About Boys' Brigade New Zealand » BBNZ Executive
President - Paul Blacker
I am married to Jennifer and we have three children, David, Michelle and Andrew. We could best be described as a 'Brigade family' with Jennifer serving locally in the 29th Christchurch Girls' Brigade. All our children have been involved in Brigade since the age of five with David and Michelle serving in leadership roles in the 1st Christchurch BB and 29th Christchurch GB companies respectively. All three children have gained their Queens Badge.
I began my BB journey with the 7th CH-CH Company as boy and later serving for a number of years in both Team and Company Sections. After a break (marriage and mission work in Papua New Guinea) I joined the 1st Christchurch Company in 1996 where I continue to serve in the Company Section. Other BB roles have included chairing The Sure and Stedfast Development Trust – the trust responsible for management of BB campsites at Waipara and Birch Hill in Canterbury – a position that I held for nine years prior to my resignation in April of 2010.
I work for City Care Limited managing their Building Construction division and have previously served on a number of industry related Boards including a statutory appointment.
I am often asked why I still serve in BB. For me the answer is very easy: "I believe in our Objective". Yes, the words may be viewed as a little out-dated, but the intent remains just a relevant as when it was written some 130 plus years ago. Simplistically I serve because I want to see Christ's Kingdom advanced among boys and beyond.
National Director - Michael Good
My name is Michael Good, married to Lois for the last 35 years and looking forward to the rest of our life together. We have 4 adult children - Jonathan (married to Jessica and living in B.C. Canada, Amy (married to Kris and living in Auckland), Natalie and Phillip. I came to faith in Christ at the age of 17 at a camp at Maungatoroto, after involvement in the Youth Group at Lincoln Road Bible Chapel. I have a science degree and worked in new product research before moving into sales and marketing of scientific equipment. Lois and I felt God’s call into full time ministry together, particularly with young people, as we had both been involved in a leadership role with youth at our home church of LRBC in Henderson, Auckland. In 1997 we moved with our family to Faith Academy in Manila, Philippines, where we were Boarding Home Parents to some 65 high school students over 6 years. On returning from the Philippines in 2004 I took up the role of Youth Pastor at LRBC for a period of 4 years where I was involved in setting up a supporting relationship with Henderson Intermediate School, worked with Waitakere Police Youth Aid in providing Anger Management Counselling for young offenders, as well as leading a very gifted group of young leaders who ran our Youth Group. For the last 3 years Lois and I have been Administrators for “Headspace”, part of the Youth arm of Global Connections in Mission. Headspace is a mission focused ‘gap year’ program for high school leavers who spend 10 weeks of the year on mission in Thailand.
National Treasurer - Ken Morris
I am married to Ken and we have three children – Joanna (18), Daniel (16) and Joshua (11), and have lived in Cambridge since 2009. Our interests are cycling, snow skiing, football, walking.
I am a Chartered Accountant, gained an Honours degree of Bachelor of Commerce, and also gained a diploma in Humanities. My employment has given me experience in a number of Financial Accounting, Auditing, and Audit Management roles. My current position is Group Manager, Business Support/Chief Financial Officer for the Waipa District Council.
As a boy I was actively involved in Team Section and Company Sections in Timaru and Balclutha, including a year as Leader-in-Charge of the Team Section at 4th Timaru, and have been an ICONZ Leader at the Raleigh St. Christian Centre in Cambridge since 2011.
I have a strong Baptist heritage and have been Treasurer of the Taupo and Hamilton South Baptist Churches, more recently being actively involved in the Raleigh St Christian Centre since moving to Cambridge in 2009.
My wife Karen and I operate an Event Catering business – Groovy Food Catering Company Ltd – and for 13 years have arranged the full catering service for BYM Easter camps at Mystery Creek in Hamilton. We are also members of the “Working Team” for that event.
Northern Area Representative - Brett Otto
Hi my name is Brett Otto. I am 47 years of age and have been married to Dorothy for 21 years this November. We have two children Jacob, 15 years and Natasha, 11years. I am a Policeman in Paeroa where my role is School Community Officer.
I attended Boys’ Brigade at Mangere Baptist in my early teens, having been introduced by a school friend. I loved the friendships I made and Mr Mac the Scotsman. There was something about him that I couldn't quite put my finger on. He was kind, and always encouraged me. Years later when I gave my heart to the Lord I realized what it was that Mr Mac had, that I was attracted to.
When I looked into starting my own Boys’ Brigade unit as a failing dad wanting to spend more time with my son I was referred to Stu Thompson. It just so happened Stu was visiting another man just in the neighbouring suburb. When I spoke to our youth pastor about ICONZ she said “I'm coming to that meeting”. A short time later ICONZ Whangaparaoa kicked off, with God leading the way and opening doors left right and centre.
A few years later after our move south we were looking for a church to fellowship in. My aim was to settle in and start another ICONZ after a little break. God lead me to Katikati Baptist Church. In the very first service we attended the pastor spoke about wanting to start ICONZ in the area. I looked upwards and laughed.
Our God has an awesome sense of humour. Another move a short time later found us in Paeroa. It just so happened that God hadn't finished with us yet. Paeroa Bible Chapel was looking for a programme for youth after having a very strong boys and girls rally in the past. There's no escaping the calling the Lord has on our life. His timing is perfect and His grace is sufficient. Jeremiah 29:11 just like Mr Mac did for me, you never know what can happen, you never know how much influence you have on the boys you have in your unit. Let Jesus shine in your life and he will do the rest.
Central Area Representative - Brian Best
My association with Boys’ Brigade began when I was 8 years old when I joined 7th Palmerston North Company. From that day forward BB moulded my life. I was privileged to be appointed Captain of 2nd Palmerston North Company when I was 22 and have remained with 2nd ever since.
It was through BB that I met my wife, Suzanne, who is Captain of the 1st Palmerston North Girls’ Brigade Company. We have two adult children, Porsha and Nathan, who are also actively involved in BB and GB. As a family we have all gained our Queen’s Badge/Award.
We attend the Palmerston North Associated Church of Christ to which our companies are attached. In the absence of a full time minister, I assist by regularly preaching and organising Sunday services.
I work as a Facility Manager at Massey University and also have a background in health & safety management and business continuity planning.
Over many years in Brigade I have seen first-hand lives changed through the friendship, encouragement, challenge and Christian commitment that is a part of being in BB. No other organisation can produce the character in young men that comes from being in Boys’ Brigade/ICONZ.
Our organisation is needed more than ever before as worldly distractions tug lives in other directions away from the fullness of life that comes from knowing Christ. It is seeing our young lives changed for the better that keeps me committed to BB.
I am committed to support BB/ICONZ as an elected representative for the Central Region. I will do this prayerfully knowing that the Lord has given me experience to use tempered with ability to think strategically to find direction and think laterally to find innovative solutions to problems.
Upper South Area Representative - Shane Cross
I am 46 and married to Tracey. We have 3 children – Jared 19, Nathan 15 and Emily 10. We also have a foster girl Shanae, 12. All of our children are/have been involved with Brigade. Jared was a Queen’s Man last year and is now studying at Victoria University.
I received my Queen’s Award in 1981 while a member of the 1st Renwick Company. Back in my day (I just had to say that…) we were part of the Nelson/Marlborough Battalion with 4 Companies in Marlborough and several in Nelson. Now only 1 company remains - ours, 1st Blenheim.
But that was then and what worked then doesn’t appear to be working now. I loved BB as a boy and enjoyed what I got out of it. That’s why I’m involved again, to give back a bit of what I got out and to give my sons the opportunities I had and others also. For us it seems to be working. I and a couple of other fathers got involved with BB again for our sons and in 2000 re-started the Team Section. The following year another father joined us and re-started the Anchor Boys. Now we have a full Company with good numbers and I am the Captain.
For the last 3 years I have also been involved with NLDC as a stage 1 leader. This is a great opportunity for the boys, but has also been for me too. There is so much to be gained from experiences such as this and keeps you passionate about what you do.
Outside of BB I am involved with St Christophers Anglican Church (although not an Anglican) as the Vicar’s Warden. My wife is right into netball and is the President of her netball club. Her way of giving back to something she loves too.
So we are passionate about the things we love and want to see them prosper. That’s what I would bring to Executive, a passion to see our movement continue to go forward and share in the building of a great future for our sons to want to give back to their sons.
Lower South Area Representative - Jorgen Hansen
Born in Denmark in 1957, I grew up in a dairy farming family of 4 children, belonging to The Danish Folk Church (Lutheran – Protestant).
I left Denmark in 1977 for New Zealand. I hated the immoral lifestyle of people around me and saw little hope for the future. In New Zealand I met my future wife and we were married in 1978.
We were not Christians at that stage and struggled a lot with finding a purpose in life. In 1982 we met up with some Christians and our lives were changed. I was baptised in March 1983. As I read the Word of God and let the Holy Spirit move in my life my attitude changed and I found hope for the future and a purpose in living.
We have 2 children, a girl and a boy (23 and 22 years old) – both are married and are Christians. We have been farmers and owned a small sheep farm while the children were growing up, and were running a small dairy support contracting business at the same time.
My wife and son had been very ill for many years and I felt challenged by The Lord to pursue my dream before it was too late for me - this dream is to make a difference in this world before it is time to leave. In 2009 I joined the Mataura Youth Centre Trust. The Trust bought the old Mataura Town Hall in 2010, changed it to a youth centre and, amongst other things, started an ICONZ group. I have also been a Bible in Schools teacher and youth group helper for many years.
I believe that if we want a good future for our country and the world, we must start by influencing the youth in a positive direction, using The Bible as our base. This is what I desire to do.