2 Minutes with ...


Robert Tredger has served on the Tawa Community Board since 1995, much of that time as its deputy chair. Following the 2007 election he became the actual chairman*, a somewhat time-consuming role. Robert is very much a part of the Tawa community and, being the sociable individual that he is, can be found on most Saturday mornings at the Main Road shopping centre mixing with the locals and "discussing the issues".

His passion for Tawa and the role he plays on the community board will continue to ensure that local interests are well-represented in his ongoing dealings with the Wellington City Council.

Where were you born, Robert?
In Middlesex, England, in one of the small communities close to Wembley and Harrow (part of greater London).

Where did you grow up?
Primarily in and around Harrow, with frequent visits to York where my parents were brought up. My grandparents lived there.

What about education?
Harrow High School, Harrow Technical College, and a 2-year printing management course at the London Printing College (now part of London University).

What is your line of work?
Started in the printing industry - my father was in it, as was my uncle. "I was brought up with it. Sort of gets in your blood, a bit like 'community'. If I'm looking for a book, I usually look first at who's printed it. If I go to a book fair, I'll look at the way the books have been made."

Now with Precision in the Hutt - in logistics and procurement. They make office furniture, filing cabinets, etc.

What about family?
Married to Dianne with 2 sons, David and Matthew, both at college.

What are your interests/hobbies?
The Tawa community, the Tawa Community Board, Tawa Community Patrol (I do a 4-hour stint every few weeks), Rotary, gardening and walking. I decided to take on marathons when one day my wife said to me, in the way that only wives can, "Robert, you're getting fat, you need to do some exercise!" I've walked a number of marathons including London, Rotorua, and Wellington (several times).

How long have you lived in Tawa?
I came to NZ and Tawa in 1987, and have been here ever since.

What do you think is great about Tawa?
Primarily it's a community - a community defined by the hills and the one road in and the one road out. It's a multi-generational community, a family community where people still care for each other and can feel relatively safe.

What, if anything, would improve Tawa?
Eliminating graffiti which is the bane of our lives.

What is your favourite dessert?
Christmas pudding.

Favourite sports team?
Southland Stags - because most of the team are born and bred in Southland and they produce some wonderful players. "They're an honest team." And because my wife's family have lived in Southland for five generations.

Favourite musical group or style of music?
Spencer Davis - "Keep on Running".
Individual singer, Bonnie Tyler - "Total Eclipse of the Heart".

Favourite holiday destination in New Zealand?
The West Coast of the South Island. It's beautiful, it's barren. "The whole of that area is superb, and it's primitive (in the nicest possible way!)."

Favourite saying(s)?
"Your whole life is your education."
My son thinks my favourite saying is "shut up".

If you could meet any three or four people (alive or dead), who would they be?
Winston Churchill - he was a great, great man who made Britain proud of itself again.
Jeremy Clarkson - for his wit and cynicism.
My parents, who both died a while back, so they could see my family now and how I've taken on board so many of the things they taught me. "And so I could apologise for being such a difficult child!"

What three things would you take with you if you were stuck on a desert island?
A radio which never ran out, so I could listen to the BBC World News; a towel because I enjoyed "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"; a packet of vege seeds.

What is one talent you would like that you do not have?
A sense of direction. "I would get lost in a two-street town!"

What is one talent you have that you could not do without?
The ability to talk with anybody about anything.

What accomplishments/achievements in your life give you the most satisfaction/pride?
Travelling from London to Johannesburg in an MG Midget sports car, 15,268 miles (almost 24,600 kms - Ed.), over 90% of which was off road.
Walking the London Marathon in 2007.
Being elected to the Tawa Community Board and working on "Our City, Our Future" in 1995.

What are two or three interesting things about you that local people may not know?
I worked in four different countries in the Middle East in the 1980s. Worked out that in the time I was based there, I travelled to over 50 different countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
"A silly one" - on the same day in the same place (Cyprus), swimming in the warm sea in the morning and going snow skiing in the afternoon.

Anything you would like to do before you die?
I want to complete a significant marathon in a reasonable time before I get too old.
I'd like to take a flight in a Sopwith Camel or Tiger Moth or one of this type. "They're a piece of history from 60 years ago which we tend to forget. We seem not to be proud of our past."
To see my children through university and happily settled into work that they enjoy.

Compiled September 2009.

* November 2010 update:
Robert was re-elected to the Tawa Community Board in the October 2010 local body elections, but is no longer chair. And he no longer works with Precision in the Hutt.

Other Tawa people