Who am I? If you like labels, here are some that have been applied to me: consultant, chief executive, board member, board chair, philanthropist, Te Reo Māori learner, volunteer, writer, public speaker, wife and mother. And if you prefer stories, here’s mine:
My path has been a zig-zag one. I was born and raised in beautiful Hawkes Bay, received an English Literature degree from Victoria University and my original ambition was to be a writer. Shortly after leaving university, I changed direction and moved into the IT industry, working as a programmer, business analyst, team leader and project manager in New Zealand and overseas. Then, in 1995 I co-founded one of New Zealand’s first internet development companies, the Web Limited, with Dave Moskovitz. As Managing Director I received the ASB Business Woman of the Year award and a New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business and the community, before selling the company to KPMG Consulting in 2002.
I then changed direction again, this time into the world of philanthropy. My interest began with a small philanthropic trust called Te Muka Rau (meaning “the many strands”), which Dave and I set up after selling our business. This led to my appointment as Executive Director of the Todd Foundation, a role I was privileged to hold from 2005 until 2015. I was also a board member and then Chair of Philanthropy NZ from 2004 until 2016.
I am active in giving in my personal, professional and volunteer life, and I firmly believe that if we are lucky enough to live comfortably we should share some of our good fortune. I am also actively exploring what it means to be a good Pākehā here in Aoteraroa New Zealand; this is a long, important and ongoing journey.
What I do now
I am an independent consultant working with funders, organisations working with Māori / Maori organisations and community organisations – see my consultancy services.
I am also an associate of Tūmanako Consultants, chair of Te Muka Rau, a board member of the Innovation Unit Australia New Zealand, a board member of the Tuia Trust, a keen learner of Te Reo Māori, a speaker and a writer.
Outside work there is my wonderful husband Dave and our three sons Jeremy, Ben and Daniel, a dog, a cat and several chickens, a large veggie garden, walking, reading and singing.
- ASB Business Woman of the Year 2000
- NZ Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to business and the community, 2000
- Fellow of the NZ Institute of Management, 2001
I have volunteered all my adult life, with roles including Philanthropy NZ, Conscious Consumers, Te Muka Rau Charitable Trust, Refugee Resettlement, Wellington Miscarriage Support Group, Women’s Refuge, Family Planning and Youthline.
- ‘Dial a Māori’ and other mistakes Pākehā make – an article for the online Sunday magazine e-tangata.
- Ki te hoe – A capability building framework for funders supporting Māori aspirations, commissioned by Philanthropy NZ
- Four steps to good practice family foundation governance – a practical paper on family philanthropy governance drawing from interviews with family foundation trustees and other experts in Aotearoa NZ and overseas
- Building a better ecosystem for supporting our communities and the role of evaluation for Evaluation Matters – He Take Tō Te Aromatawai – the journal of the Aotearoa NZ Evaluation Association.
- On generosity and restraint, my contribution to Inequality: a New Zealand Crisis (edited by Max Rashbrooke and published by Bridget Williams books).
- A warm heart, a cool head and a hard nose – my views on Business Leadership for Management Magazine
- Various children’s stories published in Learning Media and Radio NZ
- Auckland Writers Festival: The Moral Mixing Desk – where does philanthropy end and dirty self promotion begin?
- New Frontiers: Crafting our national identity and how the Treaty of Waitangi helps
- Tonic Nonprofit conference: What makes a good non-profit great?
- Other examples of speaking engagements include the Australian Institute of Grants Management, Aotearoa NZ Evaluation Association conference, Philanthropy NZ conference, Combined Community Trusts Conference, Twicepodcast.