Tributes Pour in For One of Mount Maunganui’s Beloved Leaders

Friday, 8 December 2023

When the red and yellow flags rise on Mount Maunganui Beach this weekend, it’ll be a time of reflection for many in the community, as patrols start without one of their beloved leaders.


Paul Treanor, affectionately known as PT, passed away on 4 December 2023, at the age of 59, his sudden passing leaving a void in the hearts of all who were fortunate to know him.


His legacy is one of dedication and service, spanning nearly 14 years of commitment to the Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service (LS).  His journey started in 2009 when he joined the club, and from there, he embarked on a number of roles that touched every corner of the organisation.


A man of many talents, Paul transitioned seamlessly from surf lifeguarding duties to managerial roles, overseeing the club’s lifesaving sports teams, while also providing invaluable support to the club’s governance.


Brent Warner, Mount Maunganui LS Chair, said, “Paul contributed to the rich tapestry of the club, both in the foreground and behind the scenes.  The incredible facility we now have wouldn't have been built without his financial acumen and relationship skills. His vast networks and big heart helped drive the club through good times and bad.”


His list of accomplishments is extensive.  In 2012 he gained his Surf Lifeguard Award before going on to complete his IRB Crewpersons Award, Surf Official Level 1, Surf First Aid, and Advanced Surf First Aid.


None of this went unnoticed, and he went on to win Bay of Plenty/Coromandel Volunteer of the Year in 2017, as well as a Regional Service Award, a Regional Distinguished Service Award, and the SLSNZ Service Award.


However, Paul’s impact extended far beyond certificates and accolades.  He was a mentor, a leader, and a friend to many.  His genuine warmth and openness made him a beacon of guidance and support for everyone he encountered, often checking in with club members to offer words of encouragement or advice.  Colleagues also fondly remember his joy in witnessing others achieve their goals, particularly his children.


Through it all, Paul remained humble, preferring to shine the spotlight on others rather than on himself.  And this extended outside of the Surf Life Saving community.


“PT was quite literally the lifeblood of the community; his blood and plasma donations were approaching legendary status. He'd also stoically stagger up Mauao for Mt Everest Challenges, sweating buckets, or join a board that looked like it needed some oomph; a sucker for a charitable cause.”


Tributes pouring in from both the public and the Mount Maunganui LS show he was a man cherished, respected, and admired.


“To PT’s wife Sarah and his kids Hamish and Hannah - thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for supporting PT and the club in what we do, and know you have our utmost sympathy for your loss. We salute a great friend, a clubmate, a proud dad and husband, and someone who defined mana and respect.”


And every season as the red and yellow flags fly on Mount Maunganui Beach, Paul’s spirit will no doubt continue to oversee and inspire surf lifeguards from above, ensuring safety and care for those enjoying the beach he so passionately served.