A well-known identity, orchardist and supporter of the arts in Kerikeri has died suddenly while on holiday in Samoa.
Richard "Ski" Nawisielski died on October 29 on the island of Savai'i. He was 62.
The former Royal New Zealand Navy Lieutenant Commander will be farewelled at the Kerikeri RSA at 11am this Friday, followed by a private cremation.
Mr Nawisielski moved to Kerikeri after leaving the Navy. He owned a backpackers on Wiroa Rd, Hideaway Lodge, and was a pioneer of gold kiwifruit in the Bay of Islands.
A boatie and big-game fisherman as well as an arts and music enthusiast, he and wife Denise, a jazz singer and one of the Bay of Islands Singers, owned Bishops Wood, a folk music venue on SH 10 at Bulls Gorge, which they expanded to include a jazz club.
Friend Malcolm McMillan said he was a great supporter of the arts, dedicating time for many years to the Kerikeri Players and more recently the jazz and folk clubs: "He was irrepressibly jolly despite his many health issues."
Mr Nawisielski is survived by Denise, sons Richard and Tony, daughter-in-law Juliet, six grandchildren and his parents-in-law.