New directors confirmed as legend takes reins as President

 Counties Manukau Rugby has been given a boost with the addition of Tiumalu Peter Fa’afiu and Sarah Bell to the Union’s board as directors, while iconic former Steeler Jim Coe has been confirmed as the Union’s new president.

Fa’afiu was nominated by the Patumahoe club and brings a wealth of board and governance experience across many sectors and experience in working with Central Government, Auckland Council and corporates.

Born in Samoa but raised in New Zealand, Fa’afiu attended Sacred Heart College and studied law and arts at the University of Auckland.

The father of six is a former New Zealand diplomat and trade negotiator for eight years, including four years in Indonesia. He has been the Head of Government and Community Relations for NZ Post Group, been the Interim CEO for Tamaki Regeneration Company (TRC) - a Crown urban renewal / housing company based in East Auckland and is the co-founder/partner in a management consultancy, Navigator Limited, which does work with iwi organisations across the country.

Fa’afiu’s governance roles cover 2,307 staff/contractors with 280 in New Zealand.

He lives in Pukekohe.

"I'm a professional director and the current Board was looking for the skills I had to offer,” Fa’afiu said. “Having played the game and also with strong links to the region, I saw it as an opportunity to contribute my governance experiences to a game I love.

"Sustainability of an organisation and the vision is important to me.  Directors are kaitiaki or stewards for a period of time.  In my time I want to continue the positive momentum under the current Board and also seek to continuously improve the governance of this fast-growing Union for the betterment of the game and our communities."

Bell, who was nominated by the Pukekohe club, grew up in Patumahoe, attending Patumahoe Primary, Pukekohe Intermediate and Pukekohe High School. She graduated from University of Waikato (Te Whare Wananga o Waikato) with a Bachelor of Communication Studies (majoring in Marketing and Management Communication).

Bell travelled overseas for an O.E, living in England and Scotland for just over six years while working for major corporates including Allen & Overy and Barclays Capital.

She currently works for ANZ as a Senior Manager, where she has worked in a variety of roles over the past 10 years in communications, engagement, change management, organisational culture, strategy and business performance.

Bell comes from a large family which has excelled in sport and has a long history with the Pukekohe Rugby Club and Counties Manukau.

“I’m excited to join a Union with such a rich and proud history,” Bell said. “I have a deep personal connection to Counties Manukau and I am exceptionally proud to be given the opportunity to help shape the future of an organisation with such importance to the community.

“I hope to use my skills and knowledge to help address any challenges facing the union, capitalise on emerging opportunities and ensure a great future for Counties Manukau. In particular I hope to see an increase in engagement and participation with the community and more support and promotion for the women’s game.”

The pair start immediately and were introduced to the members at last week’s AGM.

During the same meeting, Steelers Centurion Coe was confirmed as the Union’s new President while fellow Centurion, Lee Lidgard, was appointed Vice President.

Long-time Counties Manukau sports guru and physio, Malcolm Hood, who championed a range of new training innovations during his many years associated with the Steelers, was also made a life member of the Union