Governance Group

The Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge has an independent Governance Group. 

The Governance Group reports to the NIWA Board and operates under the Terms and Conditions specified in the Challenge Collaborative Agreement.

The Governance Group is responsible for: appointing the Director, Deputy Director Māori/Manahautū, Challenge Leadership Team, Kāhui Māori, and Stakeholder Panel; approving research projects; and allocating funding.

Tania Te Rangingangana Simpson (Chair) 

Tania is a professional director with expertise across social policy, the environment, economic development, and Treaty-related matters. Tania is of Tainui, Ngāi Tahu and Ngā Puhi descent. Tania is a member of the Waitangi Tribunal, NZ Conservation Authority, and Deep South Challenge. She is Deputy Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and the Waitangi National Trust, and a Director of Auckland International Airport, Tainui Group Holdings, Waikato Tainui Fisheries and Kowhai Consulting. Tania’s past directorships include Mercury Energy, Global Women, AgResearch, Landcare Research (Deputy Chair), Ngai Tahu Tourism and Oceania Group, and she is an accredited fellow of the NZ Institute of Directors. She was made a Commander of the Order of the Taniwha in 2014 and a Dame of the Order of St Lazarus in 2019 for her services to Māori business and community.

Shelley Campbell

Shelley is the Chief Executive of Waikato/Bay of Plenty Cancer Society, and a board member of the Halberg Trust, Te Pou and Cancer Council New Zealand. She was formerly Chief Executive Officer of the Sir Peter Blake Trust, Chief Executive of Waikato Primary Health and Chair of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Taskforce.

Roger France

Roger is a professional, non-executive director and chartered accountant with almost 20 years governance experience in a wide range of organisations, including Fonterra Co-operative Group, Air New Zealand, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare and Team New Zealand. He was member of the Council of The University of Auckland for twelve years and Chancellor between 2009 and 2012.

He was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2016 and is a Fellow of both the New Zealand Institute of Directors and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

Bruce Mapstone 

Bruce has significant management experience and knowledge of climate and marine science (former Chief CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Chief Executive of the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, Chief Executive for the Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research).

Rebecca Mills

Rebecca Mills works globally in innovation through the lens of sustainability and is the Founder of The Lever Room, a Transformation Agency that scales win-win opportunities for people, nature and climate. The Lever Room has a proven track record of supporting purpose-led companies, government entities, non-profits and philanthropists to have impact at scale and pace. Rebecca has led large-scale regeneration developments and worked for central and local government on sustainability, energy, climate change, water and oceans strategy and policy, public/private partnerships and governance. She was one of two UK representatives on the ESPACE (European Spatial Planning Adapting to Climate Events) project team to shape planning for climate change adaptation at a global level.

John Morgan

Chief Executive of NIWA, Sustainable Seas host organisation.

James Palmer

James has expertise in government policy and planning, and economics (former Deputy Secretary Strategy, Ministry for the Environment, responsible for strategy development across the natural resources sector, including climate change and ocean management; former Director Strategy, Systems and Science Policy at the Ministry for Primary Industries and Director Strategy at the former Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry; former Chief of Staff to the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, and Senior Private Secretary to the Deputy Prime Minister).

Sir Mark Solomon

Sir Mark is a professional director and Māori tribal leader of Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Kurī decent (Kaiwhakahaere (Chair) of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu; director of Te Ohu Kaimoana (Māori Fisheries Trust), former director Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa).

Volker Kuntzsch

Volker is Chief Executive Officer of Sanford Ltd. Volker was formerly the President of Nippon Suisan (USA), and President and CEO of King & Price Seafood Corp in Brunswick, Georgia, USA. His former appointments include Global Marketing Director for Nippon Suisan Kaisha Ltd in Tokyo, Managing Director of Hangana Seafood in Namibia, and he has had senior roles with Unilever Europe in Germany and the United Kingdom. Volker’s experience in creating awareness of seafood sustainability includes development of the Marine Stewardship Council certification of key fisheries and he played a key role in the early accreditation of the New Zealand Hoki fishery.

Latest news and updates

Haere mai to our new Chair

We are delighted to welcome our new Chair, Tania Te Rangingangana Simpson, who brings a wealth of knowledge that is directly relevant to our research into bringing together tikanga and mātauranga Māori with western science and New Zealand law.

Blue economy core research concepts open for review

The Challenge Leadership Team has developed core research project concepts for Theme 2: Creating value from a blue economy.