Our Board

Nikau Foundation is led by a dedicated volunteer Board of Trustees, supported by our Patron and Co-opted Members of the Funding Sub Committee.

 

The Trustee board may consist of up to 12 persons having such special knowledge, experience, qualifications and interest as the Board may from time to time prescribe. A formal appointment policy has been approved by the Board to ensure the best possible mix of the above skills.  Where considered appropriate non trustees may be appointed to Board sub committees to further strengthen the skills available.  Up to three trustees may be appointed from time to time by the Board from local government entities within the Wellington region.  A number of Board Sub-Committees have been established.

Patron
Dame Fran Wilde

Dame Fran Wilde

Fran is a Wellington Regional Councillor. Starting her working life as a journalist, she then entered politics. She became a cabinet minister in the eighties, then left Parliament to become Mayor of Wellington.  Formerly she was Chair of Housing New Zealand and Chief Executive of Trade New Zealand.

Current Board Members
Chris Milne (Chair)

Chris Milne (Chair)

Information technology investments & City Councillor

Chris is a business consultant specialising in information technology and associated venture capital investments.  He has worked in accounting, banking in NZ, UK, USA & Canada, has worked in parliament and is a Hutt City Councillor.  Chris is currently a board member of Community Foundations of New Zealand, a trustee of Nga Manu Nature Reserve and a director of Seaview Marina Ltd.  Chris enjoys the outdoors, particularly skiing, climbing and tramping, and he is also a keen tennis player and occasional golfer.  Sadly, his children in their 20s can now beat him at most sports, a fate shared with his wife Jan.

Liz Koh (Deputy Chair)

Liz Koh (Deputy Chair)

Liz is the owner of Moneymax, a financial planning business based on the Kapiti Coast. She is a Certified Financial Planner and Chartered Accountant. Prior to establishing her business in 1999, Liz had a successful career in general management. She is a member of the Institute of Financial Advisers, the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants and the Institute of Directors. Liz is a Trustee of the Kapiti Community Recreational Turf Trust and is an active Rotarian. Liz is a well known writer and commentator in the area of personal finance. In her spare time she enjoys gardening, music and genealogy.

Kevin O’Connor

Kevin O’Connor

Immediate Past Chairman / Company Director and founding trustee

Kevin was formerly the Chairman of Infratil Limited, a specialist investor in international infrastructure and utility assets. Previously he had a 35 year career in investment and stockbroking. He is a member of the New Zealand Takeovers Panel; Deputy Chairman of Utilities Emerging Markets Ltd and a member of the Catholic Foundation of Wellington as well as being involved with a number of other charitable bodies. He is a keen sportsman and maintains an active interest in golf, tennis, skiing and walking.

Richard Caughley

Richard Caughley

Partner, Morrison Kent, Barristers and Solicitors

Richard is a lawyer and has been a partner of Morrison Kent since 1985. He is currently head of the Commercial Property team and is also a member of the Morrison Kent Board. He is married to Sarah and has three teenage children. He is passionate about golf and is a member of Royal Wellington Golf Club. He also enjoys sailing, clay bird shooting and tennis.

Ian Cassels

Ian Cassels

Company Director

Ian is the Managing Director of the Wellington Company – a major player in the redevelopment of Wellington city’s urban environments and historic places.  He is also:

– President of the Wellington Branch of the Property Council of New Zealand
– Actively involved in Angel Investments: assisting funding with start up companies- Bio Fuel and Medicine
– A member of the Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce

Ian and the Wellington Company are long time supporters of the prestigious Arts Category for the Wellingtonian of the Year Awards and the Gold Awards celebrating Wellington’s brilliant business performers.

John Allen

John Allen

CEO NZRB, formerly CEO of MFAT & NZ Post, Lawyer

John Allen was appointed the Chief Executive of the New Zealand Racing Board in March 2015, having previously held the role of Chief Executive and Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade since July 2009. He was the Government’s chief adviser on foreign and trade policy, official development assistance, international law, and diplomatic and consular issues.

Prior to joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, John was Chief Executive of New Zealand Post, where he led a range of initiatives to drive growth in advance of declining mail volumes. He held a number of senior positions at New Zealand Post before his appointment as its Chief Executive in 2003.

A former Partner of Rudd Watts & Stone, specialising in commercial and public policy issues, John has also been a visiting Lecturer in Law at Victoria University of Wellington. He is an experienced company director and was co-chair of the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum until April 2011; was adviser to the Boards of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Education New Zealand and Asia New Zealand Foundation; and trustee of the New Zealand China Council. John is Chair of the Be.Accessible Trust. He is also a member of the Territorial Forces Employer Support Council; and a trustee of the New Zealand International Arts Festival and New Zealand Book Council.

Pancha Narayanan

Pancha Narayanan

Past President of the New Zealand Federation of Multicultural Councils and board member of the Centre for Applied Cross Cultural Research at Victoria University in Wellington

Pancha is the Managing Director of Promac International Limited that provides programme and project management consultancy and services to both the public and private sectors in New Zealand. As a volunteer in the migrant and refugee communities he has, in the past also held the positions of the President of the New Zealand Federation of Multicultural Councils and the Multicultural Council of Wellington. Pancha is currently the President of the Upper Hutt Multicultural Council. He is also a board member of the Centre for Applied Cross Cultural Research at Victoria University in Wellington.

Pancha enjoys cricket, meditation, swimming and yoga. He is married to his school friend Pohswan with whom he has two (now grown-up) children.

Susan Hornsby-Geluk

Susan Hornsby-Geluk

Managing Partner of Dundas Street, a specialist Employment Law Firm

Susan is one of New Zealand’s leading Employment Lawyers. She is a go to person for complex / strategic / high profile matters, and her work is largely at Chief Executive or Board level.

Susan is the Managing Partner of Dundas Street, a specialist Employment Law firm based in central Wellington. Prior to this Susan was a partner at Chen Palmer and at Kensington Swan where she was also a Board Member.

Susan is a regular commentator on television, radio and in print.  As a former fitness instructor at Les Mills, Susan maintains a rigorous fitness regime which she complements with a diet of wine and chips.  She divides her time between Central Wellington and the Kapiti Coast with her civil union partner Helen.

Greg Kelly

Greg Kelly

Managing Partner of Greg Kelly Law Ltd, specialists in wills, trusts and estates.

Greg has 35 years experience in the wills, trusts and estate area. He is a member of the Wills and Trusts Committee of the NZLS Property Law Section, and a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).

Greg is a contributor to Butterworth’s Law of Trusts, probate and administration author for McGechan on Procedure, co-author of Garrow and Kelly’s Law of Trusts and Trustees (6th and 7th editions) and of Dobbies’ Probate and Administration Practice (5th and 6th editions). He has presented papers at numerous seminars and conferences for NZ Law Society, Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand and other organisations throughout New Zealand. Greg chaired the NZLS Trust Conferences in 2009, 2011 and 2015.

In 2010 Greg received a Master of Laws with distinction from Victoria University for his thesis on an Inheritance Code for New Zealand. In 2009 Greg established Greg Kelly Law Limited a specialist will, estate and trust legal practice.

Robert Cross

Robert Cross

Principal of Business & Advisory Services Ltd

Robert is a Chartered Accountant, having spent most of his career in public practice.  Twenty seven of these years were spent with Ernst & Young (EY), including 17 years as a partner in the business advisory area, assisting SMEs to improve their business performance.

Robert spent 13 years as the chairman of the Wellington Ronald McDonald House (RMH) overseeing the fundraising and building of the city’s new RMH, a multimillion dollar project, with the doors opening in October 2012.

Robert is a keen sportsman enjoying golf, tennis and mountain biking.

Non Trustee Members of Sub Committees
Tim McGuinness

Tim McGuinness

Co-opted member of the Investment Committee / Investment Management

External member of Investment Sub Committee:
Tim has held senior executive and board / trustee positions with substantial New Zealand based investment management organisations and funds for over 10 years and has an extensive specialist financial market knowledge and experience built up through involvement with the management of investment funds for over 25 years. He is currently Chairman of the Government Superannuation Fund Authority, Chairman of Trustees of the Dairy Industry Superannuation Scheme and Fonterra Superannuation Scheme and a trustee of the New Zealand Fire Service Superannuation Scheme, the Police Superannuation Scheme, and a director of Whai Rawa Fund Limited. These positions followed senior executive and funds management positions with Royal & SunAlliance and Norwich Union / State Insurance for over 15 years. He has also undertaken a number of consultancy assignments, is Chairman of the Nominating Committee for the Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation  and was previously a member of the NZ Stock Exchange Surveillance Panel for a number of years. Tim is a born and bred Wellingtonian and attended St Pat (Town) college and Victoria University. He is married with four children.