OWEN PATERSON (Founding Chairman)
Owen trained as a teacher before embarking on a career as a radio and television broadcaster, newsreader and television producer-director. He was the first face on TV in Christchurch during tests in 1961.
In 1969 he moved to the UK for experience and, as Director of Special Operations for a BBC subsidiary, helped develop the use of live satellite programmes before forming his own UK-based communications company Visionlink International Ltd. A founder member of the International Society of Satellite Professionals, he co-ordinated transmissions for the First German Spacelab Mission and was a keynote speaker at several US satellite symposia while a member of the Royal Television Society.
During his career working for broadcast networks, the corporate world and government agencies, Owen directed events in over 70 countries. During this time he worked with artists as diverse as Sir Peter Ustinov, John Denver and Sir Michael Caine, was involved in a number of Third-World UNICEF projects and had “character-building” experiences with many Heads of State. His long interest in the performing arts and education proved useful as a Governor of Cricklade (Tertiary) College in Hampshire.
In 2001 Owen retired back home to North Canterbury where he grew up and now participates in several community service projects. A Rotarian, he also shares his experiences as guest speaker at service groups and clubs.
GARETH RENOWDEN (Board Chairman)
Gareth, an Oxford University graduate, is a writer, photographer and truffle grower based in the Waipara Valley. He has had a 35-year career in journalism and magazine publishing and has written books on olive growing, truffles and climate change. He is the publisher of the influential Hot Topic blog covering climate change science and policy. His most recent book is a science fiction satire set in NZ. Gareth has been actively involved in the New Zealand truffle industry’s development since 1997, being a Past President of the Truffle Association. He was a founder member of the Waipara River Protection Group and played a key role in developing a management strategy for the river. Gareth is also a committee member of the New Zealand Meteorological Society.
RON VAN TIL
Ron van Til is the owner of an award-winning large-scale bakery operation which supports 150 staff. A former board member of the NZ Baking Society, Ron’s background includes Supermarket Management in Australia and Key Account Management for Colgate Palmolive. He currently sits on the Board of Enterprise North Canterbury, mentors many other business owners in his spare time, and still finds time to participate actively in various local sports. Having lived in North Canterbury most of his life Ron is very passionate about the local community.
David is presently Mayor of Waimakariri but has served as a local councillor for more than 20 years. He is a retired educationalist whose career has included positions as Assistant or Deputy Principals of Cashmere and Rangiora High Schools and as a Teacher-Adviser at the Christchurch College of Education. He is involved in a range of local community groups including the Rangiora Early Records Society, the Waimakariri Community Arts Council, the Ashley-Rakahuri Rivercare Group, the Methodist Parish, Rotary and Community Watch.
Brent is a Chartered Accountant and Justice of the Peace, with a 45-year history of public practice in Rangiora. He has been involved with the electricity industry since 1986 when he was elected to the North Canterbury Electric Power Board, later becoming Chairman of the MainPower Trust, a role he stepped down from in April 2008. Brent has been a Rangiora Borough Councillor, Rangiora High School Board representative, Order of St John Rangiora Area Treasurer for 26 years and has been involved with the Rangiora Scout Group and Volunteer Fire Brigade.
Jocelyn has spent most of her working life in the Waimakariri district and has been involved in numerous community activities and events. She has been a medical secretary and run a Rangiora Real Estate company. Jocelyn has been a member of the Friends of the Christchurch Art Gallery committee for more than 13 years and is currently a Trustee of the Laura Fergusson Home for Disabled People. She also has a strong interest in natural healing and is a Reiki Master.
The Venerable Carole Graham, who lives in Oxford, has worked for 40 years in the ministry of the Anglican Church, holding many parish and diocesan appointments. While the Canterbury Diocese awaited the arrival of a new appointee from Canada, she held the position of Acting Bishop of Christchurch. Her role is now Deputy Vicar General for the Diocese which covers Canterbury and the West Coast. Carole is a committed supporter of many community projects.
Gary is a Kaiapoi resident, and retired Insurance Industry Manager, with a long history of community involvement. This has included being a Coach and Administrator for the Special Olympics for 25 years, a Volunteer Firefighter for 31 years and work as a volunteer Tutor for SeniorNet North Canterbury. Gary is also a long-time member of Rotary, Past Convenor of the New Zealand Society of Genealogists and Past President of the Waimakariri Combined Probus Club.