David WhyteDeputy Chair
Mel Hewitson MNZMTrustee
Ling Ling LiangTrustee
Maxine Shortland MNZMTrustee
Pramjit Rai Suchdev QSMTrustee
Walter is a company director providing professional advice and services to government, community, and the private sector. He has extensive background in Māori Development with 30 years’ collective experience in the public sector, Iwi governance, Iwi asset management and governance appointments to community trusts and societies. He has served on the Ngāti Kuri Trust Board since 2008 where he is the current Deputy Chairman and a Director on Te Urungi O Ngāti Kuri. He brings a high degree of working knowledge of the machinery of government and policy development from 30 years’ experience in the public and private sector. His professional work experience provides widespread networks. His tribal affiliations are Ngāti Kuri, Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi, Ngātiwai. He resides in Whangārei where in his leisure time he loves fishing and diving throughout Te Taitokerau.
David has been involved at a senior level in the financial services industry for over 4 decades in three countries. On arriving in New Zealand, after a brief time with Countrywide Bank, David was appointed as Sovereign’s first Business Development Manager, rising to the company’s first General Manager (Sales). On moving to American International Group“s life insurance company in NZ (AIA), he built the organisation up to a leading position in the market, with a strong emphasis on Information and Communications Technology initiatives. Moving to Australia with AIA David was appointed Managing Director of AIA Australia and the focus on technology accelerated the organisation’s growth in the highly competitive Group market with industry super funds, private and wrap investment management platforms. Since returning from Australia, David has established his own consultancy providing governance and strategic planning services to a number of high profile clients including the NZ Government, Fidelity Life, Sovereign and the New Zealand Institute of Directors. Current private clients include Lifetime Group Holdings Ltd, Provident Insurance Ltd, Strategi Group Ltd, and Kiwi Adviser Network Ltd. David is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors, has a postgraduate Masters Degree in Management from Massey University, and a postgraduate qualification in Corporate Governance from Waikato University. Spare time is taken up with golf, reading, and keeping a discrete eye on his grown-up tamariki.
Sara-Jane is a Director of ECG, a boutique consultancy providing expert advice on the Pacific economy, strategy and leadership for both public and private sector clients. She is Chair for Community Law South Auckland, Failoa Famili trust, a Director for Good Shepherd NZ, Trustee for Community Law O Aotearoa, Sports Chaplaincy NZ and was a ministerial appointee for Pacific Media Network.
In 2020 she was recognised as a "40 Under-40" Business Leader from the University of Auckland Alumnus, and a finalist in the NZ Women of Influence awards for her contribution to Arts and Culture. Her key strengths include leadership analysis, stakeholder engagement, employment relations, policy and cultural intelligence.
Tevita Funaki was born in Auckland, New Zealand but raised up in Tonga. He is married to Noa and blessed with four children: Kapitania, Mohokoi, Maleta Jr and Foheloa.
Tevita is the CEO of The Fono, an accessible healthcare provider operating across Auckland. Prior to joining The Fono, Tevita was the Pacific Health Manager for ProCare Health Ltd and was the National Pasifika Liaison Advisor for Massey University. He has also managed an employment consultancy and project management services firm and worked in health services.
Tevita attended the Otago University and graduated with a BCom in 2000 and a Post Graduate Diploma in Project Management from Unitec in 2007. He completed the Harvard Business School Executive Programmes in Behavioural Economics in 2017 and Strategic Perspectives in Non-Profit Management in 2016.
Currently, Tevita chairs a number of boards including the Pacific Business Trust, Oceania Career Academy Ltd, ProCare Network Ltd and its Pacific Advisory Board and the Ministry of Social Development Pacific Reference Group. He is a member of the Ministry of Health Pacific Expert Advisory Group, Police Commissioner National Pacific Advisory Forum, and Pacific Advisory Board to the Waitemata Police District Commander. He has a strong interest in Pacific peoples’ prosperity and holistic wellbeing.
Mel Hewitson MNZM
Mel is a professional director, Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors, Accredited Investment Fiduciary and holds Climate Competent Board Certification. She is a Member of Global Women. Mel is an Independent Director of Fidelity Life Assurance, Simplicity NZ, Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Whai Maia, and Domain Name Commission. Mel is the Chair of the Waikato-Tainui Group Investment Committee. She is a trustee of Auckland Foundation and an Independent Member of the FINDEX Advice Services NZ Investment Committee. Mel is a former Chair of the Nominating Committee for the Guardians of New Zealand Super Fund, Chair of Centre for Social Impact and Deputy Chair of Foundation North. Previously Mel spent 18 years, both in London and New Zealand, in senior roles in financial regulation, investment management, risk and compliance, including at the Financial Markets Authority, AllianceBernstein and ANZ bank. In 2013 she was appointed to the Crown’s independent evaluation panel for the selection of default KiwiSaver providers. Mel was formerly New Zealand’s representative on the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiatives Australasian Socially Responsible Investment Committee. In 2021 Mel was recognised in the New Year Honours list as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
Mel has degrees in business (MA, Keio University, Tokyo, Japan), economics and Japanese (BSocSci, University of Waikato) and is a student of Te Reo Māori.
Mel and her husband Nigel live in Mission Bay, Auckland and are proud parents of three adult children.
Nurain is a Chartered Accountant and experienced non-executive director for charities in New Zealand and internationally. Born in the Maldives, she is a speaker, storyteller and advocate for diversity and inclusion. Her mission is to create a more equitable world through leadership and strategic decision-making.
She is the founder and Trustee of Authenticity Aotearoa, a social enterprise that empowers women from minority backgrounds to express their authentic selves, and works to create culturally competent and inclusive workplaces.
Nurain was recognised as a Business Leader in the 2020 University of Auckland's "40 Under-40" honourees. She was a finalist in the 2021 NZ Women in Governance Awards and the 2017 Women of Influence Awards. Nurain represented and advocated for young women of colour at the 2017 UN Commission on the Status of Women. She holds a Masters of Professional Accounting and a Bachelor of Science specialising in human geography. Nurain currently works as a Senior Consultant in the Turnaround & Restructuring strategy team at Ernst & Young.
Ling Ling Liang
Ling Ling has spent most of her life in New Zealand working in the Chinese media industry as Editor in Chief, before joining St John Northern Region Fundraising Team as Chinese Liaison Advisor. She has actively been involved with public and community service works including as a Justice of the Peace and as a Mandarin Host at Auckland Museum.
Ling Ling maintains strong network connections with the NZ Chinese community. She is Deputy Chair of the International Women Association of NZ, organizing a variety of intercultural events and supporting local groups. Ling Ling also helped to set up a social enterprise called Grow Future Farm.
Ling Ling has an interest in indigenous peoples, especially in connections between Māori and the indigenous people of her homeland of Taiwan. Currently she is ākonga at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa learning Te Reo Māori.
Ling Ling resides in Howick, Tāmaki Makarau with her husband Samson and their adult son Jonathan who has mild autism. Tramping and bushwalks are their favourite family activity.
Hana is grounded in her ten year background of Māori and community development and co-governance across public, iwi, community and non-for profit sectors. She has served the Orakei Marae Trust Board since 2018 and several advisory and advocacy roles across climate, environment, rangatahi and arts and culture spaces. She brings wide spread networks and her nuanced working knowledge of local government and community empowerment together in her professional work across Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa.
As an indigenous researcher, entrepreneur, artist, design thinker, environmentalist and cultural facilitator she is committed to transformative justice alongside nurturing relationships, cultural identity and connection. She has co-founded and supported training and education initiatives to foster this. Her tribal affiliations are Te Uri o Hau, Ngāti Whātua, Waikato, Ngāti Paoa and Ngai Te Rangi.
Her academic background includes a Post Graduate Diploma in Business, Masters of Arts Management, Bachelor of Art Design. Hana passion to see the intergenerational restoration of relationships and environment come to fruition within our society and environment at large. She resides in Tāmaki and loves diving and being in the outdoors throughout Tāmaki and Te Taitokerau region.
Stephen has over 30 years of trustee experience in the community. He helped establish and develop the Rule Foundation, a charity dedicated to the health, visibility and wellbeing of rainbow Kiwis. A choral singer in his youth, he has been a trustee of Choirs Aotearoa NZ, which oversees the NZ Secondary Students' and NZ Youth choirs, and Voices NZ. He recently set up a charity to build an endowment to future-proof the choirs, and ensure disadvantaged young singers can participate.
A law graduate, his early career path included time as a select committee clerk at Parliament. In Vancouver in the 90s he studied and specialised in clinical information services, a skillset he subsequently applied at the Auckland area DHBs in clinical data analysis and quality improvement roles. Later, he worked at the National Screening Unit and Ministry Of Health, in programme delivery and strategic alignment.
Stephen was born in Tauranga into a whānau of mixed Croatian, Māori (Ngai Tūhoe, Ngāti Awa), Irish, Scots, and English whakapapa. He was raised in Papakura when it was a country town, and lives in Takapuna with his partner Ross. He cycles and walks for recreation and to go places, and loves swapping baking recipes!
Ngaire began her working life with the Family Planning Association as a sexuality educator and was on the management committee of the innovative Peer Sexuality Support programme. After seven years at FPA she moved to the Northland DHB to work with Health Promoting Schools. She is the Health Promotion Manager for Manaia Health PHO (since 2004) and Te Tai Tokerau PHO (since 2014, when she completed her Masters in Public Health with a focus on health promotion and community development). Ngaire is the current chair of Healthy Homes Tai Tokerau, an active member of Whangārei Child Poverty Action Group, and since 2007 has been involved with the Collective of Tryphina House Women’s Refuge, as a committee member and crisis line volunteer. Ngaire has lived all her life in Northland, raised in the beautiful seaside village of Waipu Cove. Her Scottish and English ancestors arrived in Aotearoa / New Zealand from the early 1840s through to early 1900s. She is married to Richard Pehi and together they have two adult children and three mokopuna. She was the founding chairperson of Parihaka Waka Ama Club, and sits on the board of Waka Ama New Zealand. Ngaire has represented New Zealand in the sport of Waka Ama, and was a member of the Master Women’s team who won the inaugural World Distance Championships in Tahiti in 2017.
Maxine Shortland MNZM
Maxine is an accomplished community and business leader that brings 25 years of governance and senior management experience to non-government and not for profit organisations particular to Maori, Health and Education. Maxine also has an interest in philanthropy and natural environments. She is an independent director and an appointed board member of the New Zealand Lotteries Grant Board, New Zealand Conservation Authority, and Waitangi Ltd. She is also an elected member with the Netball New Zealand Board. Maxine is also a member of the New Zealand and Australian Institute of Directors and has a Master in Management (business and research). Maxine is a founder of two family companies. She resides in Bay of Islands, Northland.
Pramjit Rai Suchdev QSM
Pramjit Rai (Jeet) Suchdev has called Aotearoa New Zealand home since 1987. He founded the Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust in 1995, since when it has become one of the largest multi-ethnic South Asian community organisations in Auckland, offering a wide range of services from elder support and children’s programmes, to rest homes and migrant services. He is Chairperson of the Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust, Akarana Community Trust and Roskill Together and sits on the boards of Roopa Aur Aap Charitable Trust, Auckland Indian Diaspora and the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Non-Violence. Jeet has also served on the Lottery Grants Board, COGS Auckland, Auckland Council’s Ethnic People’s Advisory Panel and as a Board Member of Auckland Regional Migrant Services Trust.
Stephen’s families come from Taranaki and Te Moana a Toi, all ultimately descended from Northern Europe. He and his wife Lynne have two adult children and live in Tāmaki Makaurau.
Stephen has a business background in property, finance, accounting, business transactions and structuring, and taxation. He was a senior partner with Ernst & Young, practicing in Aotearoa New Zealand, Singapore and Australia, advising clients’ leadership and boards, and was engaged in management, governance and quality control roles for the firm.
Stephen is now a professional director, Chartered Accountant, and a Member of the Institute of Directors of New Zealand. He is a Director of The Selwyn Foundation where he chairs the Group Risk Committee, Haumaru Housing, The American Chamber of Commerce, and is Deputy Chair of BRANZ Inc and BRANZ Limited where he chairs the Audit & Risk Management Committees. He also advises private organisations on governance best practice and strategy. Previously Stephen was a Director and Chair of the Audit & Risk Committees of the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand, realestate.co.nz and Sargon (NZ) Limited.
Michelle is a qualified actuary with over 25 years’ experience in the actuarial and investment consulting industry with a mix of client advisory, business management and quality control experience. She is a member of the Nominating Committee for the Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation Fund. Michelle also has a keen interest in integrating culture. She is a trained intercultural and executive coach providing intercultural training and coaching programmes, and has volunteered to deliver a programme at a local school to help integrate immigrant parents into New Zealand society. Michelle is a Fellow of the UK Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, holds a Diploma in Occupational Psychology from the University of Leicester (UK), and a BA degree in Engineering and Management from the University of Cambridge (UK). Originally from Hong Kong, Michelle studied and worked in the UK and has lived in New Zealand since 2002. She lives in St Heliers with her husband David and two school age children.
A Filipino by birth, Romy has lived in Auckland for 12 years. He spent the majority of his adult life living and working as an expatriate in different countries. He is an experienced community organiser, media person, public speaker, and business management practitioner. Romy is known in the community for his commitment to social justice and service. His advocacy on migrant settlement takes him around New Zealand. He has been a resource speaker with Auckland Regional Migrant Services over the last six years and was a community representative to the Auckland Diocese Pastoral Council for five years. Romy is a Registered Financial Adviser, and holds an MBA from Waikato University and a Masters in Forestry from the University of the Philippines. He has a strong governance and executive leadership background, having served as director in different community organisations and business management boards. He is married to Fritzi Ann, they have two children, and they enjoy going on long drives locally to see the beauty of New Zealand.
Trustee appointments are delegated to the Minister of Finance, and managed by the Department of Internal Affairs.
To find out more about the appointment process, go to the Department's website.
If you are interested in being appointed as a Trustee of Foundation North and you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Foundation. The Chair or the CEO would be happy to answer any questions that you may have about the requirements of being a Trustee.