Walter Wells (Ngāti Kuri, Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi, Ngātiwai) has been appointed Chair of Foundation North, the community trust for Auckland and Northland. Mr Wells has been a Trustee on the Foundation’s board since September 2020 and takes over as Chair from Bhav Dhillon, whose term as Trustee came to an end on 17 August 2021, after four years of service.
Since the Trust’s inception, in 1988, this is just the second time in its history that a Māori Trustee from Tai Tokerau has been elected to the position of Chair – the previous being the Trust’s current Kaumātua Kevin Prime ONZM, who held the position from 2003 to 2009.
Mr Prime warmly congratulated Mr Wells on his appointment. “E tē autaia e Walter tēnā koe. Ngā mihi ki a koe mō taua tūranga rangatira kua potaea ki runga i a koe hei Heamana mō tē Kaitiaki Pūtea mō Tāmaki mō tē Tai Tokerau. Nou ra tē tūranga, nā tātou te iwi Māori tē hōnore.
Outstanding citizen Walter, greetings. Congratulations on the esteemed position bestowed upon you as Chair of Foundation North. While you hold the position, all of Māoridom bask in that honour.”
Mr Wells 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.
“Through its purpose and vision, Foundation North has important mahi to do towards enhancing the lives of people across our rohe,” said Mr Wells. “I am proud to help steer our waka with my fellow trustees, so that the Foundation is on course to enable measurable impact in our key focus areas of Increased Equity | Hāpai Te Ōritetanga, Social Inclusion | Whakaura Mai, Regenerative Environment | Whakahou Taiao and Community Support | Hāpori Awhina.”
Moving into the position of Deputy Chair is David Whyte (Trustee since June 2019), who replaces Chris Severne whose term also ended on 17th of August after four years. Mr Whyte has established his own consultancy providing governance and strategic planning services to a number of high-profile clients including the Lifetime Group Holdings Ltd, Provident Insurance Ltd, Strategi Group Ltd, and Kiwi Adviser Network Ltd..