Krystyna Downey

The Catholic Foundation were proud to set up a scholarship in honour of  Krystyna Downey who left a bequest to the Foundation, the scholarship will be for refugees to New Zealand who are entering tertiary educations – details of the scholarship are on the Foundation’s website.


Krystyna served  for many years in the NZ public service, also as the Secretary of the National Commission for UNESCO. During WW2 she was deported by the Soviets to Siberia, in 1944 she came to NZ with other Polish children and  settled in Pahiatua.  She was married to Patrick James Downey OBE  who was a New Zealand barrister and solicitor. He served as the Chief Human Rights Commissioner, and was chairman of the Human Rights Commission from 1978 to 1984. to 1995.


She died in February of this year of 2020 .