In 2017 I was asked about helping out with the publication of a book commemorating 50 years of Pohlen Hospital – specifically the design and layout of what would be a near 200-page walk through history.

‘Why not?’ I thought. ‘It’ll be a great way to contribute to the community.’ And it was.

Working with author, Sandra Hunter, someone I’ve known for, er, decades, and the book committee, we produced a compact, yet weighty, crisp, yet deep, book that told the Pohlen story through its first 50 years.

Pohlen Hospital: The First 50 Years was launched in November 2019. You can purchase a copy HERE.


The following article was published in the October 15, 2019 issue of Scene, one of Matamata’s local newspapers. 

“Dwayne Barlow has three passions – his family, his football and his work.

To say that the three keep Matamata born-and-bred Dwayne on his toes could be somewhat of an understatement, yet he has still found time to design and lay out all 180 pages of the Pohlen 50-year-anniversary book.

Indeed, when asked if he would lend his skills to the project, Dwayne did not hesitate for one nanosecond.

“It’s another way of contributing to the community…and it’s the first book of this type that I’ve produced,” said Dwayne, who has laid out a number of New Zealand Football Annuals in the past, along with various other publications such as brochures and product manuals.

A University of Waikato BMS graduate, Dwayne’s work career has included a stint at a community newspaper and in a marketing support and management team role at Metso.

A company restructure was the catalyst for Dwayne’s decision to take the plunge into business on his own account and he founded DBMM – Dwayne Barlow Media and Marketing Ltd.

Dwayne’s specific areas of expertise include copywriting, market communications, basic design and layout, marketing and media planning and digital marketing.

“Along with my network of contacts, I use these skills to help organisations tell their story in their own unique way,” he said.

Setting up on his own account saw a number of initial adjustments; however, the move has also allowed Dwayne the bonus of being a fully-engaged parent to his and Jean’s three children, Nathan, Theo and Siena. Jean is an environmental manager and works out of town.

Dwayne works in his home office and it is no surprise that he does so amid a colourful array of football scarves, memorabilia, posters and gear – all reflecting his passion for the beautiful game.

No surprise either that Dwayne also fills the role of communications manager for WaiBOP Football Federation, one of the seven Federations that govern football in New Zealand.

He is Matamata Swifts AFC president (again!), coaches a junior team, runs the holiday football programme and produces the club’s entertaining fortnightly programme.

Tongue-in-cheek the refers to himself in the programme as the club’s mouthpiece!

Dwayne was born in the Elizabeth Street Matamata Maternity Hospital, while their three babies were all born at Pohlen Hospital’s maternity annexe so Dwayne had some familiarity with the book’s content.

He has produced it in an immensely reader-friendly style using a no-nonsense font (DINpro) and sharpening old images as much as possible.

Like the rest of the book team, Dwayne is looking forward to seeing the book released at the Saturday, November 9 Picnic at Pohlen to which the community is invited.

Then, no doubt, it will be on to the next project!

By Sandra Hunter”