Bill Doherty BEM



Surname: Doherty
Full Name: William George
Date of Birth: 24 February 1949
Residential Address: Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Nationality: New Zealand
Citizenship: New Zealand
Citation: For Services to the Business Sector and the Community.
Award Recommended: British Empire Medal (BEM)

Supplement to Bill Doherty’s BEM Award

I was honoured and very privileged to be invited by Bill to attend this special occasion at the Cook Island Government House on the King’s Birthday, Monday 3rd June 2024. 

On arrival, I was adorned by a colourful Bougainvillea ei, which I wore throughout my stay.

Representing Bill’s other family, Victor Four Company was very humbling and emotional as he always referred to us, as our ‘Band of Brothers’.

After the BEM Award Ceremony, Dina, Bill & I visited Bill (Taki) Framhein’s home where we met his widow Lidia to pay our respects. 
I laid my ei's on Papa Taki Framhein. .

To Doc, Dina, Denise & Alan; Kia orana, Kia ora, Meitaki.



Biography courtesy of Anthony Brown, secretary for the Kings Representative. 
Photos courtesy of Dina & Denise.

Mr William George Doherty more commonly known as Bill was born 24th February 1949 in Whangarei, New Zealand. His father was second generation Irish/New Zealand and his mother was from Salelologa, Samoa. Mr Doherty is the second eldest of seven children - three boys and four girls. From two marriages, he has six daughters and only one son.  He has nine grandchildren and two great-grandsons.

At the age of 14, Mr Doherty finished school to work on the family farm with his father until 1968 when he joined the New Zealand Regular Army as an infantryman at the age of 19. After extensive training Mr Doherty was posted to 1 RNZIR, Terendak Garrison, Malacca, Malaysia as part of the 28th Commonwealth Brigade. In May 1969 he was posted to active service in South Vietnam with Victor Four Company as part of the 6th Royal Australian Regiment, ANZAC Battalion, 6 RAR/NZ (ANZAC) Bn as a M60 Machine Gunner. For his personal courage, coolness under fire and consistently displaying personal and Infantry skills of the highest order, Her Majesty the Queen ordered Private WG Doherty’s name to be placed on record in September 1970 as mentioned in Despatches for distinguished service later receiving a copy of his citation from Her Excellency the Governor-General in February 2019.

In 1973, the Mainline Brown & Doherty Ltd construction company was established. The company was awarded the contract to build the Rarotongan Beach Resort in 1975 to completion in 1977. During this period, Mr Doherty carried out a multitude of infrastructure projects, including, but not limited to the laying of the water-mains pipeline around Rarotonga, construction of 3x 100,000 gallon and 1x 500,000 gallon water-tanks.

The company also operated Ocean Towing & Salvaging – the first tug and ocean towing service in the Cook Islands, transporting materials to all the Pa Enua (Outer Islands) for telecommunications.

A keen promoter of sports, Bill also coached the Arorangi rugby team.

In 1985 Mr Doherty was invited to undertake the contract for the construction and completion of the Bahai Temple in Apia, Samoa. In 1990, Mainline Brown & Doherty was awarded the contract for the construction of the Cook Islands National Auditorium in Rarotonga.

A very proud moment for Mr Doherty was when he received his Cook Islands Certificate of Permanent Residency in 1998.

To date, under his flagship company Landholdings Ltd, Mr Doherty has completed many key infrastructure projects on the outer islands (Pa Enua) and Rarotonga for the Cook Islands and New Zealand Governments. This includes schools in Mauke, Mangaia, Aitutaki, as well as the largest secondary school in the Cook Islands, Tereora College on Rarotonga.  Other construction projects have been the Akitua Resort’s over water bungalows and Samade Bar both in Aitutaki. The Manihiki hospitals and wharves, bridges, cyclone shelter and the cyclone shelter in Pukapuka.

In 2008, Mr Doherty opened the Ocean Fresh fish shop, the only commercial long line fishing company in the Cook Islands. Ocean Fresh supplies the local market with fresh fish and also exports quality tuna to Japan.

Through his companies, both Landholdings Ltd and Ocean Fresh Ltd, Mr Doherty has contributed to many areas of the community, namely the Rarotonga Hospital by donating much need medical equipment and bedding as well as assisting in many other projects as requested by the hospital. Contributions to sports through sponsorships of teams and individuals in various sports codes. Supporting and contributing to senior citizens through donations of whole tuna to the 65 year plus community of Takitumu and Avatiu during the Covid-19 Pandemic. Mr Doherty contributes to the schools through ongoing donations of fish and gift vouchers for fundraisers and prize giving, sponsorships of school trips, and donations of fish parts for student’s science projects. He has also assisted with the Tupapa Culture Group with uniforms and assisted materials for costumes.

Influenced by the hard work of his Parents growing up, Mr Doherty is a very generous and humble man and will continue to support his industrious team at Landholdings Ltd, Ocean Fresh Ltd, those in need, and his many friends, family and Victor Four family.

JJ Harold Browne 
Secretary, Cabinet Services