Ashley Peat – President

Ash was awarded Life membership in 2013 in recognition of an unsurpassed term of club Presidency.  Since 1910 when the club was established, no one has retained this position for a period remotely close to the 24 years of Ash’s tenure which is still current.

During the 24 years of his incumbency Ash has overseen tremendous change.  Elected President in 1997 his first challenge was to turn-around a serious level of club debt following major improvements to the clubrooms as well as other significant expenditure. The debt level had the club considering an offer from Western Bay of Plenty District Council to purchase the club’s property.  The tenacious President refused the offer and proceeded to implement initiatives to improve the clubs finances.

By 1998 the club had diversified its activities to include volleyball; netball was introduced in a more emphatic manner and in subsequent seasons membership steadily increased.

 With John Cameron as Project co-ordinator a major up-grade of field lighting was undertaken.

Alongside long-term club management colleagues Kim Hinaki, Deborah Keenleyside and Ross Flexman, Ash engendered a distinct ‘club-culture’ that remains both inherent and unique to Te Puke Sports.

Other highlights of Ash’s Presidency to date include the establishment of Old Pirates, the Mutineers, awarding of Sport New Zealand “club-of-the-year” at the BOP Sports Awards in 2012.  Additionally Ash presided over the clubs Jubilee and Centenary celebrations. He encouraged the awarding of the clubs first Posthumous Life Membership and inspired and motivated the construction of an $800,000 – 400 seat covered grandstand. 

Brian Stapleton – Club Patron

Brian was awarded Life Membership in 1991 and became Patron of the club in 2003 upon the passing of Len Browne.  He is only the fourth person to hold the position of Patron in the 110 year history of the club.

In awarding Life membership to Brian, it was stated that his commitment to the game of rugby and to the development of club rugby made the bestowing of Life Membership inevitable.

Brian commenced his involvement with Te Puke rugby as a junior player with the United Old Boys RFC. in 1955 where he also captained the senior team for three seasons. 

From 1968 onward Brian held administrative positions within the United Pirates and Te Puke Sports clubs.  He was invited by incumbent and foundation President of United Pirates Alistair Simpson and Vice-President Peter MacLaughlin to stand as President of that club in 1974. He was duly elected un-opposed.  Brian held the position of President for the following four years.

He represented the club as delegate to Te Puke Sub-Union, Western Bay Union and Bay of Plenty Rugby Union. 

Brian was fittingly described as a visionary President who provided a motivational, inclusive style of leadership with expansive ideas that encouraged participation of all members whilst, like his predecessor, taking the club to new levels.

John Cameron

In 2002 John was awarded Life membership following an extensive rugby career that commenced in the Under-19 grade in 1977.  He played extensively for United Pirates seniors and the Te Puke Sub-Union for much of the 1980’s and well into the 1990’s. By 1991 he had achieved a club record by playing in each of the last three championship winning sides 1981, 1990, 1991.   He was selected to represent the Bay of Plenty in 1980 and represented the province without interruption through to 1984 and again in 1988.

When awarded Life Membership, many speakers acknowledged John’s commitment to the club over many years as a player, coach and a key motivator and initiator of many club projects over a lengthy period.  Fellow Life Member Brian Stapleton described John as having the ability to make things happen at times when we have had little or no apparent funding on hand.  He said that John was both a mediator and a mentor.

John’s commitment and achievements have set high benchmarks for future endeavours.

Murray Salt

Life Membership was awarded to Murray Salt in 1994.  The award was presented at the opening of the newly re-constructed clubrooms.

Murray joined the club in 1977 and has since been the primary contributor to practical infrastructural development and financial backing.  

The naming of the club’s facilities as ‘Murray Salt Stadium’ at the same time as his Life Membership award was a reflection of the high esteem that club members hold for Murray relative to the  immense contribution he has made in supporting critical projects. 

At the award function President John Dowling commented that “ the honour is very well deserved and not only is it an acknowledgement of Murray’s commitment to the club, but also that of Heather who has had a major input over the years” 

Ross Flexman

Ross was awarded Life Membership of the club in 2020 having served in key roles for 30 plus years. Although his role during his extensive period with the club has been primarily Manager of the Premier team, he has represented the club in numerous other positions and has been the club’s primary representative at Bay of Plenty level.

He commenced with the club in 1990 coaching and managing JAB teams and by 1994 was co-managing the Premier team – from 2003 through to today he has managed the Premier team ensuring an efficient, professional playing environment.

During the 1990’s Ross held club delegate positions with the Te Puke Sub-Union and Western BOP Sub-Union as well as maintaining an extensive number of roles within the Western BOP Sub-Union.

In 2014, he was awarded Life Membership of the Western BOP Sub-Union. He was appointed Patron of that body in 2020.

For 25 years Ross has attended Bay of Plenty Rugby Union AGM’s and from 2000 he has held a variety of positions with the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union including Liaison Officer and Steamers Manager.

He was Vice-President of Te Puke Sports from 1995 to 2001 and simultaneously served on the main club committee, JAB committee – and was a key member of the Steve Bailey Trust.

Kim Hinaki

Kim was appointed Club Captain in 1997 and holds that position currently – almost 25 years in the role.

An outstanding history both on and off the field culminated in his being awarded Life membership in 2020.

He played 115 games for the club from 1995 through to 2004 and established the Mutineers (Golden Oldies) in 2003. He organised a successful trip for that team to Edinburgh and remains that team’s organiser today.

Kim has coached the Development team, was Liaison Officer for the BOPRU and has been the motivating force behind club organisation for an extensive period. Basic tasks such as field marking, club gear, facility utilisation, after-match speeches and much more have characterised Kim’s role at Te Puke Sports.

The club’s professional approach, organisation and player deportment can be attributed directly to the style that Kim has instilled within the club.

His role as Club Captain is unsurpassed both in terms of length of service and commitment to players, supporters and club management.

Rameka Poihipi

Life membership was awarded to Rameka in recognition of a club player who displayed outstanding sportsmanship, dedication and loyalty to Te Puke Sports over an extended period of time.

Rameka commenced playing for the club in 1991 in the Colts grade.  In the same season he was elevated to the Premier team under the then player-coach John Cameron.

For the following 23 years Rameka represented the club at Premier level.  He played an unparalleled total of 310 games for club – an astounding record significantly exceeding any club record over the 111 years history of Te Puke Sports.

The 1991 team won the Tauranga-Te Puke Championship and achieved a back-to-back championship win again in 1992.   Not satisfied with that they turned around and won the 1995 championship. 

Rameka played in 2 winning Baywide finals 2011 and 2012

In 1995 he was selected for the Bay of Plenty Colts and in 1996 he was selected for the Bay of Plenty Steamers – playing 9 years for the province between 1994 and 2002.

In 2013 Rameka ran on the field against Opotiki to play his 300thgame in the Baywide Premier division. He was 40 years of age.

Rameka’s career ended in 2014 coinciding with the clubs’ centenary celebrations.  In the words of club Patron Brian Stapleton, ‘no player has done more to represent the club in the spirit of true sportsmanship and dedication than Rameka Pohipi’.

Deborah Keenleyside

For 22 years until her untimely passing in 2018 as a consequence of an extended period of illness, Deborah was indisputably the ‘Matriarch’ of the club.

She commenced the role of Secretary-Treasurer in 1996 and held that position until 2019.

Deborah was the ultimate organiser of “all things for all members “.  Her organisational skills,, ability to assist individual members with their requests and requirements, creation of club apparel, organisation of interior club lay-out and many other initiatives were central to the development of the professionally operated club we enjoy today.  

Of primary importance to Deborah was the control of the club’s finances, the correct apportionment of expenditure and the delivery of the annual accounts.  In every respect the clubs well- being financially was in safe hands whilst Deborah held the role of Secretary-Treasurer.

The awarding of Life Membership was recognition of the intense passion and respect that Deborah had for her club.   

Len Browne

Len succeeded Mr A.J. Collins as the second Patron of United Pirates, a position he held for 11 years.

 In 1993 when United Pirates was transformed into Te Puke Sports & Recreation club, he continued  as Patron until his passing in 2003.  In total Len was club Patron for 19 years.

He was awarded Life Membership in 1980.

Len was a foundation member of Pirates RFC.  He was significantly involved with the development of junior rugby during the 1960’s as well as managing senior club and sub-union teams.

 He was a committee member of United Pirates for most of that club’s existence.

Frank Dowse

Frank was awarded Life Membership of United Pirates in 1981. He passed away in 1992 just a year before Te Puke Sports & Recreation club was established.

Frank’s role in the club from 1955 was extraordinary.  He was elected President of the Pirates RFC in 1963 and retained that position at the time of the merger of that club with United Old Boys in 1964 to form United Pirates.

He was instrumental in the success of the merger working with Alastair Simpson to bring two competitor clubs together.  He was a core, if not essential senior administrator of United Pirates particularly in the early establishment years of that club.

Frank was a President of the Junior Advisory Board, manager of numerous junior and senior club and Sub-Union teams over a lengthy period.  He was a long-term member of the Te Puke Sub-Union.

Mr P.A.L Basham

Phil Basham was the first Life Member of our club.  He was awarded this prestigious honour in 1963. That same year he passed-away as a result of illness.

Phil was President of the Te Puke High School Old-Boys club from 1952 through to 1958 when that club was re-constituted as United Old Boys.  He was President of United Old Boys for four years.

Phil was the driving force behind the development and expansion of both club’s during a period when club rugby was in a period of strong growth and development.  The Basham family is strongly represented within the club today.

Alastair Simpson

Alistair was elected as President of United Old Boys in 1963 following the retirement of Phil Basham because of ill-health.  As President of United Old Boys Alistair was elected as the Inaugural President of United Pirates RFC with Frank Dowse, Pirates President as his Vice-President.

The Simpson family backed the new club with financial support by way of Bank undertakings.

Alistair Simpson proved exceptional at bringing together the two competitor clubs and within a short period the new club had progressed both on and off the field.  New clubrooms were constructed and the club entered a period of expansion.

Alistair passed-away through ill-health on xxxxxxxx

During 2014 Te Puke Sports decided to acknowledge Alistair by awarding Life Membership on a posthumous basis.  This Life Membership was supported when the current President and six former Presidents combined to pass a Motion table by Patron Brian Stapleton that stated:

That a Posthumous Life Membership Award by conferred upon Alastair Simpson the Inaugural President of the United Pirates RFC in recognition of his role in establishing United Pirates, the legacy of which is today’s TePuke Sport& Recreation Club Inc.

The Motion was passed with much acclaim. 

Mr A.J. Collins

Jim Collins can be described as the link that connected three of the foundation clubs to Te Puke Sports & Recreation club.  He was a widely respected Te Puke personality who engendered a legacy of respectability and stability both for the clubs he represented and for the game of rugby in general.  Branches of the Collins family are strongly represented within the club some eighty years after his appointment as Patron of the United Club in 1944.  This was the originating or founding club that ultimately created Te Puke Sports.

A.J. Collins was:

Patron of Te Puke United RFC – 1944-1950

Patron of United Old Boys – 1959 – 1964

Patron of United Pirates – 1964 – 1981

He was awarded Life Membership in 1980 and passed away 2003.

Roy McKenzie

Roy was an outstanding club and representative player. He played for the Bay of Plenty, was selected for the North Island and was President of both the Te Puke Sub-Union and Bay of Plenty Rugby Union.

He was awarded Life Membership of the Te Puke Sub-Union in 1976.

In 1955 the Te Puke Pirates Rugby Football Club was established with the club membership being predominantly comprised of players from the recently recessed Paengaroa club (recessed 1954).  Roy was Patron of the Paengaroa club and was immediately appointed as Patron when the Pirates RFC was established. 

He was the first and only Patron of that club from 1955-64.