Our people. Gav Bisman

Our people. Gav Bisman

by Charli Cox

Meet Gav. Gav is a legend in many communities, and we are lucky enough to have him as a part of ours. Charli first met Gav when he volunteered in Tāmaki Makarau back in 2020. Since then, he moved back home to Papamoa and heads up our community pop-ups in the Bay of Plenty alongside Nat. Gav is a dad to four tamariki, a surfer and just a really beautiful human being.

How have the past eighteen months been for you?

Great really, full of learning, taking opportunity, accepting challenges and lots of quality time spent with my family and in the ocean surfing.

Not a bad year in retrospect to be honest.

Our expansion into Mount Maunganui wouldn't have been possible without you Gav, tell us more about the community there?

That's cool, thank you.I'm so grateful to call this place (Papamoa/Mount) home and to be a part of the community here.

It's close knit but everyone is still given their space to be who they are, to enjoy what they're doing & I really love that we have a diverse collection of good people that come together often for fun at the beach or social events but still do so much to help and give back to one another. It's really supportive here I feel. 

What is your day job or your typical day-to-day?

I've recently started working for myself doing Real Estate which is cool & a new challenge, but each morning I still start by dropping my kids at school, grabbing a coffee and checking the surf.

Then it's about surfing, organising work, locking in time to do my volunteering, working on local music gigs & surf events that I love to do and fitting all I can into my day before I head home to hang with my family again. Busy but good!

It can be kinda manic some days, haha, but I need to be moving, talking, creating. It's a positive thing to be doing good stuff and it's key for my mental well being and that's real important too.

Oh, and we just bought a Float Spa business which is random but real exciting to be starting up!

How has your community work influenced your outlook on life?

Honestly, it's kept me alive.

I need to give.

And it's a solid reminder to me every day to be grateful for the life we have and to do what I can to make shit a lil bit better for others every damn day.

It's just what it is.  

What positive changes have you seen come through the communities where you volunteer?

It's situational but I think overall there's two words that come to mind..


and confidence.

Koha Apparel is raw in that we deal with some of the most vulnerable in our communities but so real in the way we can change their day to day life so much on that given day.

Just by giving them a space of respect and trust and assisting them with the apparel we provide, you get to see the proudness and confidence that can come from having clean, fresh, nice clothing and how much it means to people.

That's my why.

What does Aotearoa, the world, need more of right now?


What gives you hope for the future?

My kids.

I get so much from giving and for that I'm very grateful.

We have a few different locations in the Bay of Plenty where we pop-up and reach the local community with quality clothing, tell us a bit more about these communities. services to the communities there.

Tauranga is separated from the Mount & Papamoa areas by the Tauranga Harbour and quite some distance too, so it can be hard to reach everyone in one place. 

We work alongside a couple of great local organisations in Tauranga & Arataki (Mount) to make sure we can try and meet the needs of as many of our community as we can. 

And we are hoping to expand that to another space in Papamoa soon, so as to reach them more as well.

We do all we can to get to the people that need us.

That's what this is about.

How have the communities responded? Is there a focus on support and care — collaborative efforts between other organisations in this region? 

We're stoked to be working alongside "Under The Stars" in Tauranga and "Te Kainga" C3 Church in Arataki to help reach the people in our community who need us most. Both of these organisations provide nutritious, delicious, complimentary community meals every week & we are there monthly with them to help with apparel for those that arrive in need. 

It's a symbiotic relationship that serves to support the communities here.

What other community groups or organisations are doing notable mahi in these regions?

Kai Aroha is another in Papamoa. We are hoping to partner with them in the coming months. 

Kura Kai NZ is another doing great things in providing meals in schools locally.

There are a few others helping the Mums'n'Bubs in our communities too which is so good.

The sad truth is that there is always space for more to be done to help others in our community, so I just hope that as individuals and groups we do that and continue to help one another, however that is.

If you can do some good in the world, why wouldn't you? 

Simple really.