Hawke’s Bay problem solvers often lament a ‘brain drain’ when discussing our region’s challenges. They perceive that we’re losing our ‘best and brightest’ to bigger places. Optimistic pragmatists say that’s a good thing. People of a certain age should move away, perhaps they’ll come back and add greater value when they’ve made something of themselves.

Hawke’s Bay has a wealth of people under 40 who are making a difference, right now, in our community. Some have done well in business, others in sport, some were born into their roles and others snatched great opportunities when they came along.

In this issue of BayBuzz we profile some of those people. 40 under 40 is a collection of faces who together present a bright, positive, future-focused side of Hawke’s Bay. There are stories of commitment to community, brave business moves, carrying the mantle of family endeavours, setting bold goals and reaching them. Many were bred here, a few are recent implants. For many, success means finding ways to live here but work elsewhere, for some being here and working in this region
is paramount.

A theme across all is a personal desire to stick with the Bay, to find ways to balance the ‘lifestyle’ we enjoy here with growing the community, the economy and themselves as individuals.

Dan Browne

Dan Browne

Dan Browne is the president of Hawke’s Bay Young Professionals and director of Indelible, a screen production company where he employs three people. He is also keen to attract more young entrepreneurs to the region and create an environment that is inviting for them.

While at school he was a self-proclaimed audio/visual geek with passion in equal amounts for the arts and tech. Straight out of school he worked as an apprentice to legendary cinematographer Tom Burstyn. At 20 he started Indelible with two partners.

“I just thought it would be cool to have a company and make the stuff I wanted to make. When we started we were told it was a stupid idea to do it in Hawke’s Bay. For the first two years I lived in the office and ate pasta every day to keep costs down.”

From humble roots Indelible has grown into a big player in the corporate video market.

“We’ve just started moving into the Auckland market. The idea is we keep all production in Hawke’s Bay. It’s a region with so much potential – well placed halfway between Wellington and Auckland. I’m a believer in finding a place you like for its qualities that are less changeable then making changes where you can to make it a place you want to live.”

Setha Davenport

Setha Davenport

Setha has a couple of strings to her bow – or should that be banjo, the instrument Setha plays in bluegrass/country/americana/roots/folk band Cabin Fevre.

“We call ourselves unconfineable. We tell people who ask us about genres: ‘We sing and we play these instruments, come along and figure it out yourself’.”

Setha is also the woman behind Setha’s Seeds, a growing business producing heritage and heirloom seeds for sale in a sector where it’s difficult to find home grown seeds that are truly grown here.

“People don’t think about where the seeds come from and it’s often from the open market world-wide. It’s unusual to find a company that grows seeds in the country you’re in, so there’s more demand than we can supply.”

Originally from Pennsylvania, Setha is keen to stay based in the Bay. “I like the Bay for multiple reasons: it’s a great climate for the seeds, for maturing and curing them, and there’s an amazing bustling music scene.”

Freeman White

Freeman White

Freeman is a highly acclaimed, award-winning painter specialising in landscapes, principally of Hawke’s Bay. “My greatest impact in the Bay would be creating artworks that can in some way immortalise, iconicise and document the region’s multifaceted beauty.”

Collections in the USA, Europe and Asia all boast Freeman White’s Hawke’s Bay landscapes. Freeman is committed to staying in Hawke’s Bay where he lives in a Victorian villa he has saved and restored. “I’m very proud of that as when I bought the house it was advertised as ‘renovate or detonate’… but that’s another story.”

Beverly Te Huia

Beverly (pictured above) is hard to put in a box, there’s no box big enough or with enough sides. She’s a midwife, head of Choices (Kahungunu Health Services), and chair of Nga Maia (professional body of Maori midwives). She’s run ultramarathons, holds two post-graduate diplomas, is a licenced pilot and represented (with her two sisters) New Zealand in beach handball. She is also responsible for writing strategy in Mongolian aimed at improving breastfeeding rates among indigenous women.

In 2003 Beverly completed her first marathon and in 2008 she did an Iron Man.

“I came away from that thinking I had more in the tank. I googled ‘hardest race in the world’. It came up with the Sahara Endurance Event, that did take me to the edge, every year someone dies in it.” After completing that, Beverly did other similar events in deserts around the world including the Gobi. That’s how she ended up involved with mothers and babies there. She’s going back in May.

Beverly’s role model is her mother, also a midwife, among other things. “We’re driven by finding unfairness and addressing it – people tell her ‘No’ but she goes for it more – she’s a good role model.”

Beverly knows that careers can morph, change, multiply. “You can swap roles. You don’t have to pick one. There’s a lot to do out there. Personally, I can’t stop, I have to reach the top – maybe a PhD next.”

Nick Stewart

Nick Stewart

Nick had an early start in finance: “I’d take a 20c coin to school, phone my broker at lunchtime, make some trades”. He was 12. He’s now CEO of Stewart Group, established by his father in 1974, and an authorised financial advisor. He took over the reins at age 28.

“I had my own stock portfolio from eight when I sold some sheep. I still remember my first shares in the oldest listed company in NZ, Donaghys. They were a rope maker so when we re-did the cray pots I was adamant that we used Donaghys rope, because it was ‘my’ company.”

From 12 Nick and his father discussed the young Stewart’s role in the family business. He was always keen and after a gap year that “rounded off some of the square edges” he went to Massey.

“I wanted to be close to home because I wanted to surf and duck hunt – all those neat things we can do as Hawke’s Bay citizens.”
As well as heading a successful business there are two more prongs to the work Nick does, and they both involve giving to others.

“I think the philanthropy we’re involved in is an extension of who we are – we like helping people.”

Nick is also involved in international study groups across the financial sector, sharing information and intelligence.

“If you live in a place like this you can become isolated in terms of knowledge. I am very much part of a global community but I still live here.”

In terms of business growth, Nick is working hard to make Stewart Group a tech leader. It’s a business model proponents of NZ Inc would like to see more of: big on brains, low on air miles.

“Our business is purely IP. I would like to see us being a national player based in Hawke’s Bay. We can create a business here, grow it, do that all from the Bay. Then we’re taking services out of the big city and putting them here. We can do the work just as well but we can also have a happier team and be really invested in this community.”

Tom Wallace

Tom Wallace

Tom brings together skills built in a family business with cutting-edge tech and entrepreneurial drive. He owns Re-leased, a software company specialising in managing property. He spotted the gap in the market while working for his father’s company, Wallace Developments. Conversations with Xero’s Rod Drury cemented his idea as a good one – now Re-leased holds a coveted position as certified Xero add-on partner.

Tom says one of his biggest achievements is “creating hi-tech, high quality, high paying jobs. My age group needs to leave the region to get those kind of jobs so we’re proud of creating them here.” Tom now splits his time between Hawke’s Bay and Auckland. He has twenty staff and handles a billion dollars worth of client property portfolios.

“We have customers in 12 countries and we don’t need to have people on the ground, we don’t have to ship anything, we just have smart people working hard and building cool things and we can ‘ship’ that around the world.”

Nic Magdalinos

Nic Magdalinos

Nic heads Paris Magdalinos Architects, established by his late father, Hawke’s Bay’s largest architectural consultancy. He is currently involved in the project leadership of a wide range of builds across the country with a construction value in excess of $500 million.

“It is incredibly satisfying to be able to work on some of New Zealand’s largest and most exciting projects and bring a Hawke’s Bay connection to these.”

‘Live’ local projects of note include the Hawke’s Bay Airport Terminal Redevelopment, the redevelopment of the Marine Parade from the Sunken Gardens to the former Marineland site, and the design and master planning of the redevelopment of the former Napier Hospital site. Nic is also involved in building the new Refugee Resettlement Centre in Mangere.

“As the son of a refugee, I feel honoured to be working on this significant piece of New Zealand’s social infrastructure. To be able to provide a world class facility for new migrants, and to be at the coal face of nation building, is something that pulls on my heartstrings.”

Nic is also heavily involved in Napier City Business Incorporated and the Hawke’s Bay Chapter of the Property Council of New Zealand, as chairperson of both.

Abbie Single

Abbie Single

Abbie is managing director of MR Labels after buying the business eight years ago. She’s worked there since her early 20s. “Over the years I’ve filled every role there is!”

Now she’s at the helm and cranking the whole business up a notch. MR Labels produces self-adhesive labels to a wide range of NZ industries – food and beverage, meat processors, bakeries, confectionery, cosmetic, pharmaceutical and general manufacturers.

“We’re in the middle of a significant growth programme with new equipment arriving that will grow capital ten-fold.”
Abbie’s focus is continual improvement and she thinks strategically about how to make her family business a forward thinking one.

“It’s been bred into me: do risky things that your gut tells you are right. When they all come off it’s rewarding.”

Abbie’s father John ran the business before her and she learnt her craft working beside him. “He thinks outside the box and I won’t let a problem stump me – there’s always a way to fix it or improve it.”

Josh Lynch

Josh Lynch

Josh is the business manager at Trubridge Studios. “ My job is to run everything so David doesn’t have to!”

Where David Trubridge is the face of the company, travels widely showcasing products and initiates new lines and designs, it is Josh who holds the fort in Hawke’s Bay, ships stock around the world, meets customers in the showroom at Whakatu.

“So much of our biz is David’s story, and people want the story behind the design. But behind the scenes, there are 22 other people grinding away to make it all happen.”

The company has grown four-fold in the last five years and in the next five Josh would like to see it double again, but stay firmly in the Bay. He himself has been here for six years, a refugee from Auckland.

“We’re a great Hawke’s Bay story. It’s showing the capability and the design that can come from NZ. And it’s a value add that happens in the rural end of Whakatu with cows in the paddock next door.”

Melissa Williams

Melissa Williams

Melissa is the founder of Kilt, a women’s clothing line based in Hawke’s Bay, but with stores and stockists across New Zealand.

“We create lots of employment opportunities here in an industry that’s not normally based regionally.”

Melissa recently opened a clothing factory; doing her part to keep locally-made clothing alive in New Zealand.

“In a world where most clothing is made in China, we strongly feel it’s vital we don’t lose these skills. Our factory is providing career and training opportunities right here in the Bay.”

Kilt recently won Supreme Business of the Year at the Hawke’s Bay Chamber of Commerce Business Awards.

Adam Satherley & Troy Morgan

Adam Satherley & Troy Morgan

Adam and Troy run Your Solutions, an interior fit-out company they established in 2010. They have 14 staff and clients across NZ.

“We’re the next generation of business in Hawke’s Bay. Having companies like ours invest in the region we are sending a strong message: Hawke’s Bay is a great place to do business.”

Adam and Troy’s focus is on innovation, safety and sustainability and they manage to weave all those future-focused priorities into a thriving business. They also invest back into the Hawke’s Bay community through sponsorship and philanthropy. They represent a new wave of Hawke’s Bay business, based here, with clients across the country and with the environment and community as much the priority as the financial bottom-line.

Josh Woodham

Josh Woodham

Josh started app development company Snapp Mobile with Mark Dekker and Steve Butler in 2013 after setting up then selling Hawke’s Bay’s first social media company, Social Kiwi. He returned home to Hawke’s Bay after five years in the UK where he’d worked at the social network Bebo.

“We have developed over 200 apps for organisations around New Zealand in 18 months. Our goal is to build a business that allows us to maintain a favourable work/life balance here in Hawke’s Bay.”

Snapp is now the go-to for schools wanting to build apps for their communities to communicate and receive notices. It’s a growing market that Josh is cornering from Hawke’s Bay.

Elizabeth-Marie Nes

Elizabeth-Marie Nes

Elizabeth-Marie runs social media profiles HB Born and Proud, and HB Events. She actively gleans information across social platforms then feeds them out to her audiences. She does it off her own bat with the objective of growing community, raising awareness of the good things happening here and connecting people together.

“I am positively promoting the goodness of the region and what it has to offer by keeping people in the loop with what’s going on in Hawke’s Bay, from breaking news to changes that could be of interest to residents, ex-locals and tourists.”

Elizabeth-Marie has turned her passion into Strictly Social, which helps clients, like BayBuzz, get to grips with their personal and professional online profiles. In 2016 she will launch HB Jobs, collating work opportunities from a range of providers in a one-stop-shop online.

Adam & Matt Harris

Adam & Matt Harris

Twins Adam and Matt Harris have made a two-pronged attack on the business world in Hawke’s Bay. Adam runs NZ Digital; Matt, Navigator Accounting.

They are both involved in Young Professionals networks in the Bay.

As well as running his own business Adam is involved in a number of start-ups in the fashion, property and accounting industries, all promoting the use of the internet to streamline processes. He’s growing his interests into Auckland, where he’s in the early stages of establishing a hub for HB businesses who want to hold a base in the big smoke; but at the same time he’s committed to educating and encouraging businesses to set up offices in Hawke’s Bay.

Matt runs Navigator Accounting with Simon Griggs. “We’re disrupting the accounting industry in Hawke’s Bay by using innovation and technology to offer more value to clients.” He too is focusing on growing his business into Auckland, however the work will be completed locally, adding value to the Hawke’s Bay economy and lowering costs for clients.

Both brothers see the huge potential larger regions hold for businesses like theirs, but they want to find ways to take advantage of that while still working primarily from the Bay. On top of that they want to improve the business environment and networks in the Bay to encourage other young professionals to join them here. “It’s a great place to live and work.”

Liv Reynolds

Liv Reynolds

Liv is one of a group of partners behind restaurant Mamacita, bar Hugo Chang and cafe Wright & Co., all in Havelock North.

“Essentially, one of the main driving forces behind our current three establishments is to create more reasons for people to come to the Village. My business partners and I all love Havelock North and have strong connections here.”

Liv is keen to see more young people base themselves in the Bay.

“I am constantly trying to recruit young couples to move here. I love being part of this new emergence, which is bringing youthful ideas, new perspectives and fresh energy to Hawke’s Bay.”

Tom Ormond

Tom Ormond

Tom is the man behind Hawthorne Coffee Roastery and Cafe.

“Hopefully I have played a part in making truly world class coffee available to the homes, offices and cafes of Hawke’s Bay!”

Tom sees equal importance in creating first-class coffee and providing great hospitality. He’s one of a few boutique food and bev makers based here, blending good service and a good product then shipping it across New Zealand. On top of that his cafe is the heart of Havelock North.

“We’ve provided a unique space for locals and travellers to come and shoot the breeze and share ideas over a quality cup of joe.”

Matt Smith

Matt Smith

Matt is the Brave man among HB’s booming brewing scene. He runs Brave Brewing with wife Gemma. He’s the unlikely hero of a Hawke’s Bay success story. As the craft beer market here takes off, Brave is at the forefront.

“I’ve never considered myself to be an influencer. I’ve never pursued a traditional career path or gone for the more lucrative options. I have just pursued things that I have passion for, and that I feel have some real value.”

Matt is testament to the ability of Hawke’s Bay’s environment to nurture fresh – brave – ideas.

“There’s so much creativity out there that’s suppressed because people feel trapped by their busy lives. If I’ve made an impact here, it would be showing people it’s possible to bow out of the rat race and have a go at something you’re passionate about, to share your creativity with others and enjoy what you do.”

Charley & Jack Crasborn

Charley & Jack Crasborn

Charley and Jack are giving their family tradition of orcharding a new twist, making cider under the Three Wise Birds label. It’s a well-received drop and gives the brothers the opportunity to do their “dream job”.

“We have a special connection to this place and the quality fruit it can produce. We use the apples our old man and his brothers grow to extend their legacy in a new direction.”

The brothers have a strong desire to continue creating a high quality Hawke’s Bay product to present to the rest of the country and in time to global markets.

Lauren Swift

Lauren Swift

Lauren is head winemaker at Ash Ridge.

Rather than making an impact on HB, Lauren feels it’s the opposite: “Hawke’s Bay has made the impact on me…” She moved here in 2009 to study wine marketing at EIT, then moved on to a degree in wine science and a job at Ash Ridge. She was recently named NZ Young Winemaker of the Year. She is proud of being part of the wine industry in HB and says she’s a “product of EIT”.

In the future Lauren wants to start her own label as well as continue making wines for Ash Ridge, getting some good medals behind her. She’d also like to contribute to the learning of the next generation of winemakers, “to give back to this cool creative industry”.

Caleb Dennis

Caleb Dennis

Caleb is a viticulturist at Craggy Range and has just won Young Horticulturist and Young Viticulturist awards, highlighting the impact and quality of young people in the sector.

Caleb’s role includes ensuring the vineyard is up to date and making use of the latest research and information to make the best decisions it can.

New innovations are a big part of the picture Caleb sees for himself in the future.

“I want to be at the front of the pack using technology, research and knowledge to ensure the wines and grapes grown and made in the Bay are the best they can be so the Bay continues to be known for producing the highest quality wine.”

Alongside this is Caleb’s commitment to ensuring this is done in an environmentally, economically and socially sustainable way.

Julianne Brogden

Julianne Brogden

Julianne is HB born and bred and a graduate of EIT’s wine science degree programme. After a decade abroad she came home to start her own wine company, Collaboration Wines.

“I thought that I’d never return to the Hawke’s Bay due to a perceived lack of opportunities. However, the pull of home and a realisation of the immense potential of the region for producing fine wine, eventually won out.”

Collaboration Wines is a young company, but Julianne’s wines are already being served in many of the country’s trendiest restaurants. A major milestone was cracked this year with the first export market being established in Japan.

Ben Bostock

Ben Bostock

Ben runs Bostock’s Free Range Organic Chicken employing 13 locals and one of only two organic chicken farms in New Zealand.

His venture provides the Bay with the only chickens produced in the region. He farms his chickens without the use of the antibiotics found throughout the meat industry and grows feed that’s free of herbicides, chemical fertilisers and pesticides.

Ben’s father John is a pioneer of commercial organic apple production. Ben worked for a time in meat processing and came out of that determined to raise his chickens on a healthy diet, in turn meaning they make for healthy eating. Welfare and quality win out over quantity.

Lydia & Sean Baty

Lydia & Sean Baty

Sean and Lydia have brought dairy goat farming to Hawke’s Bay and in so doing have created a hive of interest from both farmers and investors.

In the future they aim to be milking 2,000 goats and be in a position where they can help others wanting to get into dairy goat farming.

BayBuzz featured the Batys in a recent story on the Goat Milk Industry in Hawke’s Bay, you can find it online at www.baybuzz.co.nz/archives/8137

Ngaio Tiuka

Ngaio Tiuka

Ngaio helped set a new standard in case law for water quality when he led the Ngati Kahungunu Inc challenge against Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and its plans for the region’s aquifers.

A policy analyst with a Bachelor of Science degree, he led the team challenging council managers and scientists over two days, winning the case in the Environment Court last March.

“It’s become case law nationally in how to maintain water quality. It was the right thing to do.” Other iwi and environmentalists are already using the precedent.

Tiuka says he’s motivated by his wife and children, who live with him at Waipatu marae, and a desire to make a difference in protecting and advocating
for the rights and values of Te Ao Turoa (the long standing world or environment) for future generations.

Te Kaha & Hinewai Hawaikirangi

Te Kaha & Hinewai Hawaikirangi

Te Kaha (TK) and Hinewai, on returning from overseas in 2009 were disturbed at the condition of the Tutaekuri River and the Ahuriri river mouth. They decided to do something about it.

TK and Hinewai, who have a range of skills and qualifications in education, science, health and the environment, observing the poor health of the river conferred with their wider whanau and hapu, and with the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, on a plan to end this “degrading of the mauri” or life force of the river.

They formed representative group Ngā Hapū o Tūtaekurī and created the Tūtaekurī’ Awa Enhancement and Management Plan 2015 with the full support of the four hapū that have lived alongside the river for over 600 years.

The plan to improve the health and wellbeing of this “precious resource” was adopted by HBRC’s regional planning committee and includes riparian planting, cattle fencing, erosion management, spray drift, water takes, water quality, and improving biodiversity.

There are clear conditions for ongoing consultation with mana whenua and a mandate for councils and government agencies to act on those recommendations.

The group now holds environmental kaitiaki of the river, including Te Whanganui ā Orotū (Ahuriri Estuary) where the Tūtaekurī originally opened into.

The cultural monitoring programme alongside the Napier City Council includes mitigating against contaminants discharged from the Ahuriri Industrial park.
The couple are determined to return the river and estuary, previously managed sustainably by their ancestors, to optimum health, reversing the effect of 80-years of negligence.

Annette Brosnan

Annette Brosnan

Annette is a Napier City Councillor. During the election campaign that saw her voted in, she knocked on every one of the 4,402 doors in her ward.
“I’ve made a difference in my community because of the different demographic I represent in council. Being a bit younger and having a young family I bring a
different perspective.”

Annette began thinking about running when she was 22 but she comes from a family dedicated to public service. She has a double degree from EIT and worked at Hawke’s Bay Regional Council before moving into local body politics.

She was raised in the ward she now represents. She is also on the Local Government New Zealand Young Elected Members committee.

“If you’re right for the job then I’m very pro mixed demographics on council – our society is not a static line so neither should our elected representatives be.”

Key projects led by Annette include $200,000 upgrade of Pirimai Park beginning early 2016, working with Foodstuffs to upgrade/incorporate Tamatea Park into the new supermarket development, and initiating a long term project to plant all of Napier urban drains.

Olivia Nysse

Olivia Nysse

Olivia has spent the past five years travelling solo and since 2013 has regularly visited Cambodia where she volunteers in a Khmer orphanage run by the

Children’s Improvement Organisation and home to 38 children. She is home in Hawke’s Bay this summer to work on raising awareness and funds for the orphanage, a place she’ll return to this year. She is working with the CIO on the goal of raising enough resources to buy land and build a new home for the children in their care.

Eve Vernik-Taaffe

Eve Vernik-Taaffe

Eve is a former Estonian Airforce helicopter pilot who is now proud to say she’s a Kiwi. She arrived here in 2002 and now works behind the scenes on a number of projects, events and initiatives.

“Every organisation will have people like me working for them doing the logistics, problem solving, very much in the background and not searching for limelight.”

Among other things Eve is event assistant at Art Deco trust; coach, mentor and current chair of the Bay City Rollers Roller Derby squad; and is involved in horse riding and the Positive Ageing Trust. She’s a skilled horse and dog handler. Her quiet productive reach into the Hawke’s Bay community has brought life to many initiatives and projects. She pins it on her communist era heritage.

“In a way I am coming from a background that is probably fairly socialist – that’s my upbringing. Everyone is part of something bigger. I have an idealistic position on everyone getting involved to make something happen. (Communism) did have some real values in regards to us all working for the wider community as well as working for ourselves as individuals.”

Eve quotes an Estonian proverb to sum up her ethic: “Kes palju teeb, see palju jõuab.” (The one who does a lot, can get a lot done.)

Lee Kershaw-Karaitiana

Lee Kershaw-Karaitiana

Lee is the Māori and Pacific Liaison Advisor at EIT, helping provide a safe and smooth transition for people entering the tertiary world from high schools and other community groups and backgrounds.

Being on the student council at Victoria University where he completed his Masters in Te Reo and at EIT where he did his post-graduate honours degree in 2014, helped equip him for his current role.

Lee believes the Maori worldview of love for one another including the concepts of manaakitanga (hospitality/generosity) and whakawhanaungatanga (kinship and respect) bring value for all people on campus.

Lee is determined to bring his management degree, his passion for te reo and love of entrepreneurship together for Ngati Kahungunu generally and as an advocate for those who might not otherwise consider te reo a worthwhile asset.

Rebekah Dinwoodie

Rebekah Dinwoodie

Rebekah is head of EIT’s Schools of Business and Computing.

She has worked at EIT in a number of roles including coordinator of Veterinary Nursing and Equine Studies, advisor in the Academic Quality Team, and programme leader in the School of Applied Science. In 2012 she began managing campuses across the country for an agricultural training centre while continuing to chair the EIT Animal Ethics Committee.

In her current roles at EIT she also oversees business and computing qualifications at the Tairawhiti campus in Gisborne and international students at the Auckland campus.  She’s recently completed a Master’s degree in Management and her first marathon.

Michael Sisam

Michael Sisam

Michael has been principal at Heretaunga Intermediate since early 2014 having come from a similar role in Wellington. He’s turning HIS around after a number of years of bad rap.

“For me a big thing was working on relationships and engaging the kids. There was some bad publicity about the school but some very good things happening here.”

Michael says his focus on staff flows through to the students.

“My classroom is the staffroom. While I have energy on the kids, I also focus on the staff because that enthusiasm and engagement rubs off on the kids.”

His efforts have paid off with a lift in attendance rates at the decile 1 central Hastings school. There were 180 students in May 2014; the school starts 2016 with 270.

“Our kids are still children: some have been exposed to things they shouldn’t have, so while they are here we try to show them a world that is positive for them.”

Michael and his staff aim for a culture that brings the whole family into the life of the school. He is also big on providing as wide a range of opportunities for the kids as possible, while still focusing on literacy and numeracy.

Anna Pierard

Anna Pierard

Anna is an accomplished opera singer with a stellar international career who has now settled in her home town of Napier. She is creative director of Festival Opera, billed as Opera with a Conscience, and the dynamo behind Project Prima Volta, a training ground for school-aged up and coming opera singers.

Anna has worked tirelessly since she established PPV in 2013 and has coached and mentored a number of promising singers, providing opportunities for them to sing in a professional context. She continues to sing soprano roles here in Hawke’s Bay as well as in productions around New Zealand.

Richard Wood

Richard Wood

Richard is one of Hawke’s Bay’s most noted photographers and one of only six in the country with the title of Grand Master of the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photographers. He has won countless awards and accolades, and is a sought after wedding photographer.

Richard teaches and mentors amateur and professional photographers and judges photography competitions.

Richard’s particular talent lies with illustrational/creative photography and fashion portraiture. He would like to grow this area of his practice in the future. He has twice been named NZIPP NZ Photographer of the Year: “Every year I strive to do it again as each time I push my imagery further. That keeps
me from getting stale and it means I’m always improving.”

Eva Bradley

Eva Bradley

Eva is a photographer and writer with a full client list during the wedding season and a weekly newspaper column to keep her busy. It’s the good life compared to her 20s when she was working in the big smoke in a high pressure newsroom.

“When I was younger all I wanted to do was be a journo because I wanted to change the world, then when I became one I realised covering these big stories for national news was just about providing entertainment to people, so I adjusted my dreams.”

Now Eva brings happiness to the couples and families she photographs and laughter to her readers and in so doing changes the world in smaller but still significant ways.

“Some people thought it was a strange choice, but I feel I make more impact doing this and I’m incredibly happy doing what I do.”

Craig McDougall

Craig McDougall

Craig is a NZ light heavyweight boxing champion who established Flaxmere Boxing Academy run by the U-Turn Trust and has now set up Giants Boxing Academy where he’s head-coach and mentor to 100 kids from 8-24.

“Our team has helped a number of young people to feel like they belong somewhere in our society, a feeling of encouragement through sport but impacting on all areas of their lives. We have enabled them to believe in themselves and become something they want to be.”

The work of the boxing academy involves a ‘whole of whanau’ approach and Craig has seen people make some big changes in their lives, including in health and exercise and exploring personal talents. He is also an advocate for individuals making positive contributions to the community and is a White Ribbon ambassador.

Paora Winitana

Paora Winitana

Paora is using his international basketball success to motivate young people to upskill and become leaders through the Paul Henare & Paora Winitana Academy. He too has recently been made a White Ribbon ambassador.

Paora will continue his 20-year association with the Hawke’s Bay Hawks, but isn’t renewing his coaching contract in 2016, focusing instead on the Academy he co-founded in 2011 to mentor aspiring young athletes for “life on and off the court”. Graduates of the course have moved into higher education, the Army or Navy, the trades or professional sports; eight are now part of the Hawks’ development roster.

Winitana has played seasons with the Breakers, the Adelaide 36ers, Christchurch Cougars and internationally with the Tall Blacks. He and his wife have five sons and the ordained Mormon Bishop chooses not to play basketball on Sundays.

Bobbi Gichard

Bobbi Gichard

Bobbi is an aspiring swimming champ with her eyes on the Olympics. She won bronze at the 2014 Youth Olympics in Nanjing and in 2015 participated in the World Championships in Russia. A few weeks later she took part in the Youth Commonwealth Games in Samoa bringing home gold. Her next goal is to qualify for the Olympics in Rio this year.

Regan Gough

Regan Gough

Regan represents Hawke’s Bay and New Zealand in cycling. He has gained national and international success wearing Hawke’s Bay colours and the NZ fern.

“I have a lot of pride for this region, and wouldn’t change where I’m from for the world.”

Regan won gold in the team pursuit at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in 2015. He was first on stage two of the 2014 Tour de Vineyards. He won two titles at the 2014 UCI Junior Track Cycling World Championships.

Aimee Fisher

Aimee Fisher

Aimee has helped her team qualify for the Rio Olympic Games this year in kayaking. She currently trains in Auckland and her big goal currently is to become an Olympic champion.

“I am incredibly privileged to be a full time athlete and to have some of the best sports minds in New Zealand helping me pursue my dream.”
Kayaking is a huge part of Aimee’s life and at the moment her studies are on hold, but she does have a vision for how she can turn her sporting achievements into creating initiatives that help disadvantaged children.

“I’m not sure what form that help will take, but I have a few years to sort that out.”

Georgia Hulls

Georgia Hulls

Georgia is a sprinter from Hastings Athletics Club and one of our youngest inclusions.  She has already notched up a number of impressive National and Australian titles. Georgia is in the NZ relay squad currently training to qualify for the 2016 World Junior Championships.

“I hope the impact I have had is to show that people can succeed at athletics from Hawke’s Bay.”

Georgia is one to watch for in future Commonwealth and Olympic Games and is committed to staying in Hawke’s Bay to train.

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