Kelvin Clout – “An Agent of Change”

The author George Bryant (left) with the Agent of Change, Kelvin Clout.

He’s a husband, a father and a successful businessman. He’s also our deputy mayor.

Now Kelvin Clout is held up as an “Agent of Change” – a man of “high ethical standards” and one of 15 New Zealanders who prolific non-fiction author George Bryant of Tauranga believes are making a real difference to the way we live.

That is why Kelvin Clout is featured in Bryant’s latest book.

“Kelvin Clout advocates wholesome change and wants to make a positive difference to this city,” says the author. “He is a visionary, a man of ideas, with the practical know-how for bringing those ideas to fruition.

“It’s all about family,” Kelvin says. He wants a city that embraces family, hence his emphasis on housing, safety, recreation and the environment. “I don’t buy into a poverty mentality when we live in such a beautiful region.”

The “Agents of Change” – people like Shirley Duthie, Wendy Lobb, Richard Kempthorne and Nona Aston – may not be household names, but they are all inspirational people.

“Some are making housing affordable and offering comprehensive care services, while others are saving teenagers from addiction and transforming low socio-economic areas.

“There’s a doctor and his wife running a unique medical clinic and a former crisis nurse leading a top chaplaincy service. And he upholds high ethical standards.”

Another of the “agents” is Lisa Woolley, CEO of VisionWest in West Auckland - the largest faith-based not-for-profit organisation in New Zealand with 1200 staff and 9000 clients.

“This is a great story about transforming lives and giving hope, housing the homeless, feeding the hungry and caring for the most vulnerable,” says George. “She’s actually doing what the government keeps saying it wants to do.”

“I haven’t seen the book yet,” says Kelvin Clout. “But I am humbled to be included. I don’t think about these things, I just get on with the job.”

And there’s Jeremy and Ruth Baker, who run a progressive medical clinic in Christchurch, offering holistic health to people on the fringes of society – released prisoners, addicts, refugees and those with mental health problems.

George Bryant has studied sociology and holds a number of qualifications in education, theology and management. The former high school principal, who is also an ordained minister, has written extensively on mainly social issues. “Agents of Change” is his 22nd book.

“I’ve always been impressed by people who deliberately try to improve society and devote their lives to doing so,” he says. “Why do they do it? What motivates them?

“Most of us just follow like sheep and let others improve our lot. These people are intentional - not just to put in a mall seat for the elderly, or plant a tree in a reserve, but they have a desire to actually improve our existence, to make a positive difference to the way we live.”

They are people from across the Christian spectrum – people like Kelvin Clout, whose vision, enthusiasm, faith and hard work helps to improve communities for the benefit of others, according to the author.

George also sought out a variety of occupations from around the country - social workers, politicians, an educator, an artist, a doctor, a kaumatua and an aid worker.

“And, of course, they are representative of countless others.”

And a man who was once Kelvin Clout’s political adversary will launch “Agents of Change” at a function on Monday evening, March 12, at Daniels-in-the-Park on 11th Avenue.

Greg Brownless, who beat Clout by a narrow 2000 votes for the Mayor’s office, will officially launch George Bryant’s latest publication.

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