Governance and Trustees

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 Gina Rangi

Gina is an experienced lawyer specialising in Māori governance, Treaty of Waitangi, Māori land and resource management law. She brings almost two decades’ experience as a director across a range of commercial, investment and not-for-profit boards.
Gina is the deputy chief executive of the Rotorua Lakes Council and brings extensive experience across management and senior leadership positions in Māori economic development and negotiations.

She is the proud mum of three thriving tamariki.

Additional positions held:

  • Director Tūaropaki Power Company Ltd
  • Audit & Risk Committee
  • Human Resources Committee
  • Director Halcyon Power Ltd
 James Ataria, deputy chair 

Jamie holds a PhD in ecotoxicology and is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the BioProtection Research Centre, Lincoln University, where he also worked as a scientist and senior lecturer. Jamie is also a consultant and researcher for the Cawthron Institute, Nelson, with a focus on Māori Business Development and ecotoxicology.

With more than 25 years’ experience working across a range of science and economic development focused sectors Jamie brings an impressive and unique set of skills and experience to the organisations that he serves.
Jamie was appointed an associate Trustee in June 2011 and a full Trustee in 2013.

Additional positions held:

  • Director Century Drilling & Energy Services Ltd
  • Director Kaawai International
  • Director Kaawai New Zealand
  • Director Kaawai British Columbia Ltd
  • Chair Human Resources Committee
Leigh Bason, trustee

Leigh has been a farmer all his working life. He, and wife Kora, are proud parents of 6, grandparents to 17, and great grandparents of 9 great-moko.
He has served the Tuaropaki owners for almost 50 years, beginning in 1972, when he was appointed by the Māori Land as owner representative. Seven years later he became an advisory Trustee in 1979 and a Trustee in 1998.

Leigh’s experience with the trust, beginning with his attendance at the 1954 AGM, has allowed him to grow an extensive knowledge of the shareholders as well as the business. This has been an invaluable source of knowledge with the management of the Trust’s Owners’ Register, as well as sharing Leigh’s experience across agribusiness.

Leigh is honoured to have been able learn and shared his knowledge alongside the many wise and experienced rangatira who have served the trust since its inception. He is a living connection to this wisdom and the history of the trust.

Additional positions held:

  • Pou Herenga
  • Alternate Director Century Drilling & Energy Services Ltd
 Vanessa Eparaima, trustee  
  Vanessa is a business consultant, company director and former chief executive in the tourism sector.
She is chair of tertiary institution Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and of co-chair of Forestry company CNI Holdings Ltd. She sits on a range of other commercial, investment and not-for-profit boards. Vanessa was the inaugural Chair of Raukawa Iwi Development a high performing iwi commercial company and remains a director. She is the former chair of the Raukawa Settlement Trust.

Vanessa is a passionate advocate for Māori, the community and for environmental issues. She has a strong history of working with the wider community, kaumātua, iwi chairs, Ministers, Members of Parliament, and numerous stakeholders to achieve positive outcomes for those she serves.

Married to Ngarepo, she is the proud mother of three adult tamariki and one amazing mokopuna - Keita.

Additional positions held:

  • Chair Tūaropaki Power Company Ltd
  • Audit & Risk Committee
 Nachelle Griffiths, trustee 

Nachelle, known to whānau as Charlie, brings almost 20 years’ experience as a chair and board member across a range of sectors including iwi development, commercial, environmental and education.
She is a trustee of the Raukawa Settlement Trust, and a director of high performing commercial company Raukawa Iwi Development Ltd.
Charlie is a board member of the Waikato River Authority and a former chair of the board of Queen Elizabeth College.

She is passionate advocate for Māori and iwi development and is humbled to have been able to learn and grow her experience alongside the wisdom and knowledge of her fellow Tuaropaki Trustees in the years she has been allowed to serve the Tuaropaki owners and whānau.

Additional internal positions held:

  • Director Century Drilling & Energy Services Ltd
  • Chair Audit & Risk Committee
  • Human Resources Committee
  • Director Gourmet Mōkai Ltd
  • Director TK Wines Ltd
 Debbie Birch 

Debbie is a full-time professional director and trustee with more than 30 years’ senior executive experience in the commercial, finance and investment sectors with 17 years in Asia and Australia managing large global investment portfolios. She studied Chemistry at Victoria University and Investment Analysis at Otago University.
In January 2023 she was elected as a Trustee for a two-year fixed term, prior to future elections under the new Trust Order. She was appointed as a director on the Miraka board in March 2023.

She is a director of NZX and ASX listed Tourism Holdings Limited; Trust Tairawhiti owned Eastland Group Limited including subsidiaries Gisborne Port, Eastland Generation, Gisborne Airport; investment fund Te Puia Tapapa GP Limited, THR GP Limited, and is Chair of Taupō Moana Investments Limited and Raukawa ki te Tonga AHC Limited. In March 2024 Westpac NZ announced Debbie's appointment as an independent non-executive director, effective 18 April 2024.

She is a member of NZTE AIP Advisory Panel and a Trustee of the Human Rights Measurement Initiative Charitable Trust.
Debbie is passionate about Māori economic development and the delivery of better outcomes for our people. In May 2023 she won the INFINZ Te Tohu Kahukura Māori Leadership in Finance Award. 

Additional internal positions held:

  • Director Miraka Ltd
  • Director Miraka Holdings Ltd
  • Director Miraka Brands Ltd