"On behalf of the trustees, I'm pleased to welcome Debbie and Hamish to the Eastland Board group," said Trust Tairāwhiti chair John Clarke.

"I would also like to thank John Rae, who has retired by rotation after more than 10 years for his invaluable expertise and contributions to the growth and success of Eastland Group."

Hamish Bell is an independent director and chair with extensive governance experience across a range of industries. Over the last 30 years he has worked in New Zealand and across Asia in banking, corporate finance, private equity, investor relations and stockbroking.

A former partner at PwC and executive at ANZ National Bank, Hamish currently serves on a range of company boards including Ritchies Transport, Te Waka, Livingston Building, Boffa Miskell and Millennium Corporation. He has previously served on the boards of GJ Gardner Franklin, Greenstone Group, Pedersen Group, East Care, Southern Hospitality, Sutherland Produce, Martin Aircraft and Te Arawa Group Holdings.

Hamish said he was drawn to Eastland Group given his strong passion for regional business."

"I'm looking forward to drawing on my industry, corporate finance and stakeholder engagement experience to contribute to the Eastland Group board and to getting to know community and business stakeholders in Tairāwhiti."

Debbie Birch is a chartered member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors"with a particular focus on financial markets and investment, and Māori economic development."

She was one of the founders of a private equity fund model for Māori/Iwi which co-invests alongside institutional investors over a 15-year timeframe, and has raised $115 million from 26 individual Māori /Iwi investor entities."

Debbie is currently the chair of Raukawa ki te Tonga AHC, Taup? Moana Investments Ltd and is a non-executive director of Tourism Holdings, Ng?ti Awa Group Holdings Ltd, Te P?ia T?papa GP, T?wharetoa Hau Rau GP. She is a trustee of Wellington Free Ambulance Trust and Manu Rere Charitable Trust and is a member of the Treasury"s Capital Markets Advisory Committee and MPI"s Te Puna Whakaaronui Thought Leaders Group."

Debbie said she was looking forward to working with a high-quality board and management team.

"They not only manage significant infrastructure assets for the Tairāwhiti region but also contribute to sustainable asset management in a changing and challenging environment, reinforced by the need to adapt to a low-carbon future."

Eastland Group chair Matanuku Mahuika welcomed the appointments.

"Debbie and Hamish bring extensive and complementary experience to the board of Eastland Group. Their commercial, financial and strategic acumen, as well as their community- and sustainability-minded approach, will be invaluable as we strive for further growth and innovation."

PublishDate: 15 September 2021