Roland’s Wood trust on the hunt for new Board members

Chairperson and project manager needed to build on Roland’s vision

The charitable trust responsible for the governance and upkeep of Roland’s Wood, a popular Kerikeri walking and recreation area, is looking for volunteers to fill two positions on its Board.

The Friends of Roland’s Wood Charitable Trust manages eight hectares of land on Inlet Road in Kerikeri. Half of the area comprises mature beach forest with walkways, ponds and gardens. The other half has been acquired recently and is in the process of being planted and landscaped.

Chairman Simon Upperton will stand down at the Trust’s AGM in November, leaving that position open. The Trust also wants to appoint a project manager to the Board.

“We’re asking anyone who might be interested in helping take Roland’s Wood into the next stage of its development, to get in touch,” Mr Upperton said.

“Recently we bought 5.4 hectares of adjoining land. We subdivided some of this and sold sections to pay for the land and to raise money to develop the balance of the area. So we’ve completed the development and funding phases of our growth plan – now we’re in what we call our visionary phase.

Mr Upperton said the Trust was in a strong position to take Roland’s Wood into the next chapter of its story.

“It’s time for someone new to take the helm, and to help turn the Board’s vision for this jewel of our community into reality. The role of Chair is quite high profile within the community. It could benefit someone looking for a nice balance to a corporate career, or perhaps a retiree who wants to give back to the community. We have a strong, capable and committed Board which, hopefully, will also comprise someone to help manage the various development projects as they unfold.

A third role, covering community engagement and volunteer coordination, is also available. The Trust is undecided on whether this will be a Board position.

“Much will depend on who puts their name forward and how involved they want to be,” Mr Upperton said.

Roland’s Wood is a little piece of England with a Northland twist on Inlet Road in Kerikeri.  The English beech woodland, complete with bluebells, was created and bequeathed to the people and dogs of Kerikeri by benefactor Roland Sansom. It is open to the public, year-round, at no charge. Visitors are welcome to bring their dogs, which are allowed off the lead.

It was four hectares but the land acquired recently from the estate of Mr Sansom’s sister Lavender doubles the area.

Mr Upperton said this new land was effectively a ‘blank canvas’ for the new Board to work with.

“We’re looking for community-minded people with the interest, and the people and project-management skills, needed to build on what Roland and subsequent volunteers with this project have achieved. And to take forward what is effectively multi-generational work that will benefit the Kerikeri community for many years to come.”


The Trust’s Board comprises Mr Upperton, who owns Borders Real Estate, managing partner at BDO Kerikeri Robyn Terlesk, FNDC Councillor Rachel Smith, Craigs Investment Partners adviser Kirsty Hampson, national library service executive Jeannie Skinner, retired biochemist Alan Thomas and retired civil engineer Bill Haigh. The new project manager will assist Mr Haigh with the work he does on the ground.

Nominations for the two new Board positions should be submitted to Mr Upperton ( 021-1917427 or  by midnight on Sunday 18 October. Appointments will be made by the Board and ratified at the Trust’s AGM in November.

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