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. John is currently a Director/Shareholder for Washbourn Investments Ltd, Saxton Fruit Ltd, Freshco Nelson Ltd and J L Palmer Ltd Group. He is also a spokesperson for Waimea Community Dam.


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 chartered member of the Institute of Directors.


Alan Dunn

Alan Dunn

Alan is an experienced corporate leader. He was CEO and Chair of McDonald's Restaurants New Zealand before moving to Chicago to become Vice President of Operations. He later became Regional Vice President in the Nordic region and Managing Director of McDonald's Sweden. Alan's professional director career started in 2009 and he is currently on the boards of Z Energy, NZ Post and Burger Fuel. He also serves on the TDC Commercial sub-committee as well as consulting to several small private companies.


Martin Byrne

Martin Byrne

Martin is the Chief Executive of Port Nelson Limited. 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 Director on the boards of Cawthron Institute, MEVO and Halberg Disability Sports Foundation and is also a future Director of Meridian Energy. She is a Consultant for the Nelson Winegrowers Association and a Trustee of Appleby School.


Sarah-Jane Weir

Sarah-Jane Weir

Sarah-Jane is a director of infrastructure providers Nelmac and Network Tasman, a trustee for the Rata Foundation and the Cawthron Trust Board and the local branch chair and national councilor of The Institute of Directors. Her professional career was as a commercial lawyer and partner at Anderson Lloyd. She and her family live close to Nelson City Centre, where they enjoy access to both the cafes and the city, and the tracks and trails around the Grampians, the Maitai and the Centre of New Zealand. Sarah is a supporter of the arts and of course of her children's sports activities.


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