicius, who had leukaemia and wanted to be a patrolman. His dream came true and after he passed away, his mother Linda Bergendahl-Pauling, helped form Make-A-Wish. 

How large is Make-A-Wish in New Zealand?

Make-A-Wish New Zealand is a national charity with over 145 volunteers throughout New Zealand.

How many wishes do you grant?

Make-A-Wish New Zealand grants 180 wishes a year on average. Since 1986 we have granted over 2500 wishes.  

Does money donated only go to New Zealand children?

Yes, Make-A-Wish is a worldwide charity, the money raised in New Zealand goes towards granting wishes to children in New Zealand. 

Who can receive a wish?

Children who are at least three years of age, but have not yet reached their 18th birthday, may apply to Make-A-Wish. A child's treating physician will determine if the child is medically eligible for a wish, based on the medical criteria established by Make-A-Wish.

Does a child's illness have to be terminal to qualify for a wish?

No. A child does not have to be terminally ill. In fact, many of our wish children grow into adulthood and lead healthy, happy lives.

Can a child receive more than one wish?

No. Make-A-Wish grants one wish to each eligible child.

Are there any restrictions to a wish?

Some wishes have restrictions based on various factors, including the child's medical condition in relation to the wish request. Make-A-Wish takes into consideration all factors as they relate to the wish and the wish child, and then plans the wish accordingly. 

Does the family have to pay for the wish?

No. Wishes are arranged and paid for by Make-A-Wish. 

Does the family have to meet financial criteria to be eligible for their child to receive a wish?

No. Make-A-Wish grants wishes to children who qualify for our services without regard to race, religion, gender, economic status, or national origin.

Is there a waiting list to receive a wish?

Yes, in some situations a wish child may have to wait for their wish due to external circumstances such as the child's health and/or treatment schedule or the availability of a popular celebrity, supplier delays and environmental factors outside our control. If the fulfilment of a wish must be delayed for any reason, the wish child and family are fully informed, and the wish child is given the option to either make another wish request or wait.

How long does it take to grant a wish from referral to Wish Delivery?

In most cases, wishes are delivered within a year. However, it is not easy to specify how long it takes for the Wish Journey. In some circumstances, wishes can be delivered in a matter of hours or days, while in most cases, it can take months or even years.

How much does a wish cost to grant?

Wish costs vary greatly depending on the wish requested.

How much of my donation funds wishes?

All funds support our mission.

What types of illnesses do wish children suffer from?

All wish children have a critical-illnesses. This covers a range of conditions approximately 60% of children who are granted wishes have some form of cancer. 

What if a wish cannot be granted to an eligible child?

Our job is to make the impossible possible, so it is a very rare occurrence that we cannot create an appropriate experience for a child in line with their one true wish. If a child's original wish cannot be granted due to health reasons or other circumstances beyond our control, we will work with the child to identify another wish.

What are the most common wishes?

Every wish is as unique and special as each child and is only limited by the child's imagination. From going on scary rides with dad or creating magical memories with family members, to princess playhouses, tree huts, bedroom makeovers, meeting celebrities, pets, spas, family holidays or swimming with dolphins, our aim is always to uncover the one true wish. Check out our wish stories section to see some recent examples of just how magical each wish is.

To apply for a wish click here

Grant a kiwi kid's wish...