After graduating from Otago University in 1987, Michael joined the family firm and began training as an embalmer and funeral director. He attended Musselburgh School, Tahuna Intermediate, and Bayfield High School.
He completed his Funeral Service Qualifications in 1993. Appointed as Managing Director in 2002, Michael became the 4th member of the Hope family to hold this role. He has been the treasurer and president of the New Zealand Embalmers Association (1996), and the President of the Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand (2006). He was the local FDANZ Otago/Southland District secretary, and a Director of Funeral-Link NZ.
He has been vice-president of Men's Basketball Otago Association, and is a life member and previous treasurer and president of the Andersons Bay Basketball Club. He is a Justice of the Peace for New Zealand and a member of the Rotary Club of Dunedin.
Michael leads a busy life with his wife, Jannette, and their family, Jodie and AJ. He loves a good Pinot Noir and enjoys quiet family time at Whetu Nui, Karitane. Michael’s favourite place is Fafa Island, on the Kingdom of Tonga, peaceful and tranquil natural untouched beauty. The song Michael would choose for his funeral is ‘Melodramma’ by Andrea Bocelli.