Meet the team

The Acorn Foundation exists thanks to the commitment of local people, including staff and volunteer Trustees, Committee members and Ambassadors. If you would like to meet with us, please contact us.

Our Acorn Team

We currently have three full-time and three part-time members of staff. The team manages the day-to-day operations of the Foundation, including financial management, distributions, donor engagement, collaboration with other local funders and community organisations, and more.

Our Board

Board of Trustees

The all-volunteer Acorn Foundation Board of Trustees is comprised of up to nine volunteer Trustees.

Our selection process provides a very robust governance model that prevents any individual or group from gaining undue influence over the Board.

Certain tasks are allocated to Acorn’s Committees, but ultimately the Board is responsible for the success of the foundation.

Selection process:

  • One Trustee shall be ratified by the Mayor of the Tauranga District Council (or its successor).
  • One Trustee shall be ratified by the Mayor of the Western Bay of Plenty District Council (or its successor).
  • One Trustee shall be ratified by the President of the Waikato Bay of Plenty Branch of the NZ Law Society.
  • One Trustee shall be ratified by the CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Tauranga Region Incorporated.
  • One Trustee shall be ratified by the CEO of Priority One Tauranga Moana.
  • Up to four Trustees shall be appointed by the Board.

Distributions Committee

The voluntary members of our Distributions Committee are responsible for assessing and approving applications for Acorn Foundation unrestricted funding. The committee members have appreciated utilising Vital Signs® Research, which provides evidence-based research to help prioritise Acorn's funding.

Scholarships Committee

In early 2020, due to a growing number of Acorn donors wishing to provide scholarships, we established a Scholarships Committee.  This Committee is comprised of volunteers appointed by Acorn’s Board, who assist with the review of scholarship applications and select award recipients.

Investment Advisory Committee

The Investment Advisory Committee, which is appointed by the Board and includes two Trustees, oversees the recommendations of the fund manager, Craigs Investment Partners. 

Audit, Risk and Policies Committee

The Audit, Risk and Policies Committee consists of Trustees of the Acorn Foundation and assists the Board is fulfilling their oversight responsibility with respect to the financial reporting process, the system of internal controls, the audit process, risk management and the policies of the foundation.

Our Ambassadors

Acorn’s Ambassadors are all former Acorn Trustees who continue to be heavily invested in our success. They are more than happy to discuss any aspect of the Foundation with you and welcome enquiries.

If you would like to speak to any of these ambassadors directly, please contact us, and we can put you in touch.  

Cheryl Adams
John Calder
Richard Cashmore
Peter Farmer
Gary Gempton
Bill Holland
Nancy Hogg
Tony Mills
Sally Morrison
Vern Pain

Ross Paterson
Carolyn Port
Matt Tustin
Paul Washer
Dean Wearne
Jane Nees
Peter Tinholt 
Lesley Jensen