Central Hawke's Bay farmer Barry Gollan died cultivating a paddock his family had worked for more than 180 years.

Gollan's death near a bulldozer that rolled on February 23 has left hearts heavy in the tight-knit rural community of Omakere near Waipawa.

WorkSafe continues to investigate his death.

Barry Gollan. Photo / Supplied
Barry Gollan. Photo / Supplied

Gollan's family worked hard developing their patch of Omakere land from thick bushland, expanding the farming business of livestock, while at the same time building new foundations for their growing families.


Of Scottish descent, Gollan was the eldest of three children, born in Waipawa during the war in 1942.

He attended Waipawa Primary School and then went to Christchurch boarding school, St Andrew's College, where he retained close friendships for the rest of his life.

Upon leaving school Gollan was immediately immersed in the family business - shepherding between three family farms while learning essential skills of stockmanship with horses, dogs, cattle and sheep from his father.

He soon developed a strong aversion to horses, preferring to spend an increasing amount of time with machinery, new and old, with farm bikes becoming a particular interest.

Gollan married Elizabeth Johnston in 1965 and had four children: Karen, Julia, Catherine and William.

Tamumu station was purchased in 1970 and became the farming focus for the young family to work their way out of debt and by the end of the 70s the farm eventually turned up good seasons and favourable stock prices - enabling farmers more leisure.

He enthusiastically returned to flying, initially sharing ownership of a glider with Bill Addis,
and after flying about 500 hours the hobby progressed to power flying.

His wife Elizabeth Gollan said her husband's prime focus, however, was always farming.


"Deeply embedded in his genes was the resolve to continue to develop and improve the land, and the genetic gain of his livestock, always at the forefront of his priorities.

"Whether driving fertiliser spreaders for his friend Bruce Stephenson or diggers, Barry applied his indepth experience to the job in hand. The distinguishing feature being that he always spent quality time to work out the outcome, before he commenced any job.

"He will be remembered in his community as a family man of principle, who took ownership of the job in hand and full responsibility for the outcome. His love of humour and music are remembered by those of us who knew him."