The Focus Paihia Community Charitable Trust (FPCCT) is a grass-roots organisation that was ‘born’ out of the belief that Paihia has the potential to become an exceptional place to live, work and visit. Already we are a great place, however, it is recognised that we could be doing a lot better, both in how we present ourselves and how we interact with each other and our environment.
FPCCT is a not-for-profit volunteer organisation, formally set up in 2010. The Trusts’ aims at the beginning were as listed below. However, as we progress we have to remain flexible to keep a good team balance which allows us to deal with issues as progression is made. The Trust currently has representation from:
- Business Paihia Inc
- Paihia Resident & Ratepayers Association
- Paihia Haven of History
- Environmental – Currently vacant
Your current trustees are:
- Grant Harnish – Chair
- Chris Williams – Treasurer
- Marty Robinson
- Ngati Kawa Taituha
- Roger Dold
- Michele Wilson
- Gary Lucas
Vision & Key Objectives
The vision, key objectives and goals were developed in consultation with the Paihia community in 2009 and form the backbone of what we want to achieve. Each key goal is supported by a number of aims, these can be found here, PDF Download – Vision and Key Objectives Document
- Celebrating our cultural diversity by respecting our past, thriving in our present and creating our future
- A contemporary, maritime village that embraces its cultural heritage & protects its natural environment
- World renowned for providing exceptional experiences
- Infrastructure complements & enables sustainable development
- A connected community where we all feel safe, included & valued
- Together, man & nature succeeding in harmony
Key goals (to)
- Celebrate (what was) two nations becoming one – where the mix of who we are today was born
- Create a ‘people friendly’ waterfront, while supporting the natural environment
- Define future development (infrastructure, codes of practice, services, etc) to meet with village identity, through inclusive town planning
- Ensure an international, sustainable standard of access
- Encourage breathtaking ‘people’ experiences
- Build an inclusive vibrant community that values its peace & community spirit
- Be an example to the world of nature, humanity & tourism living harmoniously
Grant Harnish – Chair
Grant, the current Chair of the Trust, has been involved with Focus Paihia since its conception in 2009. He is an owner of Salt Air in Paihia, which he has been operating for around 25 years. Enjoying its growth from operating the ‘famous’ Widgeon seaplane to its current position as a successful and thriving local business.
His two children, Jake and Luca, both went to Paihia Primary School, for which he was a Trustee. Grant has volunteered many, many hours to Focus Paihia (and often behind the scenes).
Grant is committed to helping Paihia reach its potential with the support of the community.
Chris Williams – Treasurer
Chris was born in London UK. He spent his 20’s working on the copperbelt in central Africa, returned to London and joined the airfreight industry. Which meant travelling around the world including his first visit to Paihia in 1975. By then he had met Jan his wife. They have a daughter Clare, made in England and born in Kawakawa, living in Ohakune at the moment.
Jan and Chris have lived in Paihia since 1985. They owned Tides Restaurant for over 20 years. After they sold the restaurant Chris worked in the finance department of FNDC for a number of years and is now fully retired – apart from his volunteer work. He has watched the transformation Focus Paihia has made to the town, both physically and with its ‘can do’ attitude. He is delighted to be able to make a contribution back to the town he calls home.
Marty Robinson – Trustee
Marty is representative of The Paihia Haven of History on the Focus Board. This position was previously held by the late Andrew Thomson. Marty’s association with Paihia can be traced back to 1823 with the arrival of the missionaries, his ancestors Henry and Marianne Williams. Hence his main reason for joining the Focus Paihia Trust; to help drive the establishment of the Paihia Museum, which has been operating on a small open air basis at the original Church Mission Station site beside the St. Paul’s church graveyard.
His first personal connection with Paihia/Waitangi was in 1976 as a barman in the THC Waitangi Hotel (now The Copthorne Resort) for two summer seasons, while studying at University. He is also a member of the Paihia Farmers’ Market, which operates every Thursday on the Village Green, serving non-alcoholic fresh orange juice. Not quite 40 years involvement in Paihia – almost local!
Ngati Kawa Taituha – Trustee
NGATI KAWA TAITUHA is the Focus Paihia Māori Representative. Ngati Kawa Aramiha Taituha was born in Kawakawa Hospital, attended Paihia Primary School and Bay of Islands College, leaving there in 1995. He spent his post college years in Christchurch and Sydney returning to New Zealand in 2001 to complete a diploma in Māori Studies, Ngapuhi. Following this Ngati Kawa became the Te Ataarangi Maori Language Facilitator at Waitangi Marae and worked at the Copthorne Hotel before joining the Waitangi Treaty Grounds team, where he currently works and has done for the past 10 years.
A big highlight of his life was travelling through Hawaii and Canada in 2011. Moving forward, his future aspiration is to leverage the power of the internet and build an online infopreneur digital platform. Ngati Kawa is a highly active member of our community and is involved in a number of organisations. He is the Te Tii Waitangi Marae Chairman, a Te Tii (Waitangi) B3 Trustee and Te Maungarongo Whenua Trust Chairman. He is involved with the Taitokerau Maori Tourism Association, Iwi Kiwi Eco Park (Waitangi Endowment Forest) and Tuu Taua o Ngapuhi (Ngapuhi Martial Arts Academy).
Roger Dold – Trustee
Although a familiar face at Focus Paihia working bees, many will know Roger from the days when he owned FULLERS, and/or as the father of four children, who all grew up in Paihia and went to Kerikeri High School. Significantly, together with Mike Simm and Chris Jacobs, in 1989 he bought Fullers out of receivership. Some 15 years later, after winning the Supreme Tourism Award for New Zealand in 2000, Roger sold Fullers in 2004.
Roger continues to have similar businesses in Fiji and Whitsundays which means he is regularly travelling. Roger is hoping to cut down on his travel and spend more time in Paihia and would love to put something back into the community that has given him and his family so much. After working behind the scenes on fundraising for the Mountain Bike Park over the past year, Roger is happy to offer his services to fill the position of Business Representative on the Trust.
Michele (Shell) Wilson – Trustee
Michele (also known as Shell) is representative for our youth on the Focus Board. Currently
she is the assistant manager and curriculum co-ordinator at Hiwa i te Rangi, Northland
College Teen Parent Unit, Kaikohe, providing support and opportunities for young parents
throughout Te Tai Tokerau. She was Teacher in charge of Performing Arts at Bay of Islands
College from 2004 – 2018 during which time she produced and directed a number of theatre
productions including Footloose and Xanadu. She is also a Trustee of the Upsurge Bay of
Islands Arts Festival Trust, with a passion for connecting local communities through the
Arts. She recently achieved a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Enterprise through SIT,
and brings significant experience working with youth in the Educational and Creative Arts
sectors. She is committed to providing creative opportunities and increasing participation in
positive activities for Northland Youth. Michele also brings experience from the Tourism and Hospitality sectors, having held various roles in event management, fundraising, networking, facilitating community events and initiating business enterprises. Michele, born Tamaki Makaurau, of Fijian, Tongan and Portuguese descent, was raised in
Waitakere City and Sydney. She has been residing in Paihia for over 21 years. For the last
four years she has been raising her two sons with her husband Karl on their lifestyle block
outside of Kawakawa.
Gary Lucas – Trustee
Gary, originally from Lower Hutt, has loved the Bay of Islands after enjoying a couple of beach summers living on an orchard and helping out with Kayak Hire in his teens. Fast forward 30 years including 25 years living in England working in Hotel Management and then 17 years building up and selling an Event Management company, he returned to the Bay with his wife Lesley in 2013. After 5 years owning Luxury Apartments, Campervan Park, and a Gym in Paihia, they decided to sell and take an overseas sabbatical experiencing 22 countries in 14 months through 2019. Loving the Bay and deciding to return again, new business opportunities, bare land and a house build beckon.
Gary has been active in joining in the community as a member of the Paihia Volunteer Fire Brigade, part of the Bike Park team, and Lesley is a committee member of Business Paihia. Introduced to Focus Paihia by offering to project drive the 2021 CCTV installation project, he was subsequently invited to join the Trust Board of Focus.
“I look forward to having the opportunity to contribute to the fantastic work that has already been achieved by Focus in building the great town of Paihia and to give back to our community”.
Focus Paihia Co-ordinator
Sarah Townsend grew up in Russell and attended Russell Primary School and Bay of Islands College.
After leaving School she ventured away from the Bay of Islands first to Whangarei and then Christchurch where she met her partner Gavin and held various jobs in Administration, Accounts, Personal Assistant, Assistant Manager, Retail and even a Plate Mounter for Printing presses. After travelling the world for a couple of years it was decided that there really is no place like home and made the decision to move back to the Bay of Islands to raise a family.
Since moving back to the Bay in 2008 she has spent most of her time raising their three children, two of whom are now at Paihia School Primary and one at Paihia Waitangi Kindergarten. She is currently the Treasurer of the Paihia School Primary PTA and also volunteers for Bay Bush Action with administration and distribution of honey around local stores.
Sarah brings a down to earth and warm personality with enthusiasm and passion to help continue to let the Paihia Community shine.