THE GATEWAY STORY
YOUR GATEWAY FAMILY
Bradley grew up in the Bay of Plenty region, Tauranga being his hometown. He Joined the funeral industry upon leaving school where he became an embalmer.
Bradley along with his Wife Laura decided to cross the ditch to pursue his career as a funeral director in both Brisbane and North Queensland. After an opportunity arose to take on Gateway Funeral Services, he moved back to New Zealand where he now resides in the Whakatane region. Bradley Graduated with the Diploma in Funeral Directing in 2017 and is a Registered Funeral Director with the Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand.
Bradley is also heavily involved with volunteering his time being the President of Taneatua Lions Club, Proud member of BNI Whakatane and is a Trustee for Pou Whakaaro.
Brad loves nothing more than a round of golf or spending time with his wife, daughter and family,
To contact Bradley email email@example.com
Amber was born and bred in the Bay Of Plenty, moving to beautiful Whakatane upon starting a family. I have three amazing children who are all heavily involved in sports keeping me very busy.
I am a fully qualified hairdresser and have owned salons in the Bay Of Plenty for many years. Hairdressing has enabled me to travel and live overseas which I am grateful for. After 28 years of hairdressing the opportunity to join the Gateway family arose.
Having always been interested in this field I jumped at the chance. I feel honoured to be able to guide families through an extremely difficult and heart-breaking time to create a meaningful funeral. I am finally in my dream job.
Donna grew up in Hamilton until leaving school where she met Garry her soon to be husband. After travelling around the world and a stint in Australia, they decided it was time to come home and settle in Tauranga. After owning several business and being involved in payroll and accounts for over 20 years it only seemed right when their son Bradley was wanting to come back from Australia that Gateway Funeral Services was to be the perfect option for the future. Donna enjoys nothing more than friends and family and a good quality glass of Sauvignon Blanc.
Hayley grew up in Tauranga, where she studied as a Dive Instructor fresh out of school. After spending years in the diving and hospitality industries in Queensland, she began her career in the funeral industry almost 4 years ago after the passing of her best friend.
Wishing to be closer to her family, Hayley returned to New Zealand in July 2020. She soon moved to Whakatane and joined the Gateway team.
Outside of work Hayley enjoys working out, diving, and spending time with friends and family.
“Ahakoa he iti he pounamu”
However small your contribution is as valuable as a green stone.
Ko Putauaki te maunga
Ko Ohinemataroa te awa
Ko Mataatua te waka
Ko Ngati awa te iwi
Ko Taiwhakaea te marae
Ko Ngai Taiwhakaea te hapu
Kia Ora ko Vonnie Waihirere toku ingoa
My Husband is Domino Waihirere, we have 4 children and 8 grandchildren. Although I have been fortunate enough to gain formal certified qualifications throughout my working career Kaumatua within their wisdom and virtue have inspired me to sincerely believe that life’s experiences and gathered knowledge are truly an unwritten qualification worthwhile as recognition in what we have to offer. As a reflection of this, I bring with me 20 years of experience as an embalmer and funeral director.
While being a director of the family business, Garry has never been actively involved until his semi-retirement in 2021. Garry spends a lot of his time while at Gateway Funeral Services looking after the properties of both funeral homes and also assisting with funeral needs as they arise.
Garry along with his Wife Donna have recently moved to the Eastern Bay of Plenty and love all that comes with it. He enjoys a spot of fishing, golf and spending time with his granddaughter Ariana.
Ko Tainui toku waka
Ko Kapuarangi toku Maunga
Ko Wainui toku Awa
Ko Torerenui-A-Rua toku Tipuna Whare
Ko Manaakiao toku Tipuna
Ko Torere toku Marae
Ko Ngai-tai toku Iwi
Ko Robert Martin toku Ingoa
I have been married 46 years to my wife Mary, who also works for Gateway Funeral Services as a celebrant & grief counsellor. I enjoy working in the funeral industry because I am able to assist whanau/families in their time of grief. Spending quality time with our three daughters, also family & friends we enjoy fishing, diving & hunting together.
In the last 7 years, my wife & I have donated our time to raising funds for Child Cancer & St John thru an organization we created called,
“Eyes of the Heart –Whatumanawa”
As a Funeral Facilitator the ceremony of celebrating, honouring, & remembering the person’s life in a befitting way I feel is one of the most important parts of the funeral.
With that in mind together with the family I provide a non-religious funeral service.
It is a process of consultation with the family – then the preparation of carefully selecting the most appropriate quotes and poems & making provision for a selection of music which is been specially choose by the family. Then with compassion sincerely & care I prepare the funeral ceremony.
The most important principle is that the words said express & celebrate the life of the person who has passed and if that person had beliefs and ideals these too will be reflected in the ceremony.
A ceremony which pays a proper tribute to the deceased person that’s 45 minutes to one hour.
Gateway Funeral Directors – Founding Family
Gateway funeral Services was originally started in 1991 by the Walker family, A family that wanted to make a difference in the community.
Upon opening the original Gateway Funeral Services in Gateway Drive, Whakatane (hence the name), they immediately made an impact in our community.
Gateway was built as a family run business to support local families and still is today.
After the loss of Humphrey Walker, Susan Thrupp and Debbie Bluett took over from their father and carried on his legacy in the way he would have wanted it.
Many great years had been spent in Gateway Drive. However, the business was becoming too big for the premises. A decision was made that in order to carry on providing the best possible service for our client families that a bigger premise was needed.
In 2010 the purchase of the Jehovah Witness Kingdom Hall on Awatapu drive was a welcome inclusion for Gateway Funeral Services.
Our new and improved Gateway Funeral Services was really taking shape and in 2015, Susan, Debbie their families decided that their time was up and that a change of ownership was needed.
Gateway Funeral Directors – Today
We are proud to say we are still a locally owned and operated, family ran Funeral Directors.
Fast forward to The Shaw family – who are delighted to take over this well established business in December of 2015 and are still in ownership today.
We are carrying on the legacy of the founding family to support our local families.
Gateway Funerals Facilities
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