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Staff and Kaumaatua

Trust Waikato has twelve staff, all specialists in their area of accountability, working closely together as a team. 

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Tame Pokaia


Tame is from Ngaati Mahuta and Ngaati Hikairo descent, and was born and raised

in Ngaaruawaahia.


Dennis Turton

Chief Executive

Dennis’ significant senior management experience puts him in good stead, as

Trust Waikato’s Chief Executive.


Melanie Blackmore

Business Manager

Mel manages the office of the Chief Executive, supports the Trust Board and assists with the development of effective policy.


Jade Astill

Office Coordinator

Jade is the key point of contact for our community meeting rooms, and finance

and operations administration. 


Jasmin Aldworth

Business Services Coordinator

Jasmin oversees the Trust property, health and safety, and supports the Trust Board. 


Maggie Zhang CA

Finance and Investment Manager

Maggie looks after the Finance and Investment of the Trust, ensuring operational agility.


Danielle Lorberbaum

Communications Manager

Danielle manages Trust communications and shares the wonderful community initiatives happening across the region.


Rongo Kirkwood

Pouhere Puutea | Grants Manager

Rongo Kirkwood is of Ngaati Mahuta descent, and draws strength from her whaanau, hapuu and iwi.


Tarita Templeton

Pou Aarahi | Community Engagement Advisor

Tarita joined the Trust Waikato team in 2010 and as of December 2016 she has been a Grants Advisor.


Nita McNeil

Pou Hono | Database and Information Manager

Nita's role involves managing the grants application process and providing helpdesk support to groups.


Lilian Short

Pou Aawhina | Community Response Advisor

Lilian joined the Trust Waikato team in November 2021 and oversees all Community Response Grants under $20,000. 


Molly Allen

Pou Aawhina | Community Response Advisor (on maternity leave)

Molly joined the Trust Waikato team in June 2017 and has loved the change to the not-for-profit sector.