The Whangarei Art Museum Trust

The Whangarei Art Museum Trust Board, formed prior in 1996, is charged with the governance of the Whangarei Art Museum.

The  governance of the Whangarei Art Museum is the responsibility of a Trust board comprised of seven Trustees, four approved by the Whangarei District Council while the Trust is able to appoint a further three Trustees.

Whangarei Art Museum Trust (WAMT) actions and direction are determined by the Trust Deed, which details the objectives of the Trust. These include both the operation of the Art Museum and the requirement to support, stimulate and enhance the artistic and cultural life of the Whangarei District.

As the majority of Trustees are WDC-appointed, WAMT is referred to as a Council Controlled Organisation (CCO) but it retains entirely independent operation and governance.

This independence is essential to protecting the charitable status of the Whangarei Art Museum. It ensures the museum retains eligibility for charitable funding and that it remains the appropriate organisation to receive art works from benefactors who wish to make bequests to an organisation that operates in the interests of greater community.

The operation of the Whangarei Art Museum Trust is audited annually by Audit New Zealand and reports to the community on a regular basis.

The Whangarei Art Museum Trust Board Members

Thomas Biss (Chair)

Thomas Biss is the chairman of the Whangarei Art Museum Trust.  Aside from this role he is also a shareholder and director of Henderson Reeves Connell Rishworth, a law firm situated in Whangarei.  At Henderson Reeves, Thomas heads the business law team. With over 25 years’ experience in advising businesses large and small.  As a director of a medium sized business Thomas contributes common sense and commercial advice to the board of WAM.

Thomas believes that art should be available to all and that exposure to art is a good thing.  He believes that it is a duty of local and central government to encourage and foster art and artists in the community.  The work of Whangarei Art Museum supports those goals.

Sharon Morgan

As District Councillor, Deputy Mayor and Trustee of Creative Northland, Councillor Sharon Morgan has been involved in numerous organisations across the culture, heritage and arts sector, including Te Kowhai Print Trust, Kiwi North and the Packard and Pioneer Museum. Councillor Morgan was instrumental in the information of the Whangarei Sculpture Symposium, a biennial event that has grown in stature since its inception. Councillor Morgan is a passionate, committed champion of the arts who is dedicated to elevating awareness of the creative sector in our District. Having been heavily involved with the HAC fundraising campaign, her focus remains on promoting creative initiatives to enhance and grow our District’s cultural, heritage and artistic value.

Andy Britton BSc (Hons)

Andy was an Audit partner with PWC for 16 years. Since leaving the firm he has specialised in professional mentoring and executive coaching – consulting with large private and public-sector businesses and organisations in New Zealand and Australia. Andy has served as Chair of several Boards. He is now a Director and co-owner of Coaching Pacific Ltd, a Leadership Development consultancy working in Australasia and Europe. Andy is a Fellow Chartered Accountant (FCA) with CAANZ and the ICAEW, a member of the Institute of Directors, Change Management Institute and an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) – (International Coaching Federation).

Carin Wilson

Carin Wilson is a former President and Fellow of the Designer’s Institute of NZ. He was the founding Chair of Nga Aho, the Society of Maori Design Professionals and is an honorary holder of Toi Iho – the quality mark for Māori Arts. Nga Aho recently conferred the honour Kahui Whetu in recognition of his contribution. He has an Honorary Diploma in Art and Design and is a practising artist with more than 30 solo and group exhibitions in New Zealand, Australia and Japan. He has been credited with being a deep strategic thinker with over thirty years’ experience in design, education and business. He has also been involved in the development of the Te Aranga Design principles and the Awatoru model as an approach to achieving authenticity in art and design practice in NZ. The Te Aranga principles have been championed by Auckland Council in its Design Manual and are gradually being adopted by Local Bodies throughout New Zealand.

Jill McPherson

The Board is delighted to welcome its newest member, Dr Jill McPherson. Jill has extensive governance experience, having served as the President of the Tern Point Recreation and Conservation Society, and as Director of the Westhaven Marina Trust and the Auckland Early Childhood Trust. Jill has worked in senior roles within several councils and council organisations. She was Acting Chief Executive of Kaipara District Council, Chief Strategy Officer for Regional Facilities Auckland Ltd, and General Manager of Arts, Community and Recreation at Auckland Council. She has a passion for projects which enhance community access to the Arts and Recreation.