Our board of Trustees (currently six in number) ensure the Trust’s assets are managed and enhanced responsibly, distributing income in a manner that balances the needs of today while maintaining a legacy for the future.

Trustees are elected by the Rotorua voting district on a triennial basis. The next election will be held in November 2022.

Stewart Edward, MNZM, JP


Stewart was educated in Rotorua before attending Victoria and Otago Universities. He eventually returned home and from 1971 until his retirement in April, 2018, served as a dentist in Rotorua.  Stewart is a Life Member of the NZ Dental Association and is a former President of that Association.

During his time in Rotorua, Stewart has held governance roles in education, health, marae administration, outdoor concerts, community funding, youth activities and prisoner rehabilitation. Stewart has been a Justice of the Peace (JP) since 1996.  In 1997 he received the Paul Harris Rotary Scholarship Award and was appointed to the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the community.

From 2001 to 2010 Stewart chaired the Lakes District Health Board and is currently Chair of QE Health Community Trust, Chair of Mahi Tahi Akoranga Trust, Deputy Chair of Nga Pumanawa e Waru Trust, and a Trustee of Manaaki Ora Trust.

Tamati Coffey, MP for Waiariki

Deputy Chairman

Tamati Coffey’s heart is firmly placed in Rotorua with his whanau, his dogs and his hospitality businesses, Ponsonby Rd Lounge Bar and Our House. He is also the MP for the Waiariki electorate. He is of proud Te Arawa heritage and is actively involved in iwi matters and his whanau land blocks. Tamati has been a patron for Rainbow Youth for many years with a passion for helping disadvantaged young rainbow kids get ahead.

Tamati was first elected by the Rotorua community to the board of the Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust in 2016 and re-elected in 2019. He has undertaken the portfolio of Education in the previous term, proud of the partnership with the Trust and the Ngati Whakaue Education Endowment Trust, making literacy and numeracy a priority and an impact investment. This term he is the spokesperson for Strengthening Communities which is a key focus for him.

Jo-Anne La Grouw, MNZM


Jo-Anne was the Rotorua Trust Deputy Chairman from 2004 to 2016. Having worked tirelessly in the Rotorua community for the past 35 years, local business-woman, Jo-Anne knows it well.

A former director of the NZ Symphony Orchestra, Jo-Anne is well known for her contribution to the arts. She is currently Chair of the Rotorua Competitions Society and the New Zealand Aria Trust, a founding trustee of the Rotorua Arts Village, a trustee of the Rotorua Museum Centennial Trust and co-chair of Friends of the Museum. She is also renowned for her work with the Riding for the Disabled and the Life Education Trust where, over the past 20 years, she has promoted fun and novel ways of raising funds for local children. Jo-Anne is a past Chairman of Save the Children Rotorua, representative on the BOP/Gisborne Lotteries Community Trust Grants Board, and the BOP Business Development Board.

Jo-Anne enjoys tending her two acre garden where, with her husband Joe, she hosts many fund-raising functions each year. Born in Blenheim and raised and educated in New Plymouth, Jo-Anne has three children and seven grandchildren all living in Rotorua.

Merepeka Raukawa-Tait


Merepeka, Te Arawa, is a Rotorua Lakes Councillor, Lakes District Health Board member, Chair of Te Pou Matakana the North Island Whanau Ora Commissioning Agency, Trustee of Te Mana o Ngati Rangitihi Trust a Post Settlement Treaty Entity, Trustee of Te Roopu Taurima an organisation providing residential care for those with physical and intellectual disabilities, and appointee to the Maori Reference Group (Ministry of Social Development) on the Elimination of Family Violence. All these positions reflect the breadth and depth of skills and knowledge, in a wide range of areas, she brings to the Rotorua Trust. She has worked in the public, private and NGO sectors in Switzerland and New Zealand.

Merepeka says the Rotorua Trust has a proud grants history that has contributed to the growth and development of community groups, organisations and people. She is future focused, knows challenges lie ahead and is prepared to ask “what can we do differently”.

Mike Keefe JP QSM


Of Kahungunu/Te Arawa/English/Celtic descent Mike has held numerous governance roles with volunteer and philanthropic organisations. A strong, passionate, Rotorua District advocate since 1985, his Police/Public service provides insight into the social issues within our multi-cultural society.

Committed to making a difference, Mike has been a JP since 2000, a Judicial Officer with the Human Rights Tribunal (10 Years) and is the current Chair of the BOP/Gisborne Lotteries Committee, experienced in the prudent allocation of funds.

He is dedicated to serving the community for the benefit of all generations, providing pathways and solutions from the cradle to the grave. Mike is also a Trustee of the Graeme Dingle Foundation Rotorua, and is Chair of a National Governance group providing firearms safety to rural communities.

Awarded a QSM in the 2017 New Year’s Honours List for Services to the Community, Mike is married to Heather, with two adult children and three grandchildren.

Gregg Brown


Born and raised in Rotorua.

Managing Director, Capers Café and The Pig & Whistle.

Gregg enjoyed eight years as a trustee for BayTrust, representing Rotorua’s interests. He also served on the investment sub-committee during this time (post-GFC 2009 – 2017).

Community involvement includes six years as President of the Rotorua Mountain Bike Club; Founding Chairperson of the Rotorua Trails Trust; and, 12 years as Managing Director for RideRotorua.com, a social enterprise promoting Rotorua mountain bike trails to the world. Current roles include Trustee, John Paul College; Committee Member, Lake Okareka Community Association; and, Chairperson, Tipu Wai, a new non-profit focused on planting native trees to improve water quality.

Gregg has been appointed Chair of the Trust’s Investment and Audit and Risk Committees. He welcomes the opportunity to bring his philanthropic and investment experience to further strengthen the Rotorua Trust’s financial position and to deliver strategic and disciplined granting to the community.

Gregg is married to Susan Brown. They have three children.