It is with great sadness that advise of the passing of former HERA Director Gavin Fletcher who suddenly died on 30 August at his home.

Gavin was the second HERA Director and instrumental in shaping HERA as it is today as a research association. He was at the helm of HERA from 1980 to 1986.

Gavin started out in very trying times with steel import restrictions, a less than co-operative union environment, and technical and quality issues leading to an all-time low in heavy steel construction in New Zealand. But his directorship also included major energy related, petrochemical, and industrial projects which occurred in that time.

The times gave the industry a much-needed workload and HERA a crucial role to play as the industry information centre. Thus the emphasis was on exposing industry capability and capacity to contractors as well as developing HERA as a national focal centre of the Heavy Engineering Industry.

Gavin, through his leadership, co-operation with the Executive, and his ability to assemble a competent HERA staff team around himself, was able to build the base for the redevelopment of structural steel as the preferred method of construction. Most of the departments, activities and international associations HERA continues to have or service were created during this period.

This period also saw a fundamental change in New Zealand’s trading with the abolition of import licensing and a protected home market to the development of an open market led economy without any border protection.

HERA and its industry has Gavin much to thank for. A celebration of his life was held at St Aidan’s Church, 5 Ascot Avenue, Remuera on Friday 4th September at 10.30am.

Gavin is survived by his wife Lorraine, his two sons Paul and Wayne and their families.