Patron – Russell Marshall
Porirua’s Shine project has Russell’s full support. ‘Every child, every young person, deserves the best possible beginning to her or his life. The communities where they live share the responsibility of ensuring that. It has to be possible for the wider Porirua community to work together to find ways to make that happen, to help our young citizens to fulfil their potential, and thereby to enrich not only their lives but those of their families and of our community as a whole.’
Both born and educated in Nelson, Russell Marshall and his wife Barbara have been residents of Paremata for most of the last quarter century. Russell taught briefly as a primary teacher in the Nelson district before entering the Methodist ministry. In his early 30s he became involved in politics, and subsequently served as MP for Wanganui for eighteen years. In the late 1980s he was a Cabinet Minister, his portfolios including Conservation, Education, Environment, Foreign Affairs and Pacific Island Affairs. One highlight was the establishment of what is now Whitireia Polytechnic on his watch as Education Minister. His recollections of his time in parliament are mixed. There are some things he wishes he had done differently, and he was saddened by much of the stewardship of the 1984-90 government in which he served.
Russell’s first project after leaving parliament was the long delayed completion of his BA. His roles in the last two decades have included Victoria University Council member (Chancellor 2000-01), High Commissioner to the UK, Chair of the Tertiary Education Commission, and President of the NZ Institute of International Affairs. His one regret about taking up the High Commissioner role was leaving his role at Victoria University. In recent years he chaired the Whitiriea Education Forum and was a Trustee of the Mana Education Centre for its last 3 years.