Lesley Max was asked by publishing company Penguin to write on the subject of child poverty in New Zealand. What followed was her seminal book, Children: Endangered Species? published in 1990 (now out of print).

Lesley knew that while it’s one thing to raise issues, it’s quite another to come up with solutions. She researched what was happening elsewhere in the world that was making a real difference to the lives of disadvantaged children.

She came up with two major programmes. Firstly, a kind of one-stop-shop for parents – a Family Service Centre, to be piloted in the South Auckland community of Papakura. The other was the HIPPY programme.

Lesley Max partnered with Gordon Dryden to establish the Pacific Foundation.