In a touching tribute, Aotea's surfers gathered at Medland's for a paddle out at 2 pm, as Mike's journey from the island took flight for the last time. Photo / Facebook

Community Mourns the Loss of Beloved Local Legend, Mike Brown

In a touching tribute, Aotea’s surfers gathered at Medland’s for a paddle out at 2 pm, as Mike’s journey from the island took flight for the last time. Photo / Facebook

On December 23, the Aotea community lost one of its most cherished members. Mike Brown, known for his infectious smile, passion for surfing, golf, and most importantly, as a loving father to Aimee, Mitch, Kylee, and Zach, passed away peacefully after a valiant battle with pancreatic cancer. Erica Archibald, Mike’s mate and business partner, shared, “Mike left us for the great point break in the sky, leaving behind a legacy of strength and love.”

In addition to being a family man and sports enthusiast, Mike was a pillar of the local community. He was the former co-owner, along with Erica, of the iconic island café My Fat Puku. His entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to the island were further exemplified through his role as an organizer of the Wharf to Wharf Marathon, an event that brought hundreds to the island each year.

Mike’s commitment to the community extended beyond business and sports. He was actively involved in civic matters, often making submissions to the local board on how to make life easier for the island’s small businesses, hospitality operators, and locals. His efforts were instrumental in shaping a more supportive and thriving environment on the island.

In a touching tribute, Aotea’s surfers gathered at Medland’s for a paddle out at 2 pm, as Mike’s journey from the island took flight for the last time.

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Family, friends, and those touched by Mike’s life are invited to celebrate his legacy on Saturday, January 27th, at 2 pm at the Great Barrier Island Golf Club.

Mike’s impact on the island was profound, not just in his personal endeavors but also through his son Mitch’s remarkable achievements. Just last year, the community witnessed Mitch, coached and caddied by Mike, clinch a gold medal at the Special Olympics in Berlin. Mike, affectionately branded “coach of the year,” was a pillar of support, guiding Mitch to an outstanding victory.

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The community welcomed Mitch and Mike back from Berlin at Claris airport with a celebration fit for champions. The pride in Mike’s eyes, accompanied by his characteristic infectious smile, was evident as he witnessed his son’s dream turn into reality. “A few years ago, when I told Mitch about the Special Olympics and the World Summer Games in Berlin in 2023, he said, ‘I’m going to go there and win gold,'” Mike had reminisced. And Mitch did just that, with his father by his side every step of the way.

As we bid farewell to Mike, we remember not only a local legend but a father, friend, and mentor whose spirit will continue to inspire the community. His journey may have ended, but his legacy endures in the waves of Medland’s, the greens of the golf club, and most importantly, in the hearts of those he loved.

Mike Brown and co-owner Erica Archibald together at My Fat Puku. Photo / Facebook
Mike Brown and co-owner Erica Archibald together at My Fat Puku. Photo / Facebook
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