We are a close-knit team of volunteers united by the same focus – making sure South Canterbury continues to be a place that we proudly call home.
Stephen McFarlane - Chairperson
Stephen McFarlane is a Chartered Accountant, Certified Financial Planner and Authorised Financial Adviser.
His community involvement includes Chairing the South Canterbury Rugby Union, Tennis South Canterbury and the Fraser Park Community Trust. He is on the YMCA Mid and South Canterbury Board and has also served on the Board of the Crusaders.
Stephen is a passionate advocate for South Canterbury and the significant difference the Aoraki Foundation can make in the community.
The Coles family have a long history with farming in the Waimate region that goes back well over 100 years.
John has significant involvement with the St Andrews, Otaio and Waimate community, including time as the Waimate District Council Mayor, Deputy Mayor and councillor, as well as assisting on various committees and trust boards.
His work for the Waimate and district communities was acknowledged with an ONZM on the 2014 New Years honours list as well being awarded a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow.
Following 24 years in tourism marketing and business management largely in Wellington, Los Angeles and Taiwan, Lesley understands first hand what an asset South Canterbury is.
She has been involved in governance roles with Trusts and Boards for many years, including the Cruise New Zealand Executive, Australia and New Zealand Business Association, South Canterbury Free Kindergarten Association, Central South Island Tourism, Mackenzie Tourism Trust and the Fairlie Community Vehicle Trust.
Murray has been a long term resident of South Canterbury. Now semi retired from his long term corporate role as NZ Business Manager for the worldwide Inspection, Audit and Certification company SGS, he has now taken a role as Managing Director of Trust Aoraki Ltd, is a Board Member of the South Canterbury District Health Board and a Director of the South Canterbury Eye Clinic.
Murray has held a long time interest in various sports in SC and is currently President of the South Canterbury Rugby Football Union.
He is passionate about South Canterbury and what it has to offer to our various communities and
Robyn works in the Rangitata electorate office where she has worked alongside the local MP since 2005. Previous to that she worked as an Industrial Chaplin for 8 years.
Robyn learnt the role of governance by serving on the Boards of Trustees for 9 years for 2 local schools.
She is an active supporter of philanthropic causes, working overseas for short periods in aid work and supporting her local community. Her most recent local project was for the St Andrews District Children's Centre – raising funds and purchasing a building to enable local women and children to meet for educational and social purposes. She now chairs the Community Board overseeing this organisation.
Robyn also established a Rent to Own business to finance folk into their own homes as well as leading a budget advisory group to enable local people to become financially literate.
David is a solicitor and partner in RSM Law Ltd, Timaru. He is experienced in litigation and commercial law, a trustee of the Mid and South Canterbury Community Trust and is honorary solicitor for South Canterbury R.S.A. He is married with two children, lives in Timaru and enjoys football, mountain biking, and snowboarding in his spare time.
Rebecca has a background in Finance and Marketing. She is currently Commercial Manager at Farmers Mill in Washdyke and is also heavily involved in a mixed arable and beef farming operation with her husband in Fairlie.
She has served on the Ronald McDonald House Charities SI Board, is a Director on Opuha Water Limited and is involved in the local community through business, sporting and educational interests.
Having grown up in South Canterbury, and now bringing up her own 3 children here, she is passionate about the ongoing development and future of the region.
Andrew McRae is a Barrister, Solicitor and a Partner of Gresson Dorman & Co. He is the Crown Solicitor of Timaru and practices litigation law. His community involvement includes being past Chair and Board Member of the South Canterbury Cricket Association, current Board Member of the Canterbury Cricket Association, an ASPECT Trustee and a member of the YMCA Mid and South Canterbury Board.
Andrew is an ardent supporter of South Canterbury and all that it has to offer and strongly believes in the power of philanthropy harnessed by the Aoraki Foundation to advance the common good of the region.
Nigel is the CEO of South Canterbury District Health Board and also a Chartered Accountant by profession.
Nigel is passionate at ensuring the public health system delivers patient and consumer focused care to the people of South Canterbury.
As a member of the Institute of Directors, combined with the Community role leading the South Canterbury health system, both are complementary to the work of the Aoraki Foundation.
We would also like to acknowledge the work of previous Trustees and Executive Members who have helped to make The Aoraki Foundation what it is today: