Over the last few months the New Zealand underwater community has experienced the tragic loss of several significant contributors to many of the environmental and sport-related initiatives that have shaped the sector today.
Celebrated leader Wade Doak passed away on the 12th of September, aged 79.
Wade was a leading figure in New Zealand scuba diving and was instrumental in the establishment of the Poor Knights Marine Reserve.
The artist, author, photographer and film-maker received a Queen’s Service Medal in 2012 for his services to marine conservation.
His passion for the underwater environment started from a young age. At only 14, Doak and early dive buddy Keith Gordon made their own breathing apparatus and underwater cameras because diving gear was too expensive.
Throughout his life Doak's drive and commitment inspired many. He will be sorely missed.
An integral member of the spearfishing community, Judy Johnson's steadfast work, acting as secretary and vice president for the Spearfishing NZ national committee – not for just years, but for decades - proved a significant contributor to the success of the sport.
In the water, Judy's performance spoke for itself. She first appears in the record books as winner of the two-woman team event at the 1969 National Champs, swimming with the legendary Mary Mead.
Judy held the title of New Zealand Women’s Spearfishing Champion in 1993, 1994, 1995, 2000 including "Lady Diver of the Year, 1993. A 2011 NZ record catfish of 433 grams from Lake Taupo still stands!
Judy Johnson became an NZUA Life member in 2000 and a life member of Spearfishing New Zealand in 2019.
Underwater Hockey stalwart Dave Parore, passed away peacefully on the 17th of September.
Dave commitment to sport had a huge impact on underwater hockey community in Auckland, as well as at a national level in New Zealand. Dave is remembered a passionate coach and a great team player. He will be missed.
NZ Underwater would be grateful to anyone who can supply an appropriate image of Dave, to be included with this post.