My first Hawkes Bay meeting is now confirmed for 7pm on Tuesday April 9 in the Havelock North Community Centre, 30 Te Mata Road.
(I’ve also just accepted an invitation from Grey Power Hastings and Districts for June 7. More on that later.)
Organising the April 9 meeting is none other than Hawkes Bay Ranfurly Shield era player, captain, coach and administrator Dr Tom Johnson.
Tom is a serial winner and a great guy. As well as having leadership roles with Lion Breweries, Europa Oil, Hawkes Bay Racing and the NZRFU, he founded Golden Oldies rugby, the biggest sporting festival in the world.
(So getting 250 people into the Havelock North Community Centre on April 9 will be a doddle, right Tom? Yes, I know I’m overdue with the ad and poster!)
Tom will hate me for this, but below is Tom being awarded his MNZM by Sir Anand Satyanand.
And here’s a recent story about him completing his PhD at the age of 74.
And the man who led Chris Tremain’s campaign team in 2005 when he defied the odds to win Napier for National was…?
You guessed it. Tom’s done a lot of winning. He’s studied a lot of winners. And he’s going to help us win.
Believe it or not, he’s committed to spending the rest of his life working for a racially equal New Zealand.
Isn’t that amazing? He says he’s doing it for his grandkids.
He’s doing it by conquering Hawkes Bay one Rotary Club and Probus Club at a time. He’s already given his talk ‘The Elephant in the Room’ to three clubs, and is getting an overwhelmingly positive response.
I hope I can get the same on April 9.
Oh, and to say that Tom is now disillusioned with the Nats is putting it mildly.
He’s one of six former National Party chairs that I’m in touch with, and they all say the members have had a gutsful of Key and Finlayson’s surrender of New Zealand by stealth.
I hope to see you at the Havelock North Community Centre on Tuesday April 9, and/or when I return to the Bay on Friday June 7.
Tell all your friends that the pushback has started, and let’s have a great night.