Governance Board

Our independent Board was appointed by the collaborative parties of the Deep South Challenge.

Board members

Roger France (Chair)

Roger is one of New Zealand’s most experienced company directors. A Chartered Accountant by training and profession, he was a senior partner in PwC, retiring from practice in 2001. Since then he has held a number of high-profile directorships, including Fonterra Cooperative Group, Air New Zealand, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corporation, Orion Health and Southern Cross Medical Care Society. He was appointed to the University of Auckland Council in 2001, retiring in 2012; over the last four of those years he also served as Chancellor of the University. He is currently a member of The Treasury’s Commercial Operations Advisory Board.

Sir Rob Fenwick

Sir Rob is a business person and a company director aligned to sustainable development. He is the Chair of the New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute, former chair of Antarctica New Zealand, and director of the NEXT Foundation and the Sir Peter Blake Trust. Rob is the co-founder of Living Earth Ltd, New Zealand’s main provider of organic waste processing services. Rob’s former roles include deputy Chair of TVNZ, and Chairs of St Johns Ambulance and Landcare Research, respectively.

Chris Kelly

Chris has expertise in management and the primary production sector. He is a current director of the Crown Irrigation Investment Company, Pengxin NZ Farm Management Limited and FarmIQ. Chris is also the current Chair of AgriOne (a joint venture between Lincoln and Massey Universities) and Kahne Animal Health, as well as being a former Chief Executive of Landcorp Farming Limited.

Bruce Mapstone

Bruce has significant management experience and knowledge of climate and marine science. He is the former Chief of CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Chief Executive of the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, and Chief Executive for the Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research.

Rebecca Mills

Rebecca works globally in innovation through the lens of sustainability and is the Founder of The Lever Room, a Transformation Agency that scales win-win opportunities for people, nature and climate. The Lever Room has a proven track record of supporting purpose-led companies, government entities, non-profits and philanthropists to have impact at scale and pace. Rebecca has led large-scale regeneration developments and worked for central and local government on sustainability, energy, climate change, water and oceans strategy and policy, public/private partnerships and governance. She was one of two UK representatives on the ESPACE (European Spatial Planning Adapting to Climate Events) project team to shape planning for climate change adaptation at a global level.

John Morgan

John is the Chief Executive of NIWA, the host organisation of the Deep South Challenge. John joined NIWA as Chief Executive in April 2007. He has extensive senior executive and governance experience in public and private sector organisations, covering a range of markets and activities including business, science, education and sport. His science sector roles have included Chair of Science New Zealand, Chief Executive of AgriQuality Ltd, Executive Director of Orica New Zealand Ltd, and Chair of New Zealand Pharmaceuticals Ltd. John is passionate about the role science can play in transforming New Zealand's economy, environment, society and global reputation.

James Palmer

James has expertise in government policy and planning, and economics. He is currently the Group Manager of Strategic Development at Hawkes Bay Regional Council. His previous roles include Deputy Secretary Strategy of the Ministry for the Environment, where he was responsible for strategy development across the natural resources sector, including climate change and ocean management; Director Strategy for Systems and Science Policy at the Ministry for Primary Industries; Director Strategy at the former Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry; Chief of Staff to the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and Senior Private Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister.

Sir Mark Solomon

Sir Mark is a professional director and Māori tribal leader of Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Kurī descent. He is the former Kaiwhakahaere (Chair) of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, director of Te Ohu Kaimoana (Māori Fisheries Trust), Chair of the New Zealand China Council, and a former director Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

Tania Simpson

Tania is a professional director with expertise across social policy, the environment, economic development and Treaty-related matters. Tania is of Tainui, Ngāi Tahu and Nga Puhi descent. She is a member of the Waitangi Tribunal, and a director of Oceania Group, Mighty River Power, AgResearch, and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. Tania is also a Trustee of Te Reo Irirangi o Maniapoto Trust, Kōwhai Trust and Tui Trust.

Latest news and updates

portrait of Adrian McDonald

"These models are good. They have real predictive power." Q&A with departing P&O lead, Adrian McDonald

Today we announce that our Processes & Observations programme lead, Adrian McDonald, is stepping down from our Science Leadership Team. We thank him for his calm and warm leadership over the last two and a half years. In this Q&A (taken from our recently published magazine Kia Urutau | Adapt), we asked Adrian about the role of climate modelling in supporting good adaptation in Aotearoa New Zealand.

double page opening spread of magazine article

The Living Net: Kai in a Changing Climate

I MEET PETER INSLEY on a low promontory that rests above the Hāparapara River. Kids have built a rickety jumping platform in the pūriri and mānuka above us, but the water below – blue and glistening – looks treacherous. It’s hard to gauge the depth or see the snags. The river has always behaved like this. It beelines out of the hills and hits this hard rock, pooling and gathering before sweeping off again towards Omaio Bay in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.

Paul Robinson on the border between the Hutt River and his Port Road property

Port Road: Climate risks at our urban edges

IT’S A CALM SUNDAY morning as I arrive at the home of Wellington property investor Paul Robinson, in the thriving beachside community of Plimmerton. Armed with muffins from the local café, I’m greeted by Paul’s friendly border collie Harry, who herds me into a stunning, carefully designed house.