Allen, who was a Waimakariri district councillor, died on Wednesday morning, 30 April 2017 after suffering from an illness for several months.
Peter’s chosen career of secondary school teaching saw him become principal of Rangiora High School where he remained for 13 years. During this time he was a member of the Waimakariri Safer Community Council and the Wellbeing North Canterbury Community Trust. A member of the Rangiora Rotary Club has seen him serve in a variety of roles, including club president in 2008-09 and chair of the Rotary Club of Rangiora Charitable Trust. He has led the increasingly successful book sale, which provides funding for community projects, and leads the North Canterbury Alpine Trust.
He has served on council for a number of years and volunteered to take on the demanding community development portfolio. He led this through the 2010-2011 earthquakes sharing the community’s voice at a national level. Peter has played a significant part in helping Waimakariri through New Zealand’s greatest natural disaster in history. He has held the acting chair and deputy chair role of the Rural Canterbury Primary Health Organisation, which helps deliver CDHB services through most local medical practices in North Canterbury, Ashburton and Kaikoura. Peter is also involved in the Waimakariri Health Advisory Group and the Waimakariri Youth Council.
Peter had the pleasure of being one of Waikato University’s founding students. His alumni page mentions:
Peter Allen was one of Waikato University’s foundation students and was its first graduate (simply by virtue of his surname starting with the letter ‘A’). He arrived at uni fresh from Cambridge High School in 1964 to do his BA, graduating in 1967, and left with a Master in Philosophy at the end of 1969. “I handed in my thesis one day and got married the next.” His wife Helen was also a foundation student at Waikato.
The alumni page also tells us that Peter started his political career relatively early through student politics:
While he was completing his Master of Philosophy on the military settlements of the central Waikato basin, Peter was also involved in student politics, captained the university hockey team and was a sub warden in the Student Village. “We even got the Vice-Chancellor Don Llewellyn to play full back for the hockey team and Michael Selby [one of the first academic staff members] played for us too. We had some good games.” […] Peter was part of the first student demonstration in Hamilton. “We got some hostile coverage by the Waikato Times, marching against the installation in New Zealand of a US naval navigation system called Omega. We were pleased that staff from Social Sciences supported us by writing to the newspaper.”
Peter was a strong believer in the power of community, and this was reflected in his actions.
Waimakariri Mayor David Ayers said Allen was a “thoughtful and well-prepared” councillor. “He weighed up the different sides to issues carefully, assisted by his academic background as a geographer. The Waimakariri District Council have written an obituary for Peter Allen detailing his life, achievements and interests.
Allen is survived by his wife, Helen, daughter Catherine Bish, sons Stephen and Michael and three grandchildren. His legacy and passion for people and the community will also live on through remembrance for years to come.