David Welch

May  5th, 1962 May  17th, 2024
Warkworth, New Zealand
David Welch

A place to remember Dave. Please leave your condolences and memories of Dave for his family and friends to cherish.

Obituary

Quoted from Dave's profile, in his own words, about his worklife experiences.

Having lived and worked in South Africa and New Zealand, my time in the retail industry has given me fantastic opportunities to work with some amazing teams of people who have achieved extraordinary results, some of the most notable being the Massmart business in South Africa (now Walmart) along with Progressive Ent (Woolworths), The Warehouse and Bunnings in NZ.
A large part of my purpose in business has been to help people realise their potential and build capability; I’m fortunate enough to still be in close contact with many I’ve worked with through the years. I’ve also had the good fortune to travel extensively worldwide, sourcing merchandise and establishing long-term relationships and friendships, something I’ve cherished throughout my career.
My venture in the import and printing industries for ten years allowed me to work with some extraordinary people while broadening my general management and governance experience. Here, the fun was in the growing pains and the building, implementing long-term strategies and making new relationships along the way.
I have been so lucky to have made many good friends in the businesses and also customers I’ve worked with.

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June 11, 2024
Daves positivity, energy and joy made him a truly special man.
He inspired those around him by showing the way – always upbeat and cheerful – least not forget the story telling. I am so thankful to Dave, he made everyone around him a better person thru his attitude to life.
Left us way to soon but made a massive impact to those of us who cherish having known him. Men don’t say it about their mates – but I loved this man – and I miss him daily.
To Michelle, Megan and Natalie – no words can ease the pain but cherish the best memories of Dave and think only of the good times to ease your loss. My thoughts are with you
Thank you Dave for - so much
Keith Robieson
June 9, 2024
Kia ora, my name is Aaron Mikaere, and I am a long-time work colleague and friend of David Welch. It is my privilege to be allowed to speak today and relate my Dave story.

For all of us for whom Dave was a mentor, and there are many, with your grace, I’ll like to take up the mantle to speak for us today.

When you start a career, most of us need two things. The first is for someone to give you a break. I was 26 years old when I met first met Dave, back in 2000. Dave interviewed me for the role of trainee category manager. Luckily for me, Dave saw something in that intital conversation that said to him “I think this kid may have what it takes”. He gave me my break 24 years ago, and he never stopped backing me from there. Over the years since then, he continued to back me, for jobs, for roles within jobs, for extra responsibilities, he wanted to see stretch and development. He put me well out of my comfort zone many times.

Just a few short months ago he backed me one final time, which finally got me to the same level he was at when we first met. I know he took a great deal of satisfaction in this achievement of mine, slow as that journey has been for me, but it closed a circle for him, and it was just in time.

The second thing you need is someone to show you how to do the job, and how to do it well. Not the mechanics of the role as such, it is the intangibles, those harder-to-define aspects. The subtleties of people and the power of persuasion. Dave was a master. He used his charisma, and his gravitas and his sense of humour, and sometimes all 3 as each case required.

These traits served him so well, often getting us into a space where we could turn nothing into something, getting concessions from people even when they entered our meeting with no intention of moving an inch. I was lucky enough to see this in the early part of my career and witnessed Dave do this over and over again over many years. We’d often leave a meeting and I’d look at him and there would be a cheeky grin on his face.

Dave loved what he did, he loved the thrust and parry of the retail industry. Dave was a competitor and he loved to win.

He aha te mea nui, o te ao? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.
What is the most important thing? It is people, it is people it is people.

While Dave may have never stated it quite like that, I know that he lived this and he believed it. Dave absolutely saw the value of people, and he celebrated us in his way. It has been really comforting over the last few days to read all the comments we’ve collectively added in our shared thoughts and memories of Dave. We’ve built a testament to what authenticity looks like. The same themes emerge over and over: his kindness, his integrity, his perception, his professionalism. Dave was one of life’s good guys. Many more than just me have recognised Dave as a mentor and a leader, and we are so grateful for that guidance.

One piece of guidance I’ll always remember Dave giving to me was when my son Xavier was born, he spoke to me about parental approach. “Hey, Mikerry,” as he used to call me, “ You don’t own your son, he is not at asset for you to control. He is not for you to exercise your misgivings about your own youth. Your job here is to be a steward.”

To steward.

That advice resonated with me really strongly, not just in that specific regard as a father, but in all instances where I get to lead. He taught me by showing me: lead with encouragement, develop and grow people, look for the teaching moments, and lead by example.

When I was writing this speech, it dawned on me, though never said, that that was how he had been managing me all these years. He has stewarded my career in exactly that manner. Hard to overstate my gratefulness.
Aaron Mikaere
June 9, 2024
Dave grew to love this country he adopted and took his opportunities to experience as much of New Zealand as possible. My family loved hosting him and his family over one new year’s in the Coromandel, where he took a great deal of interest in understanding my personal New Zealand, who I am, where I came from, who my family are. And that was Dave, learning about people, meeting people, and getting the most of the experience. Fishing, cycling, swimming, biking. A love for travel and the outdoors, a love of friendship and family; this is where Dave found his peace of mind.

Dave you may have started as a son of Africa, but you’ve ended up as a son of Aotearoa, and we are proud to have you.

I’ll going to miss Dave for his quit wit and his sharpness at the table, be it negotiation or be it lie dice. I’ll going miss his easy way with people and his Charisma. I’ll going to miss his advice and his guidance. I’ll miss his stories. I’ll miss his charm and his cheekiness. How are you today Dave? “Rolls Royce.”

Haere e koro, haere e koro haere e koro, haere atu ra.

Taitaiā mai te waka, e rangi e
Ko te waka o te hinga noa, e rangi e
Ko te waka o te mate noa, e rangi e
Ko te waka e hoea nei, e te kura kari-oi, o te wā
ki Hawaiiki nui, Hawaiiki roa, Hawaiiki pa ma-mao
Tūturu o whiti, whakamaua kia tīna, tīna
Haumi e, hui e, taiki e

Prepare the waka
The waka of loss
The waka of death without cause
The waka for our lost treasure of this time
To travel to the ancestral homeland.
We affirm,
We unite.
Aaron Mikaere
May 30, 2024
Dave Welch was an excellent man to work with. He was pragmatic, clear on objectives and balanced in judgement. He had a unique style, keeping professional while also making the working relationship an enjoyable one. All the tributes coming in show how many of us will miss Dave Welch!
Malcolm Macnaught
May 25, 2024
Mate, I will miss you dearly. Your advise and banter will be timeless. We bonded like brothers over anything with petrol and a thirst for life. I could share anything with you knowing we were always on the same page. You pushed me personally and professionally which I am very grateful for. I will push on knowing you will be be beside me all the way
Matt Jensen
May 23, 2024
You were a man of many words and wisdom, il always remember the wonderful memories you shared of your travels with Michelle. I don't remember a day when you weren't in a good mood and didn't have a smile on your face. Dave, you will be truly missed by all.
Ashlee Trainer
May 23, 2024
Dave warmly welcomed me to New Zealand and into the Bunnings merchandising team at Carbine Rd when I joined in early 2016. We had adjoining offices and he'd always greet me with a warm smile and a 'how are you mate?' every morning. I have fond memories of our daily chats and I'll always be grateful for Dave's support and friendship during that time and since. I send my condolences to Dave's family. Rest In Peace mate.
Adam Cole
May 23, 2024
Dave was a huge support throughout my career progression but more importantly, an incredible friend when I was going through a tough time in my personal life. When my parents lived overseas, Dave became the person I went to for fatherly wisdom. I'll never forgot those conversations and encouraging words as they are words I still say to myself when I need a boost. It's clear he was an outstanding person who positively impacted those he crossed paths with. Thoughts are with his family and friends.
Keri
May 23, 2024
Dave was a great bloke, always positive, many wise words of wisdom whether it related to something personal or professional, always had a big smile and cheerful laugh, many a great a story he told, he always made time for the things that he loved most. There's many things to takeaway from Dave. Thoughts with the family. All the best for the next life Dave.
Rudy
May 22, 2024
As we bid farewell to Dave, it has united all of our hearts as one in cherishing the memory of a good man, we called a friend. For those who had the privilege of being in Dave’s life, he always made time to uplift those around him. He often said "when all is done, integrity is all we have", and he earned that stripe.
God bless his soul and may peace return and fill the hearts of Michelle and their families.
Sydney
May 22, 2024
Always the first one to say hi with a big friendly smile and energy, Dave will be missed at work. My deepest sympathy and prayers for Dave and family.
Paris Lau
May 22, 2024
Hearing of the news of Dave’s passing broke my heart. It was an absolute pleasure to work alongside Dave during my time at Bunnings - he was a kind soul, a mentor and always had an exciting new story to tell. Sending my condolences to Dave’s family at this difficult time. You will be greatly missed.
Dan Calvert
May 22, 2024
Dave is such a great bloke
The very first time we meet was when he was buying Pet at TWIL. We were looking at dog collars quantities and he gave me a really huge order, I said "that's a bit much?" and he laughed and said "Nah I don't want that many, just wanted to see your reaction..." - ha we laughed and got on so well from then.
Dave is such a smart, interesting, fun guy. He added value to everything he worked with and did. He is special.
Really sorry to all his family.
Struan Kingan
May 21, 2024
I was absolutely privileged to know Dave as my leader and mentor, and I wish we had more time together. I will always cherish both professional knowledge and advice and our non-work conversations. His outstanding sense of humor, constant care for people's well-being and great wisdom made a difference to a lot of lives, including mine. He was really always leading by example and was a great chief for our team. This is a huge loss for all of us and he will be missed dearly. My condolences to Dave's family.
Anna Grechikhina
May 21, 2024
It was a sad day hearing this news. I first met Dave while traveling for work as a supplier, and I was immediately struck by his warm and welcoming nature. He had a remarkable talent for storytelling that captivated everyone around him. Whether he was sharing tales from his travels or offering advice in a meeting, Dave had a way of making you feel truly seen and heard. He left a lasting impression. Dave will be deeply missed, but his stories will never be forgotten.
Cameron
May 20, 2024
I had the pleasure of knowing and working with Dave for a number of years.
I remember how he always implored me to keep a positive attitude in anything I did, be that work or family.
If you were to ask me what kind of man Dave was, my response would simply be “Rolls-Royce”.
My condolences to Dave’s family and loved ones.
Bless you mate.
Justin Chan
May 20, 2024
Dave was an amazing person, he left a lasting impression on those that he interacted with. Always a kind word or a friendly smile when you passed him in the office. My sincere and heartfelt condolences to Dave's family at this difficult time
Mandy
May 20, 2024
So shocked and incredibly saddened to hear this news. My thoughts and prayers are with Dave’s family.
Dave was certainly one of the good guys x
Kelly Dix
May 20, 2024
Heartfelt condolences to Dave's friends and family at this very sad time. I will always remember Dave's smile and warmth. He was a great colleague and mentor to many - always happy to help and share his knowledge and experience. He will be missed.
Melissa Haines
May 20, 2024
So sorry to hear of Dave's passing. He was a wonderful guy, whose humour, perspective and good cheer brightened every day. He was always a great part of the team and made us all a bit better. We will miss his laughter, his stories, and his kind soul.
John Strong
May 20, 2024
So sad to hear you have left us! Even though our time together in this world was brief. I was fortunate to have you as a customer! I will miss your wittiness in meetings and your sense of humour! Rest easy young man!
Jamie Oliver
May 19, 2024
It was with sadness to hear David had passed, I was fortunate to meet him with the Misfits for the Moto GP in Australia for October 2023, there were a lot of laughs and it was my pleasure to get to know him, a true gentleman he was happy to talk about life, family and what really matters.

Rest in Peace mate
Kevin Vaughan
May 19, 2024
I had the pleasure of working with Dave as my leader for most of my time in merchandise & it was a privilege I will always treasure. He was a fantastic mentor and leader who guided me through many challenges with wisdom and patience. His stories, always filled with humour and life lessons, brightened our days and brought our team closer together. Beyond being a great boss, he was a true friend whose kindness and support meant the world to me. I will always cherish his laughter and the profound impact he had on my life. Rest in peace Dave. Thoughts & prayers are with Dave’s family at this difficult time.
Simon Rice
May 19, 2024
My thoughts are with Dave’s family at this tough time. It was easy to tell how much family meant to him. I will miss our chats and updating Dave on the latest fishing adventures my grandkids were up to. He showed genuine interest and care. Rest easy Dave.
Joanne Bishop-Everett
May 19, 2024
My deepest condolences to Dave's family & friends. Fond memories of his sense of humour, welcoming nature and care of people...Thank you Dave for blessing our lives with your spirit x
Deb Perano
May 19, 2024
Sorry to hear of David’s passing. I worked with him as a supplier to Bunnings in NZ. When we travelled to Europe we enjoyed some great times. A gentleman to work with and have a social beer.
David Nicholls
May 19, 2024
A shame to hear of Daves passing, Although I only worked with him while he was at Progressive, he stood out as one of the memorable people from my time there and I followed his career. He has contributed so much to the retail industry here in New Zealand, but more importantly made an impact as a leader and the development of others. Condolences to his family
Delwyn Oliver
May 19, 2024
Such a privilege to have worked with Dave - he was a real character who always had a smile or a joke to brighten my day and will be very much missed. Deepest sympathy to his family.
Delina Shields
May 19, 2024
Dave you will be forever missed. You were certainly one of the good guys. Always there for everyone else, for a chat and a laugh. I have so many memories of working together in NZ and then across the ditch when I moved back to Aus. You will be missed by many. Rest easy and my deepest thoughts go out to Dave’s family and friends. X
Lauren Ridgway
May 19, 2024
I had the privilege of working with Dave for only a short time, but he left a big impression on me. Such a genuine and great person. I always enjoyed our chats about racing and going to see a couple of races together. Dave was so proud of his family and my condolences to all his family and those closest to him. We will miss you mate.
Daniel Ridgway
May 19, 2024
Please accept my condolences for the passing of Dave.
My thoughts and well wishes to Michelle and his daughters.
Dave and I shared to passions, fire and fishing.
Typically on a Friday, Dave would be quick to send me an image or two of a fire together with and a well earned cold beverage to cap off another week and typically on a Monday morning we’d discuss the latest fishing story.
You’ll be missed Dave by many, that is certain.
Thanks for all your coaching and advice over the years.
Rest easy now mate.
Hamba Kahle
Simon Flynn-Coleman
May 19, 2024
Dave had the best sense of humour. Always taking time for a chat and a story. We worked closely on a few different projects together and Dave always provided great advice and guidance. Will always treasure those memories. RIP Dave.
Sharon Mimilo
May 19, 2024
Dave was always warm, kind and thoughtful. Over the years I enjoyed listening and learning to him and sharing the odd joke or two. Always a person of the highest integrity, the world is a little less without him in it. My thoughts and prayers are with Dave’s family.
Mike Schneider
May 19, 2024
I had the privilege of having my first ever Bunnings interview with Dave. Right from the start, I could see he was a man of compassion, respect, and integrity. His cheeky sense of humor and love for a witty joke always brought light to our days. We often shared stories of Invercargill and our mutual love for the mainland, moments I will always cherish.
During the challenges of COVID, Dave's leadership shone brightly. He held daily huddle meetings to steer the team and bring joy to our days, showing his unwavering dedication and positivity.
Dave was fiercely loyal to his team and an exceptional people leader. His legacy will undoubtedly live on at Bunnings, inspiring us all. We will miss him deeply, but his spirit will always remain with us.
Victoria Anderson
May 19, 2024
Sending love & light to your family and friends David. Always enjoyed our chats. Such a gentleman and a pleasure to work with!
Rest in love!
Katrina Tolomaki
May 19, 2024
Condolences to Dave's family. A true gentleman, always had time for a chat and would give always give helpful advice and guidance. Dave and I were often the early birds in the office and he always made time to come across and say good morning and have a chat, a laugh and a genuine connection. You'll be missed by many Dave x
Clare Taylor
May 19, 2024
Sincerest condolences to Dave's family in what has to be the toughest of times. It is a shame to lose great people at anytime but for him to be taken as he moved into the golden years is a tragedy.
I knew Dave from Bunnings and he was a truly great man. I had a lot of respect for Dave's advice and wisdom which he handed out freely and without any anticipation of anything in return.
The times I truly valued though were the non work or sometimes work adjacent conversations. Dave had so many funny stories and never failed to make me laugh. This isn't the place for some of those stories but I've had a few laughs to myself thinking about them and Dave over the last few days.
Steve O'Shaughnessy
May 19, 2024
Deepest condolences to the Welsh family. May you find comfort in this time of sadness.

I worked with David for some years and he was a gentleman of note.

May he rest in peace.
Gayle Theunissen
May 19, 2024
Our hero has fallen just to get up again and ride high in the next chapter. You will forever be in our hearts and minds and we will cherish the good laughs and times we were blessed with. You have been a great friend, mentor and a coach. Thank you for everything you have done for me. I will miss you forever. May your soul rest in peace.
Aman Sehdev
May 18, 2024
Traditional gentlemen - with so much spirit.
You’ll be missed.
Chris morgan
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