Sir Peter Blake
Sir Peter Blake is one of New Zealand’s national icons. His achievements are well documented. Our connection with him is a bit more personal.
Through a family friendship with Mark Orams, 'Blakey' (as Mark knows him) visited MERC in 1998 with his son James. At the time he had already achieved some great feats as a champion sailor. He had won the Whitbred Round the World yacht race, held the Jules Verne trophy and won the America’s Cup with Team New Zealand. Along the way he had seen the role humans had in the declining health of the Ocean. He realised that as a man of the sea, it had given him so much and he should to give back through conservation education and action. When he came to MERC and saw the relationship we developed by connecting Rangitahi with the Ocean through both Recreation and Education, to Mark’s recollection, “Blakey just got it” and Sir Peter agreed to become MERC’s patron, adding his mana and support to our story. This means we are the only charity Sir Peter chose himself.
After his untimely death in 2001, Lady Pippa allowed us the honour of having Sir Peter’s name become part of ours. This is an honour and privilege we carry and we aim to have Sir Peter inspire MERC participants as he continues to inspire us.