2014 HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE: BOB TAIT
Bob Tait is a long-time and very valuable member of the New Zealand marine industry.
He has owned and run a number of successful marine businesses, sponsored an enormous number of boating, fishing and community events, been a regular exhibitor at the New Zealand Boat Show for more than 20 years and been one of, if not the, longest-serving and most influential of marine industry administrators.
In 2009, Bob became the first (and to date only) person to be awarded a life membership of the Marine Industry Association of New Zealand (now NZ Marine). That singular honour was in recognition of the enormous contribution Bob had made to the industry: seven years as president, two as vice president and many years as chairman of the Boating Industry Training Organisation.
In that latter role, he oversaw the introduction of the modern apprenticeship scheme, helping BITO become one of the most successful and the most highly praised of all of the Industry Training Organisations.
He also successfully urged the MIA to join ICOMIA, the International Conference of Marine Industry Associations. This quickly produced positive results with Bob’s successor, Ian Cook, sitting on an ICOMIA board and the international organisation choosing to hold their 2007 conference here in Auckland.
Bob and his company Diversified Products, which distributes the Tohatsu range of outboards in New Zealand, has been a faithful exhibitor at the New Zealand Boat Show for over 20 years.
He has been involved in both the wholesale and retail side of the industry, been a long-time member of the Port Nicholson Yacht Club and a strong supporter of local fishing competitions including the Tahuna School Fishing competition, the Pukemanu Fishing competition, the Surtees Boats Annual Fishing competition, Firmans Marine Open Fishing contest, the Ngawi Sports Fishing Club’s ‘Big 3′ competition and the Waikanae Boating Club Family Fishing Competition.
Bob has also proved to be a real stalwart of his community, sponsoring events such as the Rotary Club of Wellington’s Circus Quirkus, the Kids Foundation, the Lions Club World Festival of Magic, and the Matarangi Fire Brigade.
A Justice of the Peace for the last 18 months, Bob also spends a morning each month at the local Citizens’ Advice Bureau and has been elected unopposed for the last six years as President of the Johnsonville Workingman’s Club.