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Service Awards Presented

  • 21 May 19

The 2019 New Zealand Rowing Association (NZRA) AGM was held on Saturday, 18th May in Wellington.

Rowing NZ Chairman Gerry Dwyer was proud to present Terry Tidbury, Deidre Burke and David Henry with New Zealand Rowing Association Service Awards.

Citations below were presented by each recipient's association.


Auckland Rowing Association is pleased to nominate Terry Tidbury for a Rowing NZ service award.

Terry was active in Takapuna Grammar rowing from 2004–15. He held the role of head coach, and was treasurer from 2005–08. He was president in 2010 and 2011 and became a trustee in 2011. He has since been made a life member of the club.

Terry joined Auckland Rowing Association in 2008 as a board member and held the safety and regatta portfolios before taking on the role of treasurer. He helped establish several funds to ensure the financial sustainability of the organisation.

He also established two key development programmes in Auckland that still operate today: the Light Blues programme, which introduces school athletes into the high-performance pathway, and the Ergs in Schools programme, which introduces intermediate school students to rowing. He has overseen the running of the Head of Harbour regatta and has helped grow this event to be the fifth largest on the domestic calendar.

He was elected chair of the Auckland Rowing Association board in 2012 and held this role until 2017. He has been retained by the current board to continue in the role of treasurer. He is also the chair of the Highbrook Working Group, which is establishing a watersports centre in Auckland.

Terry joined the Karapiro Rowing Inc board in 2016 and was elected treasurer. He was subsequently appointed chairman in 2017. He has overseen the running of the boat park at every regatta, which is a truly thankless task, but he somehow manages to squeeze everyone in.

He is a qualified race official and has held key roles at major regattas, including chief starter and chief umpire.

Terry Tidbury’s unwavering dedication to the sport for the past fifteen years makes him a deserving recipient of a Rowing NZ service award.


David Henry has been on the Wairau Rowing Club committee for 30 years and currently holds the position of senior vice-president. He has been on the Blenheim Rowing Club committee, was president of Marlborough Rowing Association from 2010 to 2015, has been a board trustee of the Central Regional Performance Centre since 2011 and association director on the board of South Island Rowing Inc.

Inspired by the performance of the 1972 men’s eight, David joined Wairau Rowing Club in 1976 at the age of 18 for his novice year. He rowed through the grades, winning the senior coxed four title in 1980 at Lake Horowhenua, and was bow seat in the Wairau premier eight in 1981 that finished a close second to Waikato at Lake Karapiro. This performance earned David a 1981 elite trial.

In 1982 he left New Zealand for Europe and worked for Stampfli boats in Switzerland where he gained extensive experience in boat building and rigger construction. He was squad manager for Cambridge University Boat Club, and worked in Copenhagen as a specialist engineer in boat-rigging and water sports. Testing equipment proved to be valuable work experience towards his future career in New Zealand.

David moved back to New Zealand in 1989 and immediately became involved in coaching and the Wairau Rowing Club committee. At the same time, he and his wife Dorte set up a new precision engineering company specialising in the manufacture of rowing boat rigging and equipment. David was also seconded to assist as boatman for the 1990 elite team at the World Championships at Lake Barrington in Tasmania.

Over the last 30 years David’s involvement in rowing in New Zealand has been immense. He has served as a committee member of Wairau Rowing Club since 1990, including four years as treasurer and many years as senior vice-president, a position he currently holds. He has also assisted the Blenheim club while a coach of Marlborough Boys’ College rowing, and served time as a committee member and vice-president.

David has been actively involved in Marlborough Rowing Association for many years. He was president from 2010–2015, and has been an association delegate to the Rowing NZ AGM for many years now. With the establishment of regional performance centres, David became a board trustee of the Central Regional Performance Centre in 2011 and is still actively involved.

In 2014 David was elected as a Marlborough Rowing Association director on the South Island Rowing Inc board and is chair of the facilities subcommittee, travelling huge distances at his own expense to attend meetings.

His other heavy involvement with the sport is on a professional level. His successful company, Rigtec Engineering, supplies boat rigging to New Zealand and Australian boat builders along with direct sales to schools and clubs. Under his direction the company has rigged over 4500 rowing boats.

It is obvious David has literally lived and breathed rowing for the past 42 years. Marlborough Rowing Association strongly supports the nomination of David Henry for a Rowing NZ service award.


Wellington Rowing Association has pleasure in nominating Deidre Burke for a Rowing NZ service award.

Deidre is a Wellington Rowing Club life member and has been involved on the rowing scene for around 50 years. For many years she has helped direct the rowing programme at Onslow College.

She has assisted the Wellington Association, particularly around the conducting of regattas. Following a period of assisting at regattas in various capacities, for the last decade Deidre has been the regatta volunteer coordinator. In this role she is the interface between the association and clubs and schools, and enlists around 40 volunteers to assist at each regatta throughout the season. As a result of her work, many former rowers and parents have gained experience and enjoyment from officiating at regattas.

She has also capably handled the arrangement of catering and umpire boats for regattas, and coordinated on-the-job training for volunteers, together with liaison with Rowing NZ on formal training courses.

Deidre co-convened the regatta review sub-committee in 2017–18. The recommendations in its report have been adopted by the board, resulting in changes for the benefit of competitors.

Deirdre is an important member of Wellington Rowing Association and is deserving of a service award.