We Acknowledge

We Acknowledge

There are many people who have contributed to the MERC journey. We acknowledge some key contributors.

Our Founders

The conceptual and literal foundation of MERC was a result of remarkable vision from a group of local yachtsmen and teachers. Dr. David Gray. Don St. Clair Brown, Don Burfoot, Laurie Baxter, Ian Sage, Dr. Ross Garrett and John Orams responded to a 1983 needs assessment of Auckland schools which was clear that kiwi kids needed more support to have a genuine connection to the Ocean through Education and Recreation. Through their dedication, resolute determination, vision and generosity of spirit, MERC was realised and opened in 1990 by Sir Paul Reeves. 

It is our founders’ endeavour that allows us to provide life changing Marine Education and Recreation for young New Zealanders today. 

Mana whenua

Mana whenua have a history and connection to a place which we can never replace. We acknowledge this history and aim only to complement this mana with our own while living out the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi in how we work together and what we share with participants. 

Our Patrons

We are blessed to have two Patrons.

Sir Peter Blake KBE, who has been our patron since 1998. We thank his wife Lady Pippa Blake for gifting us the use of Sir Peter's name.

Dr. David Gray, a key founder who our wharenui is named after.