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A prison camp survivor and late-blooming property magnate has been honoured by the Property Council, which has awarded him a members’ laureate for significant contributions to the industry.
Wellington developer Mark Dunajtschik’s lifetime achievements were honoured by the council tonight.
Leonie Freeman, council chief executive, said the humble man who came to New Zealand as a toolmaker in 1958 was a truly deserving recipient of the award because he was a property entrepreneur and philanthropist.
Dunajtschik had suffered an extraordinary plight when he was imprisoned by Yugoslav forces in a concentration camp in Knicanin before eventually escaping with his mother to Germany, a statement said.
There he trained as a toolmaker, before spending five years travelling the world and deciding to make New Zealand his home.
Soon after arriving in this country, he established Precision Grinders, running the business for 25 years.
But then his career took a swerve into property.
The Herald has reported how Dunajtschik was among this country’s most successful property developers and investors, although he only started in the industry as a “hobby” at the age of 57 and has no staff.