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Long-standing Northpower Trustee stepping down

Bill Rossiter QSM is stepping down from the Northpower Trust after 30 years serving as a Trustee. He reckons with his 86th birthday just around the corner, now is the right time to ease into semi-retirement.

“I have really enjoyed my time serving on the Northpower Trust and working with people who are qualified and have the company at heart because they respect that the owners of Northpower are the consumers connected to the electricity network in Kaipara and Whangarei,” says Mr Rossiter.

The man renowned for giving back to the community and caring deeply about people doesn’t plan to slow down due to his involvement in so many groups and community causes.

“I am a great believer in getting the job done. I am not there for the glory and I think that’s why the Northpower Trust has operated so effectively over the years.”

Bill's legacy

Fellow Trustee Erc Angelo says Mr Rossiter has been superb and is highly respected among consumer owned electricity trusts throughout New Zealand.

“He is always on time for meetings and prepares well by reading the agenda, doing his own research and liaising with his contacts all around New Zealand and the world,” says Mr Angelo.

“Bill has a huge amount of knowledge about an array of things that affect Northpower and the people within the business. He has been a great sounding board for me over the years.”

Mr Rossiter has had a varied career turning his hand to a multitude of talents, industries, organisations and achievements. He lists his Northpower Trust role as one of his highlights.

Raised on a Ruawhata farm near Pahiatua farm, Mr Rossiter was forced to leave school at 16 before embarking on widely varied and successful career. He started out working on a farm at Eketahuna before a stint on the family unit before joining the railways where spent five years firing the locomotives (stoking the boilers).

Next stop was training as a Traffic Officer before working on the front line in Whangārei and Auckland. When bureaucracy got the better of him he took a job as a relief boilerman at Whangārei Hospital as he built up a printing business in his garage, something he did so quietly that not even his neighbours knew he was running the fledgling business.


Rossiter Print operated for 31 years with 12 fulltime staff until it was sold in 2002 shortly before his first wife Zita passed away. He later re-married Ailson and they have now been together 14 years.

Having being a founding member of the Northland Road Safety Trust around the time he was elected to the Northpower Trust, Mr Rossiter continued to ‘do good’ in the community.

He had previously received a Ministerial award for road safety in 1992, and a Queens Service Medal (QSM) in 2014 for driving license training for Maori at 63 Marae throughout Northland.

The driver license training model was subsequently adopted by authorities in Australia, Norway and Belgium.

“I had eleven contractors training Maori then and while helping over 4000 people get drivers licenses and also urging the community to install child-safety seats. The ‘safe route to schools’ programme ran in Moerewa and was a highly successful initiative that resulted in a 92% uptake compared to the usual 35% across the rest of New Zealand,” he explains.

Mr Rossiter has received numerous awards from Rotary over the 40 years as a member, notability for hosting students from around the world.

He did three years as a Whangarei District Councillor 15 years as a Northland Regional Councillor, along with 21 years as a St John Ambulance night driver around Whangarei. Mr Rossiter was also Treasurer of the RSA in Whangārei for one year, has recently taken up Ham Radio and assists in the local Hospice Shop.

He has been heavily involved in the Masonic Lodge and earlier this year became Master of Star of the North 1647.

“It’s important for people to know the charity work we do in Freemasonry. Young people don’t seem to be interested in the Craft, despite our concern and emphasis on them. They don’t seem to feel they have the time for it but I would love them to become more interested,” says Mr Rossiter.

An in between all of his community and business work Mr Rossiter also found time to rack up more than 500 hours of power flying (often flying his family to Palmerston North for school holidays), and 1700 hours in the cockpit of a glider. He last flew two years ago.

Bill is an absolute gentleman, an utter professional and superbly generous and community minded man, so on behalf of the Northpower Trust I thank him for all he has contributed to us and the Northland community. We wish him well,” says Mr Angelo.