Ensuring that Christchurch, New Zealand becomes a smart, world-class contemporary city requires the best public and private thinking, experience and expertise.
Board Member (UK)
Stew Whitehead is a kiwi expat, who grew up on a farm in rural Canterbury and subsequently went to school and University in Ōtautahi Christchurch, where he studied law and commerce. He now works for New Zealand based company, Oritain, in its London based office as Global Head of Food Sales. He is a proud and passionate advocate for Ōtautahi, especially as it emerges as a resilient and modern world class city in light of many adversities the city and its people have faced.
Board Member (UK)
Paul was educated in London, also where he established Paul Beare Ltd to help overseas companies set up in the UK. Paul is now Auckland based, having relocated permanently since 2020, following many years of travelling to NZ and where he has extended family. He continues to run his UK practice, from New Zealand.
Nic is chairman, director and adviser in a wide range of organisations and sectors, building on 20 years in senior executive roles at some of world sport’s biggest names, such as the Premier League, Wembley and British Horseracing. Nic still works in sports, chairing national governing bodies England Golf and UK Athletics as well as a committee of the England and Wales Cricket Board, and consulting to sports across the globe, with a focus now on India and the major growth sport, the Pro Kabaddi League. He is an NED of Dunedin based business, Oritain, one of the world’s leading origin and supply chain authentication businesses, and chairs rugby sports tech business Sportable, and manufacturing businesses in the UK, as well the 100 years old UK-based retail motor trade and property businesses in the English West Midlands. He started working life as a solicitor at Freshfields in London.
Board Member (UK)
Sam is a kiwi who was educated in Ōtautahi Christchurch, both for high school and university. He describes his time in the city as his “formative” years. Sam is co-owner of the distinguished landscape architectural practice Exterior Architecture Ltd who work across the UK and Europe working on the design of large-scale urban developments, town centre renewal and master planning. The company employs several kiwis. Sam lives in London with his wife and one of their children. Their eldest son is studying in Dunedin at the University of Otago and their eldest daughter is finishing Year 13 at school in Ōtautahi Christchurch.
Board Member (UK)
Karen moved from northern England to New Zealand to begin her working life. While in Ōtautahi Christchurch both her and her husband became kiwi citizens. Her career has primarily been in innovation and design, working for some of the biggest brands on the planet around the world. She returned to the UK and is the Chief Sustainability Officer at Ingka Group, a global data insight and business intelligence agency that is owned by the founders of IKEA. Karen lives in the Surrey Hills with her husband and two children. They look forward to bringing the kids to Christchurch in the near future.
Board Member (NZ & UK)
Graham is an experienced entrepreneur within the digital and software industry, having founded and grown a number of companies over the past 20 years within the United Kingdom and New Zealand.
His most recent start-up, Citrus Tree Consulting, focuses on assisting Southern Hemisphere companies successfully expand into the Northern Hemisphere market, has found success globally with his clients extending to North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.
Graham splits his time between Christchurch and London and sits on a number of commercial and not-for-profit boards.
Julia works with individual donors to assist them to achieve their dreams for Greater Ōtautahi Christchurch. She has been involved in the charitable sector for over a decade; forming relationships with philanthropists around the country.
Julia is well-known for her positive, professional personality and she believes each and every person can play a part in changing our society for the better. She is looking forward to making a positive difference in the Christchurch community.
(Iwi: Ngāti Kahungunu) Kaitiakitanga Programme Manager
Hannah studied at the University of Canterbury and spent a lot of her time at the UC Centre of Entrepreneurship where she discovered her passion for social enterprise and not-for-profits.
Since graduating Hannah has spent her time starting up multiple social enterprises including Indigo & Iris an ethical beauty brand. She sits on boards of local not-for-profits and is part of the Asia New Zealand Leadership Network.
Hannah was born and bred in Christchurch and is excited to work on creating a better Greater Ōtautahi through her work supporting donors with their giving to ecological/ Kaitiakitanga projects.
A passionate Cantabrian Amy was thrilled to return to the not-for-profit sector in a full time capacity when she joined The Christchurch Foundation as the founding Chief Executive.
Amy's early career was in the not-for-profit sector where she worked organisations including St John, Surf Life Saving New Zealand, Swimming New Zealand and the University of Canterbury Students Association.
More recently she was a consultant specialising in communications and stakeholder engagement as well as holding a number of directorships in both not-for-profit and commercial entities.
She is a part owner of three Christchurch based SME’s.
Eli Matthewson the Ambassador of the PRIDE Endowment Fund. Eli will be a familiar face to many having been involved with The Court Theatre as a Court Jester and appearing on television screens since 2013. He's appeared on Shortland Street, as a panellist on 7 days, and most recently he was the head writer of Have You Been Paying Attention. Eli wrote Golden Boy, and hosts an (almost) weekly podcast, The Male Gayz, with friend Chris Parker.
Eli is a leading voice in the modern New Zealand comedy scene and has earned accolades for his work nationally and globally. In 2021 he won the Fred Award for Best Show at the NZ International Comedy Festival.
Growing up gay in Christchurch was at times challenging for Eli. He hopes that through his ambassadorship that he can help support others in the queer community here to thrive.
Andy is a Cantabrian growing up in Christchurch playing rugby for the Crusaders in Super Rugby, Canterbury in provincial rugby and the All Blacks, more recently he finished his second season with Rugby United New-York in the United States as scrumhalf.
Before Andy Ellis was an All Black, he was a landscape architecture student at Lincoln University. He put his degree on hold to play professional rugby but did gardening work on the side. He has never lost his passion for gardening and the environment. He has even competed in the Ellerslie International Flower Show and Singapore Garden Festival. He has a passion for ecology and native biodiversity and his parents and grandparents are horticulturists. Andy wrote a book “Kiwi Back Yard” with his friend and fellow landscape architect Danny Kamo, celebrating their love of the outdoors.
Andy is the Ambassador for the Green Philanthropy Fund but is also passionate about our work with sport as a means to address social issues.
Gemma McCaw is the Ambassador for the Women in Sport Fund. Gemma represented New Zealand in Hockey at three Olympic Games and is a passionate advocate for the benefits of sport and active recreation.
McCaw, a mother of two young girls, said she was excited to be involved in the initiative that will help foster strong supportive relationships for women and girls involved in sport.
Gemma has a business working with women and girls to grow confidence and aspiration.
Hon. Lianne Dalziel
Lianne is the Ambassador of our Kate Sheppard Women's fund.
Lianne was the Mayor of Christchurch for three terms and was elected in 2013 after serving for 23 years in the New Zealand Parliament where she held Ministerial roles.
Lianne has previously served as the Chair of the Canterbury Mayoral Forum, Chair of the Canterbury Joint Committee on Civil Defence and Emergency Management and as a member of Local Government New Zealand’s National Council.
Advocating for ethnic communities, and women are two areas of passion for Lianne. She was also the founder of The Christchurch Foundation in her role as Mayor of Christchurch and was a NZ board member until 2023.
Mike co-anchors TV3's flagship news programme Newshub Live at 6pm and has numerous industry awards for his work. He has played a critical role in sharing the stories of Ōtautahi Christchurch throughout his career.
While a resident of Auckland these days home is Ōtautahi Christchurch, as he grew up in the city and completed his education here.
Mike is the Ambassador of our Earthquake Memorial Fund but is also passionate about many other areas of our work.