Governance Board

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

Board members

Chris Kelly (Chair)

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.

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.

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

signals and triggers graph

Working backwards to prepare for climate change

New research released by the Deep South Challenge: Changing with our Climate supports decision-makers to map out how decisions can be made now for ongoing climate change impacts, by starting with the future we wish to avoid. The research report, Supporting decision making through adaptive tools: Practice Guidance on signals and triggers, has been a multi-disciplinary and multi-institute effort, with team members from Victoria University of Wellington, Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research, and NIWA.

haiku over stop bank in flood

How will climate change-induced increases in extreme rainfall effect EQC liabilities?

Weather-related hazards have already cost the EQC $450 million in (inflation adjusted) payouts since the year 2000. New research by Jacob Pastor-Paz, Ilan Noy, Isabelle Sin, Abha Sood, David Fleming-Munoz and Sally Owen has found that climate change, and the expected increase in intensity and frequency of extreme weather-related events, is likely to translate into higher damages and thus an additional financial liability for the EQC.

Anne-Gaelle Ausseil

Primary industries must speed up adaptation to our changing climate

New research projects a significant seasonal shift in pasture production and changes to wine grape flowering across New Zealand under future climate conditions. Long-term adaptation strategies must be adopted at a faster pace across all primary sectors.