Passion for making a difference

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Local community campaigner Nevan Lancaster has a Degree in Economics from University of Waikato.Photo / APN
Local community campaigner Nevan Lancaster has a Degree in Economics from University of Waikato.Photo / APN

Local businessman Nevan Lancaster has made a reputation for himself as a community campaigner most recently for starting the Boycott Countdown Facebook page. We talked to him about his passions and what drives him.

1 Tell us a bit about yourself.

Never married, self employed and 43.

2 What is your work and education background?

Degree in Economics from University of Waikato and I now have my own business renting kayaks and catamarans.

3 You're leading the Rena Business Compensation Group who are fighting for compensation. What drove you to start the group?

I was annoyed at the fact that the innocent victims of the Rena were being ignored and treated with virtual contempt by the insurers as they had the Government on their side. Also I knew actual ship owners and chief executives of insurance companies who were disappointed about the way businesses and locals were being treated by the insurers and ship owners.

4 You also started the Boycott Countdown campaign which now has 10,000 likes on Facebook. What inspired you to actually do something about it?

From my work on the Rena I knew that one person could make a huge difference and no one else had started any action.

5 Have you been involved in other community campaigns in the past?

No, I was always travelling and never put down too many roots but now I am a local business owner and this is my home.

6 What other topics are you passionate about?

The environment. It's embarrassing when I have international visitors and have to explain how that river is too polluted or that we haven't been able to collect tuatua for the last seven years or so.

7 How do you decide what causes you are going to support?

Can I actually achieve something? With the Rena I had better advice than the Government or Maritime NZ as I know actual ship owners so in this case a lot more than people expected. If I feel there are better people out there or I won't achieve anything then I will concentrate on what I can do.

8 How long have you lived in the Bay? What do you love about the area?

Born in Tauranga and grew up in Te Puke. Went to Uni at Waikato and then did my OE which took about seven years. I love the relaxed lifestyle and access to the outdoors as well as the great people I meet everyday on the beach.

9 What do you think would improve the area?

A marine reserve close to the shore like Hahei or Goat Island as well as better use of the harbour for recreation. Too many locals have never water skied, wakeboarded, kayaked or sailed on the harbour.

10 What's your biggest achievement?

Hopefully being a good uncle.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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