Witness to global peace keeping operations for 30 years
Stephen Whitehouse’s career began in broadcasting in Wellington and took him to the inner circles of United Nations headquarters in New York where secretary general Kofi Annan described the New Zealander’s technique as the “Whitehouse Way.”
He led the United Nations radio and television unit and his 30 year career there took him throughout the Mediterranean, Middle East, and the Balkans during which time he witnessed and recorded many commotions.
Stephen Alexander Whitehouse who has died in the United Kingdom suddenly at the age of 73 emigrated to New Zealand with his family in 1952.
He grew up in Wellington in an artistic and bohemian household, his mother, actress Davina Whitehouse, being a central figure in the young country’s burgeoning cultural scene. Visitors to the home included a young Sam Neil, Richard Campion (father of Jane), and Peter Jackson. The opening frames of Jackson’s film ‘Brain Dead’ were shot on the beach outside his mother’s house.
After graduating from Victoria University, Wellington, where he had excelled as a revue writer and performer, he worked for the Broadcasting Corporation before moving to Hong Kong for a stint on the South China Morning Post. A keen jazz enthusiast (he played tenor saxophone) he leapt at the chance to work at the UN and lived in the Park Slope, Brooklyn (the ‘real New York’ as he put it) from the early 70’s.
Retiring to Sandwich, Kent, he worked on the Festival Committee, took up the banjo, joined the local Liberal Democrats, avidly watched cricket and rugby and listened to his beloved Radio New Zealand, returning to Wellington every year for the NZ summer.
An enthusiastic amateur historian, he was also a volunteer at Sandwich Museum. A keen sailor during his earlier years, he recently became a trustee for the P22 gunboat.
Steve is survived by his wife Lynne O’Donoghue, sons Sasha and Sam from his first marriage, a stepdaughter Alexandra and stepson Daniel.
Era Polymers Corporation, an Australian manufacturer, also located in New Zealand, specializing in polyurethane chemistry, will open its first industrial facility in the United States, creating 20 new jobs in Gaston County, North Carolina. The company plans to create 20 new jobs in the town of Stanley, investing $9.2 million.
The company, with headquarters in Sydney, Australia, produces a diverse line of polyurethane products and has a worldwide distribution network. The new manufacturing operation in Stanley, the first American plant for the company, will join four other production facilities operated by the company in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Strong sales growth in North America led the company to search for a new business location in the United States.
“Era Polymers has been conducting business within the USA for more than 15 years,” said George Papamanuel, President of Era Polymers. “It became a logical step for us to establish our own presence in the USA with an advanced manufacturing facility, to better supply and technically service our growing customer base. This world class facility is the ideal platform to support the next growth stage of our company.”
According to the local chamber of commerce, a performance-based grant of $50,000 from the One North Carolina Fund will help facilitate Era Polymers’ move into Gaston County. The One NC Fund provides financial assistance to local governments to help attract economic investment and to create jobs. Companies receive no money upfront and must meet job creation and capital investment targets to qualify for payment. In addition to creating and maintaining the 20 jobs, meeting a threshold of $8 million in investment is directly tied to the company’s OneNC agreement.
“Our community welcomes Era Polymers to North Carolina,” said N.C. Representative John Torbett. “Many people and organizations in our region came together to recruit this company and we stand ready to support them as they put down roots and grow here.”
The company’s products include polyurethane elastomers, foams, coatings, machinery, and toll manufacturing of polyurethane chemistries.