The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people.

 Woodrow Wilson

The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.

 Ralph Nichols

Sir John Goulter is running for mayor of the Far North District Council. He certainly has the credentials to lead an organization of this sort. Her Majesty The Queen approved John’s re-designation as a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (KNZM) in August 2009. This tribute follows on from the many John has received during a long, productive and successful career as a business and community leader. For 15 years John was Managing Director for Auckland International Airport Limited as it moved purposefully forward into the private sector. He has been chairman of such diverse organizations as the New Zealand Lotteries Commission and United Carriers Group.

In December 1999, the NZ Business Herald announced John as its Business Leader of the Year. Within the Deloitte/Management Top 200 Awards John Goulter was selected New Zealand Executive of the Year in 2002. The National Business Review named John as the NBR New Zealander of the year in 2003 and in September of that year he was inducted as a laureate into the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the Manukau City Business Hall of Fame in July 2003. For more on the superlative executive exploits of Sir John Goulter visit here.

The Beach in Paihia Where John Goulter Lives

I interviewed John Goulter  September 15, 2010 on Voices from the North. John’s slogan for the campaign is ‘I Hear You.’ During the course of our conversation he tells an inspiring story that I feel exemplifies the need for leaders to listen. We all know this doesn’t always happen. Click below to hear John’s four minute story of a time when he was a high-priced consultant who dared to listen and to acknowledge the wisdom of those doing the job.

John’s views on a variety of subjects pertinent to the voters of the Far North have been excerted from our interview. Feel free listen. Most are only about two minutes long.

On leadership:

On Getting Help from Wellington:

On the support of Maori:

On decison making:

On Unitary Authority:

On parks and reserves:

On the movement of Council offices:

I urge you to read more about John Goulter on his website at

Our complete interview can be heard here:



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Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See 

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