EVA BRADLEY
Haumoana campaigner Joan Scott, wife of celebrated architect John Scott, died on Friday after a heart attack. The 74-year-old had been a vociferous campaigner for the small community's development since moving there with John in 1949.
Chairwoman of the Haumoana and District Ratepayers' and Residents' Association for 38 years, Mrs Scott was instrumental in raising money for major projects at the beachside community, including restoring the Haumoana Hall, establishing a community centre and Plunket in the closed post office building, planting trees along the settlement's streets and building a memorial arch for World War 2 soldiers.
But it was her passion for people that friends and family say they will remember most.
"She had a persistent and passionate conviction that people are worthwhile, especially young people," said Association member and friend Andy Black.
"Even when they got themselves into trouble through the most awful circumstances she still held onto the belief that they were worth redeeming.
"She always made you feel special and had time for anyone who spoke to her. They always felt that they were hers," Mr Black said.
Son Jacob Scott said that after many years living with debilitating arthritis, his mother often didn't have the body to keep up with her tireless energy, but that did not stop her.
"There is a pile of letters here to the council and to the mayors. I think the message coming through has been to stand up for what you believe in and be what you are.
"She was an inspiration to a lot of people and if she cared about something she did something about it.
"She felt that you couldn't just sit on the fence."
Mr Scott said she would also be remembered for standing by her husband who often took the limelight due to his iconic Hawke's Bay architecture.
"She played a role and an important one."
Originally from Otaki in Auckland, Mrs Scott left a job in the fashion industry and an eclectic social life with the country's premier poets and writers, including Bruce Mason and Frank Sargeson, to be with her new husband in the little coastal town of Haumoana which at the time she believed was a "bit of a dump".
But she soon became the community's biggest fan: "I'd fallen in love with the place within a few months," recalled Mrs Scott last year.
"There used to be a thriving motorcamp on the domain then and the Haumoana hall would hold dances on Saturday nights and show films on Fridays.
It was an amazing lifestyle." On retiring from her post with the association, she had a simple message to the community, and one that her family hoped would continue to be followed: "If you want to do something for your community or neighbourhood, then keep yourself well-informed and have your two cents' worth."
Mrs Scott is survived by six children and six grandchildren. She will lie in state at her Haumoana home until a tangi at the Matahiwi Marae on Wednesday.