Heritage in Safe Hands

The Trust & Park Staff

Te Mata Park is managed by a Board of Trustees, made up of eight voluntary members. Under the Trust Deed, the Board must include a descendant of the original grantors, with the remaining seven being residents of Hawke’s Bay and including two councillors of Hastings District Council. One of the Trustees must also be a Mana Whenua Trustee as approved by Ngati Kahungunu. 

The Trustees are supported by a few contractors, including a Park Manager. Additional volunteers from the local community assist with ongoing management of the Park and related community activities. 


The Mana Whenua Roopu

The Trust adopted a co-governance model in 2018, with the creation of the Te Mata Park Trust Mana Whenua roopu, which sits alongside the Trust Board in an advisory position. This model acknowledges that Te Mata Park is a taonga for tangata whenua and ensures that mana whenua views and values are central to the strategy and management of the Park 

Our Current Board of Trustees

Mike Devonshire


Mike Devonshire

Following an early career in rural property management and investment banking, Mike established his own business consultancy in 2002 and has since worked with a wide range of clients providing transactional, strategic and governance advice.

Bruno Chambers

Brian (Bruno) Chambers

Bruno is a local farmer with land adjoining the Park. He is the great grandson of Thomas Mason Chambers, one of the original grantors of the Trust. Bruno is passionate about the Park and its surrounding environs and strongly supports environmental sustainability initiatives.

Jonathan Hensman

Jonathan Hensman

Jonathan has enjoyed 34 years in education and 19 as Headmaster of two schools in Australia and New Zealand. Jonathan brings considerable governance experience to the Trust, having served on five boards, as well as mentoring and consulting to education executives, on performance and governance matters.

Michal Bate

Michael Bate

Michael is a lawyer with governance and commercial experience. Michael also has an interest in all practical things and landscape issues. Michael has a focus on Park maintenance and an enthusiasm for facilitating public use of the Park. Michael is currently also a board member at Hereworth School and a volunteer at Te Aranga Marae.

Waiora Rogers

Waiora Rogers has extensive governance experience, including serving on the Boards of Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga and Ngati Kahungunu Iwi and as Deputy Chair of Waipatu Marae. Prior to retirement, Waiora worked for over 36 years as an administrator in Rotorua, Greenslopes Private Hospital (Brisbane), Royston, Queen Elizabeth and HB Regional Hospital. She is an active participant in triathlons and marathons and an Ambassador (Wahine) for Iron Māori. Waiora is passionate about the wellbeing of Rongokako and brings both unique and complementary skills to the Board table.

Malcom Dixon

Councillor Malcom Dixon

Malcolm is in his second term as a councillor representing the Hastings / Havelock North ward.  Malcolm has spent a career in education and retired in 2014 after spending his last twenty one years as the Principal of Frimley Primary School in Hastings. For the last six years he has been a Sport HB Board of Trustees member and is also a member of the HB District Health Board Consumer Council.

Jon Lewin

Jon and his young family live in the Tuki Tuki valley beneath Te Mata Peak. His family enjoys mountain biking, dog walking and trail running in Te Mata Park. Jon is a commercial lawyer with 25 years’ experience in both private practice and corporate roles. Jon is also a current Board member of Te Mata School.

Councillor Ana Apatu

Ana represents the Takitimu Ward as a Councillor for Hastings District Council and is the Chief Executive at Wharariki Trust. She is also the Deputy Chair of Health Hawke’s Bay Primary Health Organisation. Ana has a background in Public Health, and holds a postgraduate diploma in Public Health from Otago University.

Park Staff


Sarah Austin-Smith

Sarah has a strong background in organisation and administration and is passionate about protecting and enhancing our natural spaces for everyone to enjoy, for generations to come.

Sarah spent her formative years in Hawke’s Bay and Auckland, going on to study geography, earth science and organisational management at Waikato University. Sarah has been back in Hawke’s Bay 14 years and enjoys raising her two school aged children in Havelock North, close to family and the many natural playgrounds right on our doorstep.


Catherine Mueller

Having moved to Hawke’s Bay when she was 7, Catherine has grown up adventuring in Te Mata Park. Returning to the region five years ago and with a passion for environmental education, Catherine is now supporting the Park in its fundraising endeavours.

Communications & Education

Eleanor Lonergan

Eleanor has returned to Hawke’s Bay after ten years in the Middle East and Australia. She has a background in public relations and marketing and supports the education and communication activities of the Park. Eleanor can often be found adventuring in the Park with her young family.


Alex Tuffin

With a history of working in all aspects of forestry for the past 25 years, including forest establishment, Alex has a passion for forests and is excited to help Te Mata Park develop its full potential. When he’s not looking after the park’s forests, he can often be seen mountain biking in the park and visiting the Big Redwoods with his family and friends.

Alex Tuffin


Alex Clare

Alex has spent most of his life in Hawke’s Bay and loves the outdoors and native flora and fauna of the region. He has a background in horticulture and feels privileged to work in Te Mata Park because of its beauty, diverse environments, and the friendly park users he encounters daily.

Allex Clare