A loss to the PR industry

8 May 2019

It is with heavy hearts that PRINZ advises of the very untimely passing of one of our Fellows, Fiona Cunningham.

After a recurrence of Breast Cancer nearly two years ago, last week Fiona finally came to the end of what modern medicine, huge aroha and support from an extraordinarily wide group of friends, and her own indomitable spirit could do.

She loved and excelled at her work - as a journalist (largely on the community papers network in Auckland – the days when they were the main source of local news for many) and then a PR practitioner with Porter Novelli and then Council – firstly at Waitakere, where she was press secretary for Mayor Bob Harvey and then as a valued member of the communications team in the new Auckland ‘super city’). Fiona was working in her perfect role, as a social intrapreneur supporting community initiatives in South Auckland before she had to give up work.

Many PRINZ members and other professionals      remember her as a friend, a mentor, a consummate professional, and one of the remaining stalwarts upholding the value of written language. 

Fiona achieved her APR in 2001 and was voted a Fellow in 2008. She mentored younger practitioners, judged PRINZ Awards, sat on APR panels and the Auckland committee, and championed both the organisation and the profession; she was proud to be a part of this community.

Mostly we remember Fiona as a fabulous friend – funny, empathetic and generous. She called a spade a #@&#* shovel and she loved a Chardonnay. The world (and the PR industry) is a duller place without her.

Ngā mihi

Lisa Finucane, FPRINZ

Jill Dryden, FPRINZ


Fiona's Farewell

Friends and former colleagues of Fiona are invited to join the family for 'Fiona's Final Wine and Cheese' at the 'old' Waitakere Council Chamber on Saturday 25 May 2-5pm. Please give a nod to 'red' for her on the day. Part Two will kick off at 7.30 that night; details will be shared at the wine and cheese.

Fluff supported the SPCA and the Fred Hollows foundation financially. If you would like to 'do' something that mattered to her, please make a donation to either of these causes in her name.

If you can, RSVP to crawshnz@gmail.com for the 'wine and cheese' to help with the catering estimate.