Our Board

At the NRDA we are proud of the extraordinary capability of our Board of Directors headed by our Chairperson John Palmer. John is a Distinguished Fellow of the NZ Institute of Directors. Directors are appointed by Nelson City Council for a term of 1-3 years, to ensure a sensible rotation of directors is established. The board provides a range of business skills and experiences that will provide the widest possible perspective on regional opportunities.

John Palmer

John Palmer

John Palmer is a long-term Nelsonian living at Waimea West, where his family has a horticultural business of apples and kiwifruit, with hops at Tapawera. John is also involved with fruit processing operations at Stoke and commercial developments in Stoke and Richmond. 

Over the past 30 years John has been involved in a range of governance leadership positions, in both New Zealand and Australia, most recently with AMP and Rabobank. Prior to that he was Chairman of Air New Zealand, Solid Energy, and New Zealand Kiwifruit Marketing Board during the formation of Zespri.


Marina Hirst Tristram

Marina Hirst Tristram

Marina is Managing Director at Tasman Bay Food Group, a business that manufactures and markets a wide range of food products both domestically and in export markets.  Marina has a background in sales and marketing for Australasian food and beverage businesses and is qualified with EMBA (University of Sydney) and BCom, BPhEd (Otago University). Marina is a member of the Institute of Directors and a board member of the Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce.


Kevin Armstrong

Kevin Armstrong

Kevin has been involved in global investment markets for the last 34 years.  He began his career with Merrill Lynch in London, spending 16 years with the company after graduating from Oxford University. In late 1996, with his wife and three young sons, he immigrated to New Zealand and chose Nelson to be their home.

Up until mid-2012 Kevin was employed by ANZ where he was the bank's Chief Investment Officer for New Zealand and chaired the ANZ Group's Regional Investment Committee with responsibility for the bank's investment strategy employed throughout Australasia and Asia. He was also the CIO for the ANZ's Private Banking business in Australia. Kevin continues to write and present on global investment markets as an independent investment consultant; he is also an avid golfer.


Alan Dunn

Alan Dunn

Al is an experienced senior manager and corporate leader. He was CEO and Chair of McDonald's Restaurants New Zealand Limited from 1993 to 2004 before heading to Chicago to become Vice President of Operations then Regional Vice president in the Nordic region, and Managing Director of McDonald's Sweden. He now manages his own business, Trumpeter Consulting, and is a Director of Z Energy Limited, NZ Post Limited, Burger Fuel Worldwide Limited and a number of private companies.  Al lives in Mapua with his wife and teenage son.


Martin Byrne

Martin Byrne

Martin is the Chief Executive of Port Nelson Limited. He also serves on the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters here in Nelson and on the board of the Nelson Cricket Association. He is also the Vice President for Asia Oceania for the Internal Association of ports and harbours (IAPH). Married with three children and a step daughter, Martin is a keen runner, mountain biker, cricketer and golfer.


Meg Matthews

Meg Matthews

Meg is a former World of WearableArt (WOW) CEO and Head of Marketing –Australasia for Air New Zealand. She started her career at the national airline as an accountant in 1996 after beginning her trade with Deloitte.  She is a qualified accountant with diverse experience across key business disciplines of finance, human resource management, strategic planning and marketing. Meg is a member of the Institute of Directors, directing on the boards at Cawthron Institute, MEVO and Halberg Disability Sports Foundation and is also a future Director of Meridian Energy. She is a Trustee of the Wellington-based Footnote New Zealand Dance company and our very own Appleby School, as well as being a consultant for the Nelson Winegrowers Association.


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