Our Trustees | O Matou Tarahitī



Chris was appointed Chair in May 2022 and previously has been a Trustee since July 2018. A lawyer by trade, he is a partner in a New Plymouth law firm with a particular focus on property, trust and commercial law. Before practising as a lawyer, he worked in a range of policy and advisory roles in the public sector, both at the Treasury and the Ministry of Social Development.

As well as his role on the Toi Foundation Board, he is a Trustee on a range of other charitable trusts.

Chris and his wife Bridget live in New Plymouth with their two sons and enjoy all the benefits of the outdoors lifestyle in Taranaki from the mountain to the sea.



Born and educated in Hawera, Wharehoka (Whare) went on to Waikato University training as a secondary teacher and he brings 30 years of experience working in the education sector. Wharehoka is married to Emere and they have four children and 11 moko who are mostly based in New Plymouth.

His tribal affiliations are Te Atiawa, Taranaki, Ngati Awa and he is well respected for his leadership in the Taranaki community, along with other responsibilities such as cultural ambassador for the region at events such as Womad. Whare is currently CEO of Te Kahui o Taranaki Iwi Trust, Chairperson of the Taranaki Maori Trust Board and is a trustee on Te Kotahitanga o Te Atiawa Board.



Robin was appointed as a Trustee in June 2017. Robin is a retired chartered accountant and now actively engaged with a number of governance roles. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand and a member of the Institute of Directors.

Robin completed his education at Victoria University with a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration. Joining the accounting profession in Wellington, that was soon followed by several years in Asia and the United States and eventually residing in Taranaki from 1985.

Robin has throughout in his professional career had the opportunity to work with a wide variety of organisations in providing services centred around corporate recovery, strategic advice, assurance, governance and several related services.

Robin was previously Chair of Venture Taranaki Trust and Chair of the Western Institute of Technology Taranaki Limited. Robin is currently a Director of Tui Ora Limited, Director of Toi Foundation Holdings Limited, Member of the Standing Committee of the Anglican Diocese of Waikato and Taranaki and serves as the Chair of its Finance Committee, Trustee of the Dame Malvina Major Foundation and is Chair of the Dame Malvina Major Foundation – Taranaki Committee.

Robin is married to Barbara who has, and continues to support Robin throughout his professional career, as well their daughters Emma (sustainability and environmental consultant, Auckland) and Renee (process engineer, Taranaki).



Born in Pakistan, raised and educated in England, Bali started his New Zealand teaching career at Spotswood College in 1975. He has since gone on to be the principal of four secondary schools and Deputy Chief Executive of NZQA.

He has also provided leadership to principals and teachers as the President and Executive member of the Secondary Principals Association of New Zealand (SPANZ), and as an Executive member of the PPTA.

Bali is author of Changing our Secondary Schools published in 2014, and New Zealand Secondary Schools and your Child a Guide for Parents, published in 2017.

Bali is currently the Chair of the Minister of Education appointed Independent taskforce to review Tomorrow’s Schools. This review will focus on the future governance management and administration of the compulsory schooling sector.

Bali lives in New Plymouth with his wife Cara. Their two sons Daniel and Tobias currently live in Kabul and Paris respectively.



Nicola Ngarewa, Ngāti Ruanui, Ngā Rauru, Ngā Ruahine,

is born and bred in Patea and has taught in all sectors of education from Early Childhood to Tertiary. She is currently the Principal at Spotswood College the Chair of Te Aho O Te Kura Pounamu, a board member for Te Ako Mātātupu, and the former Chair of the NZ Teachers Council.

In 2013, she received a Sir Peter Blake Leadership Award as a result of transformative work at Tamatea High School. In 2016 she was the recipient of the Taranaki Daily News Person of the Year for transformative work at Patea Area School, with the school receiving the National UNESCO award for Education - Global Citizenship 2018.

Nicola is married to Wayne Cribb, they have two daughters.



Born and raised in Taranaki, Liana attended New Plymouth Girls’ High School and went on to study at the University of Waikato. She was a legal practitioner for 14 years with a strong focus on Treaty of Waitangi, Maori land and Maori governance issues.

Liana is the current Pouwhakarae (Chair) of Te Kotahitanga o Te Atiawa Trust (the entity responsible for managing Te Atiawa’s Treaty Settlement). She also holds other governance roles with Te Atiawa Iwi Holdings Management Ltd, Tui Ora Ltd, Te Reo o Taranaki Charitable Trust and is a member of the Taranaki-Whanganui Conservation Board.

Liana is proud to be following in the footsteps of her grandfather Ted Tamati who was a foundation member of the TSB Community Trust and served as a Trustee from 1988 to 2001. 



Ryan was born and raised with his three brothers in Stratford, Taranaki. A graduate of Stratford High School he went on to gain a BSc Chemistry and MSc (Hons) at Waikato University.

After stints living in Japan, France and the UK Ryan returned to NZ and worked in senior roles across insurance (AIG, Allianz), finance, investment (Macquarie), private equity and venture capital.

Ryan is currently the chair of two private companies, a member of the Institute of Directors and a founding member of Launch Taranaki.

Married to Susan with two teenage children, Emma and Luke, Ryan can often be found in the surf or on the water in summer or coaching football or on a mountain in winter.



John was born and raised in Okato, Taranaki, and currently lives with his wife and two teenage children in Oakura.
He has 20+ experience across both the legal and financial sectors.

John commenced his career as a lawyer for Bell Gully in Wellington and Allen & Overy in London before moving into banking, specialising in structured finance, including for Lloyds Bank as a member of the strategic transactions group.  Most recently John was founder and CEO of a payments startup that provided technology solutions into the US, South Africa and the UK as well as direct consumer services in New Zealand.

John holds a BSc (Chemistry), LLB (Hons) and LLM.



Dion is an uri of Ngāti Mutunga, Ngāti Tama, and Taranaki Iwi. He began school at Urenui Primary school and completed high school at Francis Douglas Memorial College. Dion attended Massey University where he graduated with a Master’s degree in History.

Dion has worked in Maori development his entire life beginning his career as a historian for the Waitangi Tribunal. He has had a diverse career as a writer, policy manager, and has held previous CEO roles for Parininihi ki Waitotara Incorporation and Te Ohu Kaimoana – the Maori Fisheries Trust.
Dion lives in New Plymouth where he currently works as the Pou Whakahaere (CEO) of Te Kotahitanga o Te Atiawa Trust.



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