The NZ Rugby Foundation is fortunate to be guided by a diverse group of outstanding individuals who have all excelled in their chosen paths. They represent a vastly experienced balance of rugby, governance, business, empathy, accounting and legal expertise contributing to the organisation both in terms of ethic and longevity.
PATRON Sir Graham Henry- KNZM
"Graham’s reputation and standing in the community will be of great benefit to our ongoing work and goals of supporting our rugby players who have been seriously injured."
PATRON Richie McCaw - ONZ
"This role provides a great opportunity for me to support rugby and the wider community, which has supported me and my rugby career over the years."
PRESIDENT Andy Dalton
Andy was one of the most successful All Blacks captains in history, victorious in 15 of his 17 tests as captain. Not long after his retirement from rugby he became a corporate manager and was President of the New Zealand Rugby Union.
CHAIR Andrew Golightly
Andrew is well known in rugby as the Chair of Northland, and former NZR Board member. Andrew is recognised as one of Northland’s leading commercial lawyers and well respected in the rugby community for his vast experience in rugby governance.
DEPUTY - CHAIR
After completing her MBA in 2019 Melodie is the Head of Sports and Events for Television New Zealand. A former World Cup winning Black Fern of proud Ngai Tahu descent, Mel’s involvement in rugby continues at all levels through boards at Rugby World Cup limited to her local club.
TREASURER Mark Peters
Mark was Chairman of the Marlborough Rugby Union for 6 years, a Director of the NZ Rugby Union for 8 years and is currently a director of the Highlanders Rugby Fraanchise.
MBE Graeme Mourie
Out of the 61 games Gos played for the All Blacks, he was the captain 57 times. A fast and intelligent flank' he is synonymous with many moments in New Zeland's rugby history.
Andrew is the National Programme Manager for the NZ Spinal Trust and manages the Trust’s Peer Support and Vocational Rehabilitation programmes. Formerly he has been the CEO and Chair of the NZ Spinal Trust as well as having over 30 years experience in IT.
Simon is now the Managing Director of the Tremain Real Estate Group, a giant in the Hawkes Bay and still maintains strong rugby ties through personal, family and business relationships. Simon joned the board in 2013.
'Crazy' had a distinguished career as Hooker for Otago from 1986 - 1996 (161 Games) including being involved in the famous 1994 victory over the touring Springboks.
NZR Rep Rowena Davenport
Rowena joined the NZR Board in April 2022. Prior to that she was Chair of the Otago Rugby Football Union in 2019, following six years serving as a director on the ORFU Board.
ONZM Dr John Mayhew
Dr. John Mayhew adds serious medical clout to the mix. Boasting a long association with NZRU as team doctor for the All Blacks and medical director for the NZRU with 10 years on the IRB advisory board.
Stephen was a New Zealand Rugby Board Director (2016 – 2019) and a former Manawatu Rugby Union Chairmen (201 – 2016) and Hurricanes Director (2011 -2102) and is professor of Animal Science at Massey University
A former dual world cup winning Black Fern Hannah has been with the Foundation since 2021. After several years managing both Black Ferns fifteens and sevens campagins Hannah worked for several years at High Performace Sport NZ. In 2022 she accepted a postion at NZR as head of womens high performace.
Heidi is a chartered accountant and was previously Finance Manager at NZ Rugby and subsequently Chief Financial Officer at Eden Park. She is currently on the Board of Sport Hawke’s Bay.
An Accessibility Advisor to Tauranga City Council. Before commencing this role in 2023, Teina consulted to the ACC on how their systems and processes impact on whānau Māori living with injury, and continues to work in this role
After a decorated rugby career in New Zealand, world cup winning Ali finished up it playing in France. He is now a commercial property developer / investor with Ardmore group. He joined the NZRF in June 2023
Lisa was appointed Chief Executive in 2012.
She is passionate about people and sports and is an experienced global rugby administrator.
Lisa has held management positions in two of the world’s leading rugby powerhouses – South Africa and New Zealand.
Lisa has worked across all levels of the game spanning five Rugby World Cup tournaments – international and national teams; provincial unions; clubs, schools and referees.
In 2011, Lisa was head of VIP for the RWC tournament in 2011. Leading a team of employees and volunteers the role included creating and delivering an extensive programme for global rugby guests, heads of states and royalty. Between 2001-2007 she managed New Zealand Rugby events and, before that, was head of public relations and events for South African Rugby.
Her governance roles include as a Board Member of the King Country Rugby Union (2008-2009) and, in 2019, Lisa was appointed to the Board of Trustees of Mt Roskill Grammar, one of Auckland’s largest, most diverse secondary schools. She also volunteered for the Board of Susu Mama’s whilst living in Papua New Guinea, a charity focused on women and baby health. Lisa was nominated as member of the NZ Barbarians RFC in 2020.
“I respect sport as a powerful social catalyst. In our current world it is even more vital that sport remains relevant. It is a powerful tool in our fast-moving world and a healthy leveller. “ After RWC 2011 I did not think I would ever love a role as much. I love this role about ten times more.”
HEAD OF FUNDRAISING & PARTNERSHIP Ben Sturmfels
Responsible for developing and delivering our suite of fundraising programs Ben's enthusiasm for stakeholder engagment has seen him increase our revenue streams year on year since he joined in 2009.
Having played, coached, and commentated rugby from a young age Ben lives passion for the game and is driven by ensuring future generations "fall in love with rugby and immerse in its life values and opportunities"
He's commitment, passion and stay-in-the-game attitude saw him inducted as a member of NZ Barbarians RFC in 2021.