28 June 2018
A new patron has been announced for the Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service to help spearhead efforts to complete its new headquarters and embark on a new era.
International business professional and CEO of New Zealand Avocado, Jen Scoular, has been appointed honorary patron and is excited to see the new $3 million multi-purpose clubhouse at the base of Mauao beginning to take shape.
“I have wonderful memories of the Mount beach and huge respect for the lifeguards who, mostly as volunteers, safeguard the beach and Mauao for us,” she says.
“It’s a fantastic time to build a new purpose-built facility, better enabling our lifeguards to train to compete but mostly to patrol and rescue. We are building a community facility, and hope this rebuild better allows the community to engage in the activities of the club.”
Construction of the new building has begun thanks to grants from generous funding partners. But a big push is now underway to fundraise the remaining money required to finish the project before Christmas.
Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service chairman Paul Manning is delighted to confirm Scoular’s appointment as patron. She takes over from surf lifesaving stalwart Peter Fitzsimmons (OBE).
“Jen has shown a real infinity and interest in what the club does and has a lot of respect in the community. We’re thrilled to have her on board and would like to sincerely thank Peter for his service as patron over the past nine years.”
Scoular is renowned for her commercial acumen and her ability to deliver on big projects and build global networks.
Under her leadership, sales of New Zealand avocados have sky-rocketed as consumers around the globe become more aware of their amazing health benefits. Scoular helped implement a $4.5m research programme in conjunction with Plant and Food to match increased demand with greater productivity, and successfully negotiated the first horticulture Primary Growth Partnership with the Government. This collaborative approach means the industry is now on track to more than double net sales from $70m in 2012 to $280m by 2023.
Prior to joining New Zealand Avocado, Scoular spent four years heading the NZ Consulate in Hamburg as Consul General and Trade Commissioner with a trade region spanning 19 countries from Russia to Turkey. Scoular’s other past roles include Group Treasurer and Commercial Manager for Zespri International, Director of merchant bank BZW Capital Markets Ltd in London, and a board member of Tauranga’s Chamber of Commerce and Tauranga Hockey.
“It goes without saying that Jen’s commercial expertise and networking abilities will be a huge asset in our quest to build a world-class, multi-use community facility and ensure the Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service continues to evolve successfully in future,” says Manning.
Dominique Paduch has been appointed the new fundraising lead and will work alongside Scoular to bring the Lifeguard Service’s dreams to life. Paduch says the recent Ladies Long Charity Lunch raised $100,000 for the project which was a “phenomenal start” but a further $900,000 was still needed.
“Our new building will give us greater visibility from the lifeguard tower for rescues, better access to equipment so we can respond faster, and a dedicated emergency operations base. That means our core lifeguard duties won’t be disrupted by functions, events or emergency service operations, and vice-versa, as has so often been the case in the past.”
Paduch says Tauranga’s population explosion means lifesaving services are needed more than ever. Last season volunteers spent more than 5000 hours patrolling our beaches, undertaking 1,782 preventative actions to stop 17,540 people getting into danger, completing 57 lifesaving rescues and 15 search and rescues.
“We urgently need the public’s help to finish what we’ve started. You don’t need to be a lifeguard to be a life-saver – simply by giving generously today, you will help save lives tomorrow.”
Please donate now at mountlifeguards.co.nz/donate/