John Girling has travelled the world as an industrial psychologist working with large organisations to manage their greatest resource, people.


John spent 15 years in China as a registered foreign expert in agriculture and education where he helped develop projects in ostrich farming, cattle and goat husbandry and exotic flowers. After retiring ten years ago, he returned to New Zealand with his wife to settle in Foxton, Manawatū. He chose Foxton for its climate, its price and because he could see massive potential in the town. John has been relentless on his mission to see this potential be realized. He is not looking to slow down anytime soon. 


John wears many hats in Foxton including being an elected member of Foxton Community Board, chair of Foxton Flax Stripper Museum, member of Foxton Futures governance group, an active member of Save Our River Trust (SORT), and a founding member of ENM’s Manawatū River Source to Sea (S2S).  He is also the working chair of Personal Money Coaches (PMC) which helps runs a community garden as a joint project with Salvation Army, providing fresh produce to their food packages. His role at PMC involves helping community members with budgeting and finance, including E-funding (interest-free payday lending and emergency loans), guidance and advocacy to help get people out of high-stress debt situations. He likes to think of this as a hand up, not a handout, and has helped a lot of people out of difficult circumstances. John has also been a driving force behind restoring flow to the Foxton River Loop, a project which has started recently to regain traction and interest.


John is a man of action, not just words. He was the founding chair of Foxton Wildlife Trust and was the chair of the horse-drawn tram for a year where he increased revenue by up to 6 times before it closed its doors. He uses the many skills and talents developed through his lifetime to drive initiatives, rally support and source funding.  John understands that it all comes back to communication- how you communicate, how you understand and being able to provide real solutions and action. He has always appreciated being in a position where he can get things done, finding you can do so much from a grassroots level, especially working with the greatest resource any community has. Its people.