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Meet John Harman

WHS Foundation's Inaugural Spend my Super Donor

A retired surgeon and adopted Queenstowner, John is married to WHS Foundation Trustee Karen Spires and has four children. 

Part Fijian, John has long-established ties to the Queenstown region.  He learnt to ski on Coronet Peak 50 years ago and has maintained a residence on Queenstown Hill for 20 years.  John, Karen, and their son Jack moved to Queenstown permanently 18months ago and have become immersed in their local community.

The father of a Year 12 Wakatipu High student, Harman says he’s attracted to ‘spend my super’ for two reasons.

‘‘Firstly, I’ve been independent all my life, and I have worked hard so I haven’t had to rely on the state, and I feel uncomfortable relying on the state now. Secondly, I think the very best way I can make a difference is to give children that go to school the opportunity to be as successful as they possibly can, and it sets them up on their journey through life.’’

John was educated at Otago Medical School (class of 1976) and trained in General Surgery in Auckland, graduated FRACS 1983. He set up NZ’s first comprehensive breast centre ‘St Marks’ in 1991 and in 2001, established the Breast Cancer Research Trust known today as Breast Cancer Cure. He is a member of the American Society of Oncoplastic Surgery specialising in post breast cancer reconstruction.


John also set up and grew Guardian Secure Storage to 7 storage facilities as a start-up company in 2003 which was sold to National Storage, Australia PLC in 2017. He developed 10-12 St Marks mixed use commercial and apartment development, Remuera, Auckland.  Gold Medal winner of ‘Best Mixed Use Residential Development’ 2018. Recently, John invested in and helped grow Lightforce Solar Energy company nationwide 2020.



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