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Trustees of New Zealand’s Cartier Trust, which was established to help families of individuals who had passed away from HIV have regrettably announced the Trust’s closure, after 16-years of service to the community.

Established in the memory of much-loved drag artist Courtney Cartier, who died in October 2000 of lymphatic cancer after living with HIV and AIDS for some years, the Trust helped many in the community, in the toughest of times.

Announcing the Trusts closure, Karen Ritchie, who founded the trust, explained, “Fortunately, today not many people are dying from HIV and as a result, the need for the Cartier Trust is reducing.”


“I recently sought advice to explore options to keep the name and legacy of the Trust alive for the next generation to use it for what they might see fit, suicide prevention was an idea put forward. Unfortunately, given the nature of the Trust Deed, this is not legally possible.”

“As a result, the Trustees have decided to wind up the Trust. All current funds held by Trust will go to Positive Women and Body Positive and will be tagged to assist with funeral costs for those who pass as a result of an HIV-related illness. For me personally, it has not been an easy decision to close the Trust as it is very close to my heart.”

Speaking about the Trusts closure, Ritchie added, that she would like to acknowledge her fellow trusties, past and present that had supported the trust over the years, and was thankful to the community who trusted her vision.

A farewell Wigarama party to remember those the Trust has supported, and to celebrate all the hard work provided by many in the community, is being planned and is likely to be held in the first week in September 2018.

Ritchie adds that “Courtney Cartier would be so proud her name, and the people the trust has helped stay in our hearts forever. Much love and gratitude to you all.”

Last Updated on May 31, 2018

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