We are governed by passionate leaders
Our 13 Trustees are leaders in their fields – generously giving their time, skills and expertise to support and grow Nikau Foundation. In accordance with our Trust Deed, the Foundation can be governed by up to 14 Trustees each serving a three-year term with the possibility of reappointment.
We welcome diversity of thought
As part of our commitment to inclusivity, the Board’s composition is reviewed regularly ensuring it reflects the richness of society with community representation. This process enables us to grow our team of skilled and committed Trustees who actively advance the goals of Nikau Foundation.
We identify the skills we need to grow
Our model is multi-faceted – we are an investor, grantmaker and fundraiser. To support each of these areas we need a range of skills and expertise from across different sectors. That’s why we have established several committees advising the board on key aspects of our operation.
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)
Company Director, Technology Investor, City Councillor
Chris is a business consultant focusing on information technology and associated venture capital investments. He has worked in accounting and banking in New Zealand, UK, Canada and the USA. Chris is currently a Hutt City Councillor, a board member of Community Foundations of New Zealand, a trustee of Ngā Manu Nature Reserve and a company director of various trading companies. Chris enjoys the outdoors, particularly skiing, climbing and tramping, and he is also an active tennis player, cyclist and occasional golfer. Sadly, he is now roundly defeated in all sports by his children, who are in their 20s, a fate shared with his wife Jan.
Liz Koh (Deputy Chair)
Liz is the owner of Moneymax, a financial business based on the Kāpiti Coast. She is a Certified Financial Planner, Chartered Accountant and Chartered Director. Liz is well known as a writer and commentator in the area of personal finance. She is actively involved in her local community, being a long-standing member of Kāpiti Rotary and Chair of the Kāpiti Economic Development Agency. Liz has three adult daughters and enjoys gardening, music and genealogy in her spare time.
Partner, Morrison Kent, Barristers and SolicitorsRichard 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. Richard is the Nikau representative on the grants and scholarships committee of the Borrin Foundation. He is married to Sarah with three children about to leave home. He is passionate about Wellington and the Kapiti Coast. He enjoys his golf, beekeeping and developing their property, Pahiko on the Otaki River.
Principal of Business & Advisory Services LtdRobert 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.
Wellington City Councillor
Jill Day is a Wellington City Councillor for the Takapū Northern Ward, first elected in 2016. Her iwi is Ngāti Tūwharetoa. She graduated from Victoria University with a science degree in biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics and went on to become a primary school teacher. She soon became immersed in her local community and undertook many volunteer roles.
She holds the Council’s Māori Partnerships and Children portfolios. She was instrumental in creating Te Tauihu, the Council’s te reo Māori policy, which aims to expand the use of the language in Wellington.
Jill lives in Tawa with her husband, Stuart, three children and dog, Nikau. She is passionate about being a voice for Wellingtonians in need, especially young people and families.
Managing Partner of Dundas Street, a specialist Employment Law FirmSusan is rated by international agencies as one of the top 3 Employment Lawyers in NZ. 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, an award-winning specialist Employment Law firm based in central Wellington. Susan has been a Nikau Foundation Board member for the past 4 years and was previously a board member of law firm Kensington Swan.
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 Kāpiti Coast with her wife Helen.
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.
Co-Founder / Managing Director, WELLfedRebecca has 20+ years corporate experience in financial services’ across Information Technology, business process, project management, senior management and consultancy – in New Zealand and overseas.
Rebecca is currently a board member of Bellyful New Zealand and WELLfed New Zealand (which she co-founded). A long-time volunteer and manager of volunteers, Rebecca has a passion for not-for-profit success through slick operations, strong governance and building effective community connections.
Rebecca lives in Porirua with her husband, David, and two children and is particularly motivated by health/nutrition, wellness, inequality and women’s/children’s issues.
Principal, Adroite Communications
Adrienne is the principal at Adroite Communications, a Wellington-based communications, public relations and business development agency with clients from all over New Zealand and from a broad range of sectors. She has more than 25 years’ experience in strategic communications planning and implementation; and reputation, crisis and issues management.
Adrienne is chair of the Halberg Endowment Fund. She is a life trustee of the Halberg Foundation (formerly the Halberg Trust), and was a trustee from 2000-2017.
When not engrossed in work, Adrienne enjoys developing gardens, pottering in the kitchen, and exploring new places.
Governor of the Reserve Bank of New ZealandAdrian has an extensive career in economics and public sector finance. His career history includes Directorships and International Governance, previously serving as Chair of the International Forum of Sovereign Wealth Funds, and Chair of the Pacific Pension and Investment Institute. Throughout his career Adrian has been the recipient of various awards, including CFO Award for Outstanding Contribution to Finance and Business NZ (2018). Adrian is New Zealand born and bred, and primarily of Cook Island and Irish descent. He is married to Sue, a novelist, and they have 3 adult children.
Director, Outlook MediaRachel is a communications and strategy specialist. For over fifteen years, through her company Outlook Media, she’s worked with not-for-profit organisations, business and government agencies. Her clients’ fields are as diverse as community-led development and Search and Rescue. Her skills and experience cover consultation, insight and support of wide-ranging goals, multi sector forums and projects, including search and rescue prevention, philanthropy, not for profit capability and communication tactics.
Rachel is a member of the Open Government Partnership’s Expert Advisory Panel. She is most interested in providing leadership supporting practical outcomes that are fit for purpose and achievable.
In a previous life Rachel was a journalist and a radio producer working on National Radio’s Nine to Noon programme amongst others. Rachel is married to Chris; they have two teenage boys and live a great life in Wellington’s inner city.
Director, Venter ConsultingWendy is a Wellington-based consultant. She is a director of the New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research and a former partner at EY, Deputy Chief Executive of the Ministry of Social Development and Assistant Auditor-General. Wendy’s areas of expertise are governance, risk management, organisational change, integrity and assurance. She was born and educated in India, and came to Wellington as a young graduate.
An ideal Sunday for Wendy is a run around the waterfront, a dosa at the Harbourside Markets and 18 holes of golf at the Miramar Golf Club. Wendy is married to Nick and they have a daughter living in Melbourne and a son studying at Victoria University.
Head of Wholesale and Private Investment at Kiwi Investment Management (a Kiwi Wealth company)
He lives on the Kāpiti Coast with his wife Gina and son James. Peter and James share a passion for native flora and fauna.
Co-opted Sub-committee Members
Sam CooperSam brings twelve years commercial property experience as an Executive Director of Robt. Jones Holdings Limited, a prominent private property investor, to the investment committee. Sam was previously a commercial lawyer and holds a LLB (Hons) and BCom (Finance and Economics) degrees from Otago University. Sam is currently fully immersed in child rearing with wife Lucy.
CEO of Accessability Charitable Trust, Co-opted member of the Grants Committee
Tony has over 30 years’ experience in not-for-profit leadership and management working in the health, social service and cultural sectors. Tony’s career includes work with the NZ AIDS Foundation, the Christchurch Methodist Mission, and as CEO of Comcare Trust, the Christchurch Arts Centre, Victim Support, New Zealand Red Cross, and Philanthropy New Zealand.
Tony served on the Board of Housing New Zealand for 5 years, has a Masters in Management and lives in Wellington with his partner Bernadette Macartney and their two daughters Maggie and Sally.
Immediate Past Chair / Company Director and founding trustee, Co-opted member of the Investment Committee
Kevin was formerly the Chair 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 trustee 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, skiing and walking.
CEO NZRB, formerly CEO of MFAT & NZ Post, LawyerJohn 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.
Company DirectorIan 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.