Hall of Fame Laureate – 2011 Kapiti – Jack Leslie

John ‘Jack’ Leslie

John Leslie, known to many as Jack, is a ‘founding father’ of the Kapiti District in both a business sense, and also in a community sense.

Jack started Leslie Trading which was a significant early Kapiti business manufacturing and supplying a range of uniforms and apparel throughout New Zealand, mainly for nurses and other healthcare professionals. In its day, Leslie Trading employed 70 people across two sites in Otaki and Paraparaumu.

He was the Chair of the Kapiti College Board of Governors and contributed extensively to that school. He then chaired the Paraparaumu College board from when the school opened in 1977 up until 1986. The college continues to benefit with the Leslie Library and the Leslie Family Scholarship for top senior students. There is a fund for annual book purchases for the library and the Leslies are long term patrons of the College’s Music Road Show.

Jack was an appointed Councillor on the very first Kapiti Borough Council.

Jack has, or has had, several other business interests including farming, commercial property and a holiday park. Like many entrepreneurs, he is as much an expert at what not to do, as he is at what to do.

He has been a distinguished Rotarian, receiving among other awards the Four Avenues of Service Citation in 2006, one of Rotary’s highest awards. Through Rotary and a trust, Sue and Jack help young people today who are going through trade apprenticeships.

In 2010, he and Sue together were recognised with a Mayoral Award for their many contributions, particularly in the area of education.