Who we are

We support not-for-profit organisations with knowledge and resources to serve their communities well.

We lead and deliver the National Strategy for Community Governance and the National Action Plan.

Community organisations provide a wide range of services that enrich our lives. This includes supporting parents, caring for older people, running youth groups, fighting fires, surf lifesaving, environmental protection, as well as organising education, religion, sport, and arts events. Most of these groups will have some form of board or committee governance.

We are here to help board members working in community governance who may feel under-resourced, overwhelmed, and isolated. By providing the tools and resources they need, we can help board members develop their governance skills to become effective governors and advisors.

Volunteers who freely give their time to NGO's and charities
$20 Billion
Annual income generated by New Zealand NGO's
$58 Billion
Assets managed by the national NGO sector
Supporting Community Governance in New Zealand
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We will share case studies, offer opportunities to connect with leaders, and hold roundtable discussions with experts and thought leaders.

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We will facilitate opportunities to connect with people in governance roles through online panel discussions, think tanks, and co-design workshops.

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We will provide learning opportunities, tools and templates, and easy to follow guides to help you do your job well.

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Vision statement

We have a vision that all community governance organisations across Aotearoa are well governed. We hope to inspire, engage, and provide you with educational tools and resources to help embed best-practice governance at the board table.

Our why
We're here to help lift the governance ability of community organisations in Aotearoa.
Our people
Rose Hiha-Agnew
Programme Director | Kaiwhakahaere
Rose Hiha-Agnew
Programme Director | Kaiwhakahaere

Rose (Ngāti Porou, Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki, Rongowhaakata, Ngāti Kahungunu) has extensive experience in management and governance across iwi, community, and governance organisations. During her career in local and central government Rose has led large-scale transformational programmes involving the environment, Te Ao Māori, and sustainability and infrastructure.

This has included the management of millions in partnership investments with iwi and communities across New Zealand.

Rose was Chair of Keep New Zealand Beautiful and Co-Chaired the Endangered Species Foundation. She currently supports national boards in digital equity and local art community boards.

Rose is passionate about sustainable, economic, cultural, and environmental opportunities that enable cultural perspectives and inclusiveness which lead to positive community outcomes.

She is based in the Bay of Plenty - Lakes District.

Mele Wendt
Chair of Community Governance NZ
Mele Wendt
Chair of Community Governance NZ

Mele (Samoan, Palagi) has over 23 years of governance experience and 17 years of leadership/management experience. During her career she has been a high school teacher, the founding Pacific Islands liaison officer, and manager of the student recruitment office at Victoria University. She has been the executive director of Fulbright New Zealand for ten years.

Mele currently does a mix of governance and consultancy work. Her current boards include Te Kura (The Correspondence School), Toi Mai Workforce Development Council, the Real Estate Authority, Wellington Community Trust, and chairing the Steering Group implementing the National Action Plan for Community Governance. Her past Chair roles have included Massey University's Pacific Student Success Working Group, and the Pasifika Education Centre.

Mele is a member of various professional and community groups and she is a White Ribbon Ambassador. In January 2019, she was awarded a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for her services to governance, the Pacific community, and women.

Mele is Samoan (Malie, Vaiala, Lefaga) and palagi (NZ, Britain), and lives in Wellington. She is married to Eteuati Ete and they have four grown-up children and four grandchildren.

Jo Cribb
Co-Founder - National Action Plan
Jo Cribb
Co-Founder - National Action Plan

Jo led, facilitated, and co-designed the National Strategy for Community Governance with our community not-for-pofit sector.

Jo Cribb has extensive experience working with boards and leadership teams, co-design and facilitation, and coaching emerging leaders. She has led substantial policy, strategy, and gender projects. Jo’s previous roles include Chief Executive of the Ministry for Women, Deputy Children's Commissioner, and leader of the Commissioner's Expert Advisory Group on Solutions to Child Poverty.

Jo is a director on several government and NGO boards and continues to support Community Governance NZ with facilitation and advisory support.

The Steering Group

Our Community Governance Steering Group is made up of volunteers from across Aotearoa. They represent government, philanthropy, and not-for-profit organisations who are supporting the delivery of the National Action Plan.

Members include: (Chair) Mele Wendt, Kate Sclater, Kevin Haunui, Michelle Kitney, Prabha Ravi, Toni Kerr, Sonya Rimene, Gordon Oldfield, Nikolao Cockerell, Karinia Lee, Francesca Ephraim

The Te Ao Māori Advisory Group

Our Te Ao Māori Advisory Group is made up of volunteers from across Aotearoa. They represent marae committees, Māori organisations, and government organisations including consultancy advisors.

Members include: Kevin Haunui, Sonya Rimene, Susan Huria, Rawiri Bhana, Theresa Roigard, Wairangi Jones, Tipene James, Kahutapeka Ututonga, Michael Handcock

Supported by 12 nationwide community trusts

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