Skip to content


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 2025.

Stewart Edward, MNZM, JP


Stewart was educated in Rotorua before attending Victoria and Otago Universities. He eventually returned home and served as a dentist in Rotorua from 1971 until his retirement in April 2018.  Stewart is a Life Member and former President of the NZ Dental 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, Chair of Mahi Tahi Akoranga Trust, Member of the Justice of the Peace Association, Trustee of Manaaki Ora Trust, Member of LakesWater Quality Society and Member of Federation of Māori Authorities.

Mike Keefe JP QSM

deputy chairperson

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 society.

Committed to making a difference, Mike has been a JP since 2000, a Judicial Officer with the Human Rights Tribunal (10 Years).

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 Chair of the National Governance Group on Firearms Safety (Whakatupato), a Member of the Human Rights Review Tribunal, a Member of the Justice of the Peace Association, and a Member of Tu Kaha Housing Trust.

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

Gregg Brown

Trustee, chair of Rotorua Trust’s investment committee

Born and raised in Rotorua, Gregg is the Managing Director of Capers Café and The Pig & Whistle.

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, a social enterprise promoting Rotorua mountain bike trails worldwide. Current roles include Councillor on Rotorua Lakes Council, Trustee of John Paul College, Committee Member of Lake Okareka Community Association, and Chairperson, Tipu Wai, a non-profit focused on planting native trees to improve water quality, Life Member of Rotorua Mountain Bike Club and Member of LakesWater Quality Society. Gregg enjoyed eight years as a trustee for BayTrust, representing Rotorua’s interests. During this time (post-GFC 2009 – 2017), he also served on the investment subcommittee.

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

Merepeka Raukawa-Tait


Merepeka is 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. 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 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?”.

Catherine Cooney, mnzm


Cathy has lived in Rotorua for 29 years and is deeply involved in the community. She is committed to “supporting the growth and development of organisations that contribute to the fabric and well-being of our society.”  

Cathy has a background in governance, health sector leadership, executive management, public health nursing, community development, and volunteer involvement in community organisations. She has a reputation for ethical leadership, integrity and for delivering results. 

In 2021, Cathy received an MNZM for contributing to health services and the community.

Cathy is currently CEO of Dementia NZ, Chair of Rotorua District Presbyterian Church Community Facing Ministries Committee, Trustee & Secretary of Te Atawhai Aroha – Compassionate Communities Rotorua, Member and Court Panel Manager of Rotorua & Districts JP Association, Member of BOP Branch of NZ Institute of Directors, and President of Australian College of Health Service Management – Aotearoa.

fisher wang


Bringing a youth perspective and using his experience in governance and relationship building is at the forefront of what Fisher does for many organisations in the community.

Stepping out of school at 19 years old, Fisher was elected as the district’s youngest councillor. Fisher has become a qualified Resource Management Act Commissioner and serves on boards for local organisations, with his current roles being Councillor on Rotorua Lakes Council, Trustee of Rotorua Community Youth Centre Trust, Board Member of Life Education Trust Rotorua, Board Member of Rotorua Chinese Community of Commerce, Board Member of Rotorua Sustainable Charter, Committee Member of Young Elected, Local Government New Zealand, Committee Member of Philanthropy NZ, and Disaster Research Advisory Group Committee Member, Oceania, Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy.

Fisher was elected to the Trust in November 2022 and holds the portfolio of Vibrancy: Arts, Culture & Sports; he also has a focus on youth, with a passion “to see our rangatahi provided with the opportunities to thrive and succeed.”