Our history

The Taranaki Health Foundation is a charitable organisation founded in 1998 in partnership with the Taranaki District Health Board. The shared vision of the partners is to enable the best possible healthcare via fundraising for key projects that will make a significant difference to our regional community.

Since late 2013, the Foundation has received over ten million dollars in pledges and in June 2016 we completed a 3.6 million dollar campaign for a new Angiography suite at Taranaki Base Hospital. These stellar results would certainly not be possible without the generous support of Business Sponsors and donations from the Taranaki community.

Taranaki Health Foundation Staff

Adrian Sole

General Manager

I joined the trust in 2013 and enjoy using my skills, experience and energy to help achieve the foundation's goals.

I have a passion for our community, leadership and equality. Over the years, I have contributed to many community organisations, events and activities. I am currently on the Taranaki Golf Association Board. My wife Melanie and I have been married for 23 years.

Grant Carter

Donor Relationship Manager

I am proud to be a fifth generation Taranakian and love community involvement. Having completed a career of 31 years with Air New Zealand, this enabled me to maximise my passion for travel, and exploring the world (hopefully many more adventures to come). I truly appreciate my life in New Plymouth with focus on our beaches and foreshore, socialising with friends, and keeping fit.

Simon Velk

Marketing Manager

I arrived in New Plymouth from the UK in 2018. After a 2 year stint in Auckland, I couldn't resist moving back to New Plymouth. With a partner who works at Taranaki Base Hospital, I have a passion for improving healthcare facilities for both patients and staff who do amazing work every day. I am so excited to have the opportunity to give back to the Taranaki community and be involved in a project that will improve Taranaki healthcare for the foreseeable future.

Tasha Kupe

Foundation Administrator

I am Taranaki born and bred. I travelled the globe for about 7 years before the pull of our Maunga became too great and I returned home to the beauty that is Taranaki. My greatest achievement in life would have to be my beautiful daughter.

Board of trustees

Brian Ropitini

Chairperson

Previously Brian was the Director of Manufacturing for Methanex NZ where he managed the operations at the three methanol plants at Motunui and Waitara Valley as the health and safety lead for over 250 employees and numerous contractors. Methanex NZ produces up to 2.4 million tonnes of methanol per year, which is a significant contributor to Methanex’s total worldwide output as well as generating $650 million for New Zealand’s annual GDP. Brian now runs his own consulting business under the name Māna Consulting NZ.

Murali Bhaskar

Trustee

Murali has been with BGBBTA since 1994, and in the role of director since 1999. He is a lead Design Architect with a special interest in pursuing a unique style of NZ architecture - often blurring the boundaries between media, art, design and architecture. He has worked with multi-disciplinary teams and large client organisations on various civic, community, hospitality, education and healthcare projects. He has a passion for Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD). Murali is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Architects and former council member. He lives in New Plymouth with his partner and their girl and boy twins.

Antony Rhodes

Trustee

Antony Rhodes joined the Foundation as a Trustee in 2018, bringing communications and marketing skills to the governance table. Antony’s previous experience has included communications roles with the Prime Minister and Venture Taranaki, the region’s economic development and tourism agency, and he now is the Deputy Director at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre.

Greg Simmons

Trustee

Dr Greg Simmons re-joined the Foundation in March 2017 after a short hiatus as a Trustee. He provides a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Board as the Chief Medical Advisor at Taranaki District Health Board. The Foundation is very pleased to have a person of his calibre to support the charitable work of the Trust.

Mike Davey

Trustee

Mike is an elected member of the Taranaki District Health Board, he is also employed in the rural sector and is an elected member of the Taranaki Regional Council, deputy chair of Taranaki Electricity Trust (TET) and a member of the Taranaki Chamber of Commerce. Mike lives in Inglewood and is married with children and grandchildren. Mike is very active in the rural sector and a member of Federated Farmers Taranaki.

Mike joined the Foundation in early 2020 and has been instrumental in connecting us with the rural community.

Deb Riley

Trustee

Deborah is a multi-skilled healthcare professional with experience in the clinical setting, procurement, logistics and supply chain management. She has worked for the Taranaki DHB and is now at Southern Cross Hospital New Plymouth as Supply Chain Manager.

Current Secretary of the Product Evaluation Healthcare NZ (PEHNZ) Group and a Trustee for the Taranaki Health Foundation since Feb 2020.

Ricky Malcolm

Trustee

Ricky is an entrepreneur with a passion for people, community, business, music, events and crazy social situations.

He started out of high school straight into working in the grassroots of our local community and has been building connections with people, organisations and places ever since. The trust is very fortunate to have Ricky join us in August 2020. He brings his ‘generations lens’ and his photo, film and social skills in to the mix as well!