Programme governance groups named

The Big Business Breakfast, earlier this month, served as an introduction to the new Programme Governance Group for the Te Aroha Tourism Precinct and the Waharoa Industrial Hub feasibility projects, which were awarded funding from the Provincial Growth Fund.

Funding for the Waharoa project has been supported by a financial contribution from Open Country Dairy, Inghams, Balle Bros and Waharoa Industrial Park. Mayor Jan says the Council is grateful for the contribution offered which “shows the support from business for what we are doing”.

The breakfast was followed by the first Programme Governance Group (PGG) meeting, combining the Te Aroha and Waharoa Groups. The two groups will be providing governance and oversight of both of the projects.

“Having the first PGG meeting as a combined meeting with both groups was a fantastic way to kick things off,” said Mayor Jan. “It gave us an opportunity to get everyone in a room with us, this is a potential game changer for Matamata-Piako and we’re thrilled to have them all on board.”

Resolve Group, a Local Government Consultancy Group, helped to build a list of desired experience and expertise required to balance the governance groups. After consultation with the likes of Hamilton & Waikato Tourism and Te Waka, a number of people were invited to be a part of the governance.

Annabel Cotton will be chairing the Te Aroha Tourism governance group whilst Rukumoana Schaafhausen will be Chairing the Waharoa governance. 

Annabel is a professional director and is the Managing Director of Merlin Consulting, an adviser to NZX listed companies on investor relations, governance and equity management and holds a number of governance roles including Chair of Hamilton & Waikato Tourism.

Rukumoana, of Ngāti Haua, is the managing director of Ngati Haua’s commercial entity and is also the Chairperson of Waikato Tainui’s executive board, Te Arataura.  Rukumoana practiced law for a number of years and also holds several public and private directorship positions.

“We are so very fortunate to have such a remarkable group of people bringing a number of unique qualities and perspectives to each of the groups,” says Mayor Jan.

The Governance Group members are as follows:

Te Aroha Tourism Precinct

Annabel Cotton (Chair), Merlin Consulting

Nicky Scott, Iwi Representative

Jason Dawson, Hamilton & Waikato Tourism

Kelvin Foresman, Te Aroha Business Association

Anthony Matthews, Historic Heritage

Caitlin Casey, Spa and Wellness

Mayor Jan Barnes, Matamata-Piako District Council Representative

Councillor Teena Cornes, Matamata-Piako District Council Representative

Michael Basset-Foss, Regional Economic Development, Te Waka

Waharoa Industrial Hub

Rukumoana Schaafhausen (Chair), Iwi representative

Dacey Balle, Balle Brothers/Open Country Dairy

Wayne Clothier, Waharoa Industrial Park

Murray Kivell, Kivell Consulting

Mary Jensen, Brella Projects Ltd

Manujon Pemerika, Ministry of Social Development

Mayor Jan Barnes, Matamata-Piako District Council Representative

Councillor Neil Goodger, Matamata-Piako District Council Representative

Michael Basset-Foss, Regional Economic Development, Te Waka


  1. Annabel Cotton (Chair Te Aroha PGG), Rukumoana Schaafhausen (Chair Waharoa PGG) and Mayor Jan.
  2. The combined Programme Governance Groups at the Big Business Breakfast in Matamata last week.

Mayor Jan and group chairs webCombined Governance Groups web