RIP Ian Wells

January 6th, 2014 at 8:31 am by David Farrar

The Dominion Post reports:

The man who helped bring the Absolutely Positively Wellington and the Wellington Phoenix to life, has died.

, head of New Zealand Tennis, chairman of Cricket Wellington and a former general manager of The Dominion Post, was 76 when he died peacefully on Saturday.

His son Jason said his father was one of the smartest people you could ever meet.

“Dad was very generous, very passionate about sport and about Wellington,” he said. “He loved the newspapers and he loved life.”

Mr Wells and fellow bid head John Dow conceived the idea for a Wellington team to take over the failed Auckland Knights A-League licence in 2007.

The pair did most of the work on the bid, but almost failed to secure the money needed to start the team. Entrepreneur Terry Serepisos stepped in at the eleventh hour to bankroll the team and the rest is history.

His great football love was Wellington club side Miramar Rangers, of which he was chairman and a life member.

Mr Wells began his career as a sports reporter with The Dominion in 1965.

He later became advertising manager and business manager for Wellington Newspapers before spending 17 years as general manager from 1985.

I didn’t know Ian well, but did meet him a couple of times when I had a holiday job working for Wellington Newspapers in their credit control section. A hugely respected figure.

Under his watch, the company developed the Absolutely Positively Wellington slogan and gifted it to Wellington City Council.

His involvement with New Zealand Tennis started in the 1970s and he served as chairman of the national body for 20 years.

In 2004, he became chairman of Cricket Wellington. Former New Zealand cricketer Gavin Larsen, who was chief executive during Mr Wells’ tenure, said yesterday: “It’s a really sad loss. Ian’s contribution to sports admin has been immense . . . we have lost an absolute champion. He was very insightful and I really valued his wise counsel when it came to some of the tougher decisions that have to be made . . . I feel I have lost a friend.”

Few people have given as much to Wellington and to NZ sport than Ian.

3 Responses to “RIP Ian Wells”

  1. flipper (5,297 comments) says:

    I worked with Ian.
    He was a guest at my wedding.
    He was one of the really good guys…. one who did not suffer bullshit.
    He wanted to get things done.
    He did a lot, and achieved much.
    We will all miss him.

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  2. Keeping Stock (12,376 comments) says:

    I suspect that Ian would be distraught at the state of NZ Tennis administration and the Dominion-Post in 2014.

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  3. Feral Kiwi (8 comments) says:

    I worked with Ian at Wellington Newspapers a couple of times. We had a few differences but at the end if it all he was still a good bloke. Definitely someone who worked to create, improve, or add to the world. RIP Ian Wells.

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