Change from corporate life


January 20, 2021

A new chief of finance at Oamaru Hospital is swapping corporate life for a community role.

Kelvin Kite, who is originally from England, had worked in senior finance positions over the world but shifted gears almost halfway through his career.

While born and raised in Birmingham, he spent 10 years in France, 20 years in Australia and 12 months in Canada before he arrived in New Zealand in 2015.

During his time in the South Island he did a stint with WellSouth in Dunedin.

Before his arrival he worked for corporate finance companies including PricewaterhouseCoopers and was one of 21 partners at a 350-person firm.

But his time in Mullumbimby, a small town in New South Wales, working for a regional non-profit that provided social services to disadvantaged, disabled, and indigenous people, brought that to a stop.

After working there for six years as chief finance officer, he could not return to the "perennial merry-go-round" of the corporate world.

‘It was transformational for me. My corporate, capitalist background was very affected by that process."

The rare opportunity to marry his accounting background with his passion for social welfare, was what brought him to Oamaru.

But finance and accounting was not just about money and risk assessment.

"While I don’t personally provide any service to people directly, I can facilitate that through my work.

"The more I can improve the resources available, the better I can help people."

Mr Kite was excited to start his position alongside new chief executive Phil Jamieson.

"The organisation here is particularly effective because it is a community organisation. It’s whole service is about delivering for the community and everyone here makes it a priority.

"It’s quite rewarding to support that as opposed to working for a bonus or to deliver products."

Mr Kite and his wife Deb, who was an accountant by day and artist by night, were on the lookout for an old cottage to do up.