Brian Gaynor Initiatives

Honouring a Legacy and Advancing Business Journalism in New Zealand
Brian Gaynor was a prodigious presence in the New Zealand business community for more than 40 years. He was passionate about quality business journalism and about making New Zealand a better place to live, work, and play. During his lifetime, he wrote columns for over 25 years that were a must-read for anyone interested in business, financial markets and investing. He was precise in his research, and his methodology and evidence were difficult to challenge.

Later on, he became a strong supporter and shareholder in BusinessDesk, a news site edited by Pattrick Smellie, one of New Zealand's most highly regarded journalists. BusinessDesk focuses on publishing trustworthy, well-researched reporting and expert commentary.
Through Brian’s passion for quality business journalism, Anna Gibbons, Brian Gaynor’s wife of 30 years, was inspired to fund two Initiatives in Brian's name. These Initiatives aim to strengthen and promote high-quality business writing and journalism in New Zealand, improve opportunities for aspiring journalists, and raise awareness of the important role of business journalism in society.
“Brian believed deeply in how important it is for investors to have trust in their financial markets, in the importance of public disclosure to help achieve that, and the power of high quality analysis and news coverage of business and financial affairs in keeping the markets honest.

Brian and I often discussed what lasting contribution we might make to the cause of quality business journalism in New Zealand. This Initiative is the best practical expression I can think of to honour Brian’s life, his devotion to high quality disclosure and analysis of all aspects of the New Zealand economy and its capital markets.”
__ Anna Gibbons
These Initiatives are designed to strengthen journalism in New Zealand over the long-term and provide more opportunities for aspiring journalists to pursue their interests. Through these Initiatives, we aim to honour Brian’s name and values and have a positive impact on the future of business journalism in New Zealand.
The Milford Foundation, the charitable arm of Milford Asset Management, of which Brian was a founder, has kindly agreed to manage the administration of the Initiatives, which means that all the earnings of the fund will be available for distribution.

Inaugural Award of Brian Gaynor Business Journalism Initiative Funding

The Brian Gaynor Business Journalism Initiative is funding three applications in its inaugural Business Writing & Journalism Excellence Award.

The awards are part of a $2 million endowment administered by the Milford Foundation.

The three successful applicants for 2023 are:

For business writing:

  • Jonathan Milne from Newsroom – $25,000 for a difficult business news investigation likely to require international travel. The subject matter of the story is protected as a part of the funding agreement with Newsroom.
  • Thomas Coughlan from NZME – $5,000 for a climate-focused investigation that has significant importance for New Zealand and its immediate neighbours.

For professional development:

  • Victoria Young from BusinessDesk – $4,600 to attend the Offshore Alerts Conference in Bangkok and to share what she learns with peers on return to New Zealand.

Read the full Press Release HERE

Brian Gaynor Initiatives - Business Writing & Journalism Excellence Award
Open to NZ journalists, writers, editors, & news organisations

The purpose of this award is to promote excellent and well-informed business writing and journalism in New Zealand. This award is available to journalists, writers, editors, and news organisations from various media formats, such as text, audio, photography, and short-form videos. It is not necessary for applicants to be actively involved in business reporting, but their proposal must be relevant to economic, financial, or business matters.

Possible Initiatives that can be supported through this award include funding for investigative research, short course study, attendance at a business journalism conference, or support for a bespoke business journalism project such as a book or documentary.


Up to $40,000 per annum.


Annual award. This opportunity is open to NZ journalists, writers, editors, & news organisations.

Applications Open:

1 August 2024

Applications Process:

An application form will be available once 2024 applications are being accepted.

Brian Gaynor Initiatives - Business Writing & Journalism Scholarships
Two scholarships are available and open to NZ undergraduate students.

The purpose of this scholarship is to raise awareness of business writing and journalism among tertiary students, and to introduce them to the legacy of Brian Gaynor. The scholarship is open to undergraduate students who produce exceptional work demonstrating significant skills in business journalism. It will target one or two universities that specialise in journalism.


Up to $5,000 each for two students ($10,000 total per annum).


This opportunity is open to undergraduate and postgraduate students in New Zealand.

Applications Open:

Applications for 2024 are now closed. Applications for 2025 will open early in the year.

Applications Close:

31 May 2025

Applications Process:

Through UniversitiesNZ. The selection panel for this award will be determined in conjunction with UniversitiesNZ. Applications can be made at