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New trustees appointed to Trust Tairāwhiti

Friday 8 July, 2022

Gisborne District Council is pleased to announce the appointment of two trustees to the Trust Tairāwhiti board.

Council has the role of selecting and appointing trustees to ensure they represent our community and have adequate business and commercial ability to make sure the trust operates successfully.

John Clarke and Ron Aitken were appointed to the seven-member trust board effective from 1 July 2022.

The appointments were both made at an extraordinary Council meeting on Thursday 30 June.

Mr Aitken is a Chartered Accountant who joins the board as a first-time trustee.

He brings decades of financial experience and grew up in Tairāwhiti enjoying the outdoors.

Mr Aitken works at LeaderBrand where he was Chief Financial Officer from 2000-2021 and is now General Manager of Business Intelligence.

“I enjoy the natural beauty, our people, our culture and especially our humour, which I think are all unique. I am extremely keen to help our district thrive in sustainable ways that balance commercial success for our businesses, and therefore our people, with healthy communities and cultural growth. To me this will keep Tairāwhiti one of the best places anywhere to live.”

Other governance roles Mr Aitken has held include director and board chair of Leaderbrand South Island Ltd and Oakwood Properties (Canterbury) Ltd. In the 80s he was also an independent member of the Tairawhiti Polytechnic Governance Council and executive director of Aitkens Concrete Ltd.

This is a re-appointment for Mr Clarke who was appointed as a trustee in 2016, and then as chairman of the board last July. He was also instrumental in the establishment of the trust in 1993.

Mr Clarke was Gisborne Mayor from 1989 – 2001 and in 2009 was awarded a Companion of the Queen’s Service Order (QSO) for services to local government and the community.

He is also a Justice of the Peace, chair of the Rawhiti Orchard General Partner Board and the Sunrise Community Foundation as well as a director of Corson Grain and Corson Holdings.

Mr Clarke was formerly a director of Eastland Group and chair and board member of NZ Winegrowers.

Mayor Rehette Stoltz says Council wishes to acknowledge outgoing trustee Lyall Evans who retired this year from the trust and thank him for his contribution over the years.

“I look forward to working with all the trustees over this coming year.”

Trust Tairāwhiti is the 100 percent shareholder of Eastland Group and has around $834 million in total assets.

He Rangitapu He Tohu Ora - Tairāwhiti Wellbeing Framework provides the Trust with a guiding set of outcomes for all its activities, which includes enabling others through grant funding and investment of capital.

Ron Aitken

New Trust Tairāwhiti trustee Ron Aitken (above) and returning trustee John Clarke (below).

John Clarke