Board Members

MERC SunriseMERC’S Board Of Trustees


Rick Rainey

Board Chair


Sub-committee: Finance Subcommittee
Professional background: Computer Engineering. Corporate Management, Business Consulting
Date of appointment: 2011
Skills and experience: Business and Strategic planning, Operational Review, Vendor and IT management.

With over 30 years of business experience growing and leading high-tech NZ companies, Rick brings a sound strategic and planning focus to the Board of Trustees. Rick currently runs his own business consultancy in the areas of technology and innovation, Strategy and business planning for both profit and non-profit organisations. When not working, Rick follows his passion for sailing and is often cruising the Hauraki Gulf with his family in their Lotus 10.6 yacht. Ricks volunteering background includes having been a long term volunteer with the Auckland Volunteer Coastguard, in both an operational and management capacity, and supporting youth sailing through the local yacht clubs.

Naomi Cowan

Deputy Chair


Sub-committee: Human Resources Committee

Qualifications: Graduate Diploma of Business (Management)
Professional background: CEO of Equip. A mental health trust that employs 60 staff who provide support services for over 220 individuals in the community who experience major mental health issues.
Date of appointment: March 2008
Skills and experience: Governance and Management of Charitable Trusts, Human Resources experience’ Strategic thinking and planning.

Deputy Chair of the MERC Board and brings over 30 years of experience both in governance and leadership in the not for profit sector.  Naomi currently leads the mental health and addictions NGO ‘Equip’ which provides contracted community based services to three northern District Health Boards.


Denise Krum


Qualifications: Denise studied politics and history at Victoria University, Wellington, before going on to gain a Masters degree in Public Policy and Theology in the United States.
Professional Background: Denise is serving her first term as Councillor for the ward of Maungakiekie-Tamaki in central Auckland.
Date of appointment: 2015

Skills and experience: co-founding and leading TableSide Charitable Trust – a unique community brokering agency bringing small businesses, other not-for-profits and local residents together for connective social outcomes.

In addition to her wider responsibilities as a Governing Body member, Denise is the Deputy Chair of both the Tenders & Procurement and Regulatory & Bylaws Committees and is also lead Councillor for the Ethnic Peoples Panel. She is a member of the Economic Development, Unitary Plan, and CCO Governance and Monitoring Committees as well as the Treaty Settlement working party.

Tony Peat


TONY 25 05 16

Sub-committee: Finance Committee

Qualifications: Chartered Accountant (CA), Certificate of Public Practice (PP), Bachelor of Business (in Accounting) 
Professional Background: Chartered Accountant
Date of appointment: 2015

Skills and experience: Tony operates a Chartered Accountancy practice in Silverdale, has a keen interest in yachting and diving, and has served as Treasurer on several sports club committees in the past.



Dr Ross Garrett


B.A., M.Sc., Ph.D.

Professional background: 32 years on the academic staff of the Physics Department of the University of Auckland teaching and researching. 13 years as chairman of the Board of MERC
Date of appointment: 1979
Sports: Cruising and competitive sailing, recreational skiing.

Retired University of Auckland physics lecturer and scientific company director. Founding trustee and MERC Board chairman 1995 – 2008. Current MERC board secretary.


Professor Mark Orams



Sub-committee: Human Resources Committee
Qualifications: JP, PhD, MSc, BRP(Hons)
Professional background: Professor in Coastal and Marine Tourism and Associate Director of the New Zealand Tourism Research Institute at AUT University.
Date of appointment: 1996
Skills and experience: Governance of charitable trusts. Strategic thinking and planning. Marine science and resource management. Marine recreation, education and interpretation.
JP, PhD, MSc, BRP (Hons). Head of Department, Tourism and Event Management, Auckland University of Technology. Marine environmental educator, researcher, yachtsman, surfer. Trustee.


Alick Wilson



Sub-committee: Health and Safety Committee

Qualifications: Master Mariner (Foreign Going)
Professional background: Master Mariner
Date of appointment: 1991
Interests:Golf,fishing and most activities outdoors–if its fun, then I am starter.

A master mariner for the past 54 years mostly working on freighters and in the offshore exploration industry. Currently semi-retired but also working on contracts captaining seismic research vessels or doing ship deliveries.



Bruce Nancekvill



Qualifications: Bachelor of Engineering, Chartered Engineer ICE , Registered Engineer , Chartered Professional Engineer, International Professional Engineers, Professional background: Civil Engineer
Date of appointment: 2010
Skills and experience: Belonged to the Browns Bay boating club raced trailer sailors, competed in the Mission Bay windsurfing competitions on a Mistral Imco for a number of years and then cruised a Farr 1104 with the Weiti Boating Club including 3 Coastal Classic races Has a sea kayak and regularly kayaks with friends including an around Great Barrier paddle and a Whitianga to Coromandel paddle.

Founding director of Nancekivell Cairn Ltd, a civil & structural engineering consultancy based on the North Shore. Bruce has over 40 year’s industry experience in New Zealand and the United Kingdom in the structural engineering field. He graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Auckland University.

 Steve Hathaway


Steve Hathaway

Qualifications: Construction industry for 20 years, managing projects, producer, creative thinker, good communication skills, Local Launch Operator (LLO), underwater cameraman
Skills and Experience: Construction industry for 20 years, managing projects, producer, creative thinker, good communication skills, Local Launch Operator (LLO), underwater cameraman

Background: A long-time lover of the ocean, Steve left the trade he’d known for the previous 20 years (running his own construction business), to pursue his passion of telling stories about the underwater world.

Since starting filming underwater professionally in 2008, his footage has appeared on BBC, Discovery TV, National Geographic and TVNZ, in numerous award-winning documentaries including the popular and timely documentary ‘Blackfish’.

He created the series ‘Young Ocean Explorers’, where he takes his daughter, Riley, for adventures into his world. They’ve filmed 20 episodes on animals like: Orca, turtles, sharks, crayfish, humpback whales. Their aim is to inspire a generation of kids to love our ocean, through their entertaining and educational show.
Date of appointment: 2016
Family, diving, spearfishing, water skiing, surfing … give me some toys to play with in the ocean any day!