Howick 175 Steering Committee

The voluntary Howick & Districts 175th Trust and Committee has been established to oversee the 175th anniversary of the arrival of the immigrant Fencibles and their families to Howick Beach in 1847, which began the development of Howick and districts. The anniversary in 2022 will be the opportunity for celebrating community together and understanding local history – Maori and Pakeha. We certainly live in a very vibrant and diverse community today.

Alan La Roche, MBE, Howick Historian

Trustee of Howick & Districts 175th Anniversary Celebrations 1847 to 2022

Alan was born in Howick and has lived here all his life, except for a few student years.
As director, and with a team of volunteers, he created the Howick Historical Village, restoring over 30 authentic buildings of the 1840-1880 period which received many heritage and tourism awards.

He has written and published six books on Howick’s history, including Grey’s Folly, which is still available in book shops.

He has produced many leaflets and lead historic walks of Howick. A life member of The Howick and Districts Historical Society Inc, Alan has also erected more than 140 historical plaques in Howick, Pakuranga, Bucklands-Eastern Beaches, Whitford and Maraetai.

He regularly gives talks on the history of Howick to local groups, and has painted many of the heritage buildings and scenes of Howick which are sold as greetings cards in
Poppies Bookshop.

He’s a former chairman of Howick Community Board, chairman of Auckland Regional Committee of New Zealand Historic Places Trust, and Howick & Districts Historical Society.

He is vice-patron and a life member of the New Zealand Fencible Society.

He co-authored the book The Royal New Zealand Fencibles 1847-1852.

Adele White

Howick Local Board Chairperson and Advisor to the Howick & Districts 175th Anniversary Celebrations 1847 to 2022 Steering Committee

My role has been to ensure that there is a great team to lead, plan and organise Howick’s 175th anniversary.

Whilst declining a position on the steering committee, I continue to advise and provide support to this enthusiastic and committed group of people from our community in establishing the connections that will make this event happen.

As a direct descendent of the Fencibles who landed at Howick Beach in 1847, this celebration is important to me, and to many other Howickians.

It is great to hear a growing buzz of excitement as November 2022 draws nearer.

I look forward to the involvement of our great community groups, service clubs, schools, and others whom I know will contribute to making this a time to remember.

John Russell

Programme Calendar Team Leader for Howick & Districts 175th Anniversary Celebrations 1847 to 2022 Steering Committee

My wife and I have lived in Howick for almost 40 years.

When we moved to Howick, we purchased a local business and owned it until two years ago.

We raised our three children in the local community and they all attended the local schools.
We, and our children are proud to call Howick home.
It has been a privilege and a pleasure to live and work in the local community.

Through our business we welcomed and met many, many local people. Many who we are proud to call friends.

Howick has, and will always have, that unique village atmosphere. I could not imagine living anywhere else.

I have been involved in many sports and community organisations and have been very pleased to be able to put something back into the local community.
It’s fantastic to be involved in Howick 175 and I look forward to an exciting time of celebration.

Katie Treneman

Treasurer for the Howick & Districts 175th Anniversary Celebrations 1847 to 2022 Steering Committee

I have lived in the area for 45 years and my family has owned Crandall Peters, Paper Plus Howick, for the same amount of time.

I worked in the shop as a student, did a Bachelor of Commerce at Auckland University, and after worked as an accountant for several years before joining my mother Bev Winstone in the business 27 years ago.

I am a chartered accountant and a member of the Institute of Directors.

I am currently doing my second stint as treasurer of the Howick Village Business Association, and envisage the link that I will provide between the 175th celebrations and events and the local business community as important.

For many years I was on the board of Paper Plus New Zealand, including four as chairman. I retired from that role in 2019, and look forward to contributing to the 175th committee in the coming year.

My husband and I have two teenage children, who have been educated locally and involved in local sports clubs.

I’ve also done voluntary work and been involved with Assistance Dogs NZ.

Marin Burgess

Heritage Team Leader for the Howick & Districts 175th Anniversary Celebrations 1847 to 2022 Steering Committee

Some 65 years ago, I visited Howick as a child and clearly announced to my parents I would live here one day.

I’ve not quite made it yet, but I’m as close as Pakuranga.

When the Howick Historical Village opened in 1980, I signed on as a volunteer and remain active in that role.

Now, as president of the Howick & Districts Historical Society, I am deeply involved in our district, our shared history, our ever-changing cultures, and most of all the heritage we share.

I see this 175th anniversary as an opportunity to acknowledge our past, present and the future.

We live in an era of evolving change so looking back in order to anticipate a clear future is an essential undertaking.

The Howick Historical Village showcases the commencement of organised European settlement and we are proud of the stories it contains. People who were brave and determined to seek a better life, just as are many who now call this place home.

The year of 2022 and the acknowledgement of the past 175 years is important for everyone, especially those new to our district.

It is a time of opportunity to discover and explore just how we came to develop into a vibrant, lively, noisy, exciting, loyal and proud community who make the most of the lovely environment: our coast and beaches, our bush and parks, volcanic features and headlands.

We live in this district of Howick and should honour and recognise this significant year.

I’m looking forward to the commemoration.

Philippa McGimpsey

Secretary for the Howick & Districts 175th Anniversary Celebrations 1847 to 2022 Steering Committee

I was transferred from Wellington to Auckland in May 1985. I had already decided that Howick would be where I would settle, and have enjoyed my time here since then.

Besides being self-employed, I have been involved with the Howick Ratepayers and Residents Association since the early 2000s.

Now I am looking forward to being involved with Howick’s latest project, to celebrate Howick’s 175th anniversary of the landing by the early settlers onto Howick beach 175 years ago.

Howick has a fantastic village atmosphere, beautiful sea views and surrounding landscapes, along with the people and businesses that make it.

It is wonderful to see the passion that Howick people have for this area.

Rev Dr Richard Waugh

Chairman of Howick & Districts 175th Anniversary Celebrations 1847 to 2022 Steering Committee

While I have only lived in Howick and Pakuranga for 26 years, my wife Jane’s great-grandparents settled in Howick about 80 years ago.

Gerald Hinton Knowles was the founder and editor of the first Howick community newspaper in the early post-war years.

Our three children have gone to local schools and I have been minister of two local churches: Trinity Methodist from 1995-2000, and East City Wesleyan from 2000 to now; and been involved in extensive community work.

I am committed to the remarkable history and present people diversity of East Auckland and it is an honour and privilege to be involved in the 175th anniversary year.

I am a history graduate (Massey) and have an Executive MBA (Auckland) and doctoral work in theology (Asbury).

In 1996-1997, I was a trustee for the Howick & Districts 150th anniversary and organised several key events.

I was an elected member of the Pakuranga Community Board for two terms.

Over the year, I have authored or co-authored 17 books on aspects of New Zealand history; aviation, social history, Church, and my latest book is on an automotive subject.


I helped establish the Auckland Brit & Euro Classic Car Show at Lloyd Elsmore Park since 2016, now one of East Auckland’s largest free community events; a member of the Howick Historical Society; and in 2012 was Howick Citizen of the Year.

My wife Jane runs her own Howick-based architect business.

Jim Donald

Trustee of Howick & Districts 175th Anniversary Celebrations 1847 to 2022 and member of its Steering Committee

Jim Donald is well-known for his commitment to his beloved Howick Ward community, and has been a recognisable “face” of Howick Village for many years being the Howick Town Crier, a role he relishes.

A former popular community police constable and dog handler, Jim is an ex-Manukau City Councillor for Howick, a long-time Howick Local Board member, and is known for his involvement in many community organisations and initiatives including the Manukau Symphony Orchestra and Scottish country dancing.

Morrin Cooper, MBE

Trustee of Howick & Districts 175th Anniversary Celebrations 1847 to 2022

Morrin Cooper is a proud Howickian and a very popular Mayor of Howick Borough from 1974 to 1989, having previously served as a borough councillor from 1968 to 1974.

He had a long career in the insurance sector, and for NZ Local Government Insurance Corporation Ltd.

His involvement in local government extended to other positions including on the former Auckland Regional Authority and Auckland Hospital Board.

During a full life in public, community and voluntary service, Morrin has been a government appointed member of the Auckland Charitable Trust and the Auckland Law Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal.

Some of the many community organisations he’s been involved with down the decades include the Order of St John (Brother Officer) and Ambulance, Justices of the Peace, the Howick Club, Pakuranga Park Village board (chair), Howick RSA, Symbol of Hope Charitable Trust, Friendship Force, Life Offices Association, and Netball Counties Manukau (chair), while he has a park named after him in Howick, on Whitford Road, recognition for his service to the community.

Morrin’s life has been full of music throughout, as a trumpet player, and he’s been a professional musician since 1950. He’s a past-president and life member of the Auckland branch of the NZ Musicians Union, ex-chairman-manager of the Tauranga Big Band, and chair of the Dame Malvina Major Foundation in Auckland.

His jazz group was much admired and its name, Howick-Citing, is also the title of his weekly music show on East FM community radio.

Morrin has also been appointed an Ambassador for Peace by the Universal Peace Foundation, and is a Paul Harris Fellowship Award recipient from Rotary International.

PJ (Phil) Taylor

Committee Member for the Howick & Districts 175th Anniversary Celebrations 1847 to 2022 Steering Committee.

A big part of being involved voluntarily in Howick 175th anniversary celebrations for me is to acknowledge our past as an East Auckland community, and to also recognise and appreciate the wonderful life we have in one of the most fortunate places in the world, considering what has happened over the past two years regarding Covid-19.

This website,, has been built in conjunction with Times Media, 

I live in Farm Cove with my partner Janine, who works for the Times and is Howick born and bred, and our super cat Beau (Mr Beaujangles).

Proudly Auckland born and bred, I’ve worked and lived in the Howick Ward since 2005.

I worked as a journalist for most of that period, including editing all the local newspapers and accompanying online news content, as well as freelancing journalism and public relations for others publications and organisations.

My volunteering in the East Auckland community started in 2009 with my She’ll Be Right on Saturdays Show with PJ Taylor on East FM, our vibrant community-powered public service radio station, broadcasting on local frequencies 88.1FM and 107.1FM, globally online at, and on app iHeart Radio.

I’ve served for five years on the governance board for Uxbridge Arts and Culture, Howick’s treasured arts and culture hub, and been involved in many community events including MCing the annual Howick Santa Parade, the Auckland Brit and Euro Classic Show, and pub and charity quizzes.

This Howick Ward community is very special in New Zealand, made up of people who are proud of where they’re from. It has a welcoming community feel, and a strong maverick entrepreneurial spirit. We certainly appreciate how good it is to live, work and play in the east.

Reay Neben

Times Newspapers, Chief Executive Officer
Advisor to the Howick & Districts 175th Anniversary Celebrations 1847 to 2022 Steering Committee

I love Howick and have done so since we bought our first home here in 1967.

After a few years travelling overseas we returned in January 1972.

The opportunity to become involved in Howick arose on our return to the area and that saw the birth of the Howick and Pakuranga Times newspaper.

My husband was a journalist and I was quite good at doing the sums, so with the help of a salesperson the Times was born.

As a woman it was unusual to be running a business back then and I was the first female to serve on our Community Newspapers Association.

At the first committee meeting I attended, at morning tea time the chairman asked me to make the tea and coffee for the other members (all male).
He didn’t ask again, but that was one of the obstacles facing women in the 1970s.

We started in a small little office in Rices Mall nearly 50 years ago and now we are back, not in the same office but in the same building.

These years recording Howick’s old and new history has been wonderful from a very privileged position, which I value.

Howick and Districts next year celebrates its 175th anniversary and we at the Times celebrate our 50th anniversary, so we are certainly part of the local history.