Monday, May 20, 2024

Bo Burns takes the reins of the Times

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Well-known east Auckland community leader Bo Burns has resurrected the Howick and Pakuranga Times. Photo supplied

East Auckland’s leading community news provider – the Times – is back!

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the long-standing local news provider has been brought back to life after its publisher, Times Newspapers, closed on April 17.

Well-known east Auckland businesswoman Bo Burns has acquired the company’s digital assets.

As she doesn’t plan at this stage to reintroduce the printed version of the newspaper its new form is a slimmed-down, online-only version.

Times Newspapers was recently placed into voluntary administration in an effort to force its sale after having informed the local community for more than 50 years.

Managing director Reay Neben believed it was the right time to step away from the industry and retire.

After a short period of administration, no buyer was forthcoming and the business closed on April 17.

Staff were told at a meeting with administrators Blacklock Rose that they were being terminated that day.

Not willing to let a news void be created in the community, Burns stepped in, buying the company’s intellectual property including its popular website,, the East Auckland App, and Facebook page – with its 10,000 followers – with the goal of making its digital presence more successful than ever.

She has two decades’ of business experience.

Burns runs the successful local business Promo Factory, organises the popular annual Howick Santa Parade, and is deputy chairperson of the Howick Local Board.

She says she wants to continue the Times’ reputation as a trustworthy source of independent, unbiased, lively and hard-hitting community news.

Her link to the company stretches back to 1997 when she began working for it in sales as a teenager.

“That launched my career in and passion for advertising and marketing,” Burns says.

“I was there for three years and then went on my OE at 21.

“I worked for two newspapers in London and ended up being the sales manager for both.

“Then I came back home and started my own business here.”

Burns says east Auckland needs a reliable and trustworthy news source and her goal is for the Times to continue to be exactly that.

“Residents need a place where they can go to learn about what’s happening locally around business, politics, education, health, crime, Auckland Council, the Howick Local Board and community events.

“We won’t just be reporting the news. We’ll connect the vibrant communities of east Auckland to the stories and events that matter.

“Our mission is to deliver current, relevant, and authentic content that resonates with our readers, even when it generates controversy because that’s what honest journalism is about.”

Former Times Newspapers managing director Reay Neben. Times file photo Wayne Martin

Neben says her family has been close friends with the Burns family for decades.

She fully supports Burns acquiring the company’s digital assets because she has the necessary drive, work ethic and determination.

“I think it’s exciting because Bo is the next generation.

“We’ve spent so much money developing the website and the app and now the next generation is coming in with the passion that I had a long time ago.

“The passion and the love of the community, and Bo’s proven she has that.

“She has a high profile and she’s perfect for this. I’ve known Bo all her life.

“With all the bad news that’s going on in the media industry, this is an incredible success.

“She’s smart and she’s passionate about news content.

“She told me this community cannot live without its own news source and that’s all I needed to know.”

Burns says the Times has strong ties to the heart of east Auckland and it’s powered by a small team of passionate locals committed to bringing their audience the inside scoop on everything they need to know.

“From community events to critical updates, we’re dedicated to keeping you informed and engaged.”

Email Burns at For news tips or stories about our local east Auckland community contact Times reporter Chris Harrowell at




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