Our Board and Staff

Birthright New Zealand is governed by a National Board of six members. The National Board sets strategy and policy direction in consultation with affiliate organisations to ensure the organisation continues to provide high-quality services.

Introducing the National Board

Megan Thomas

Megan Thomas brings a wealth of community sector experience to Birthright.  Experience has been gained in a variety of community organisations as employee, board member and external consultant.   

Megan has worked across all spectrums of the community sector – health, social services, community education, social enterprise and the environment. She has been involved in sector wide initiatives working with Oranga Tamariki, Treasury and Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment on projects such as Transitioning to Results-Based Contracting, NGO Streamlined Contracting, NFP Financial Reporting Standards and Social Impact Bonds.

 Often described as a synthesizer of ideas and thoughts into logical patterns of operations, Megan brings a unique combination of skills to Birthright. 

Adrian Gregory

Adrian has been in a governance role with Birthright New Zealand since 2012 and became the chair in October 2018.  He is also the chair of Birthright Levin's Board, and a member of Birthright Otaki’s Committee.

For five and a half years Adrian was a member of the Senior Management Team at Grow Wellington, the regional economic development agency, working alongside tertiary institutions, research bodies, health boards and innovative businesses to build a connected innovation system in which businesses, and their skilled workforce, could thrive and grow.

Recently he has started-up his own consultancy, Helix4, through which he will continue this work in conjunction with government, tertiary institutions, business and local communities.

Originally from the United Kingdom, Adrian has worked at a senior level in the education and health sectors in both the UK and New Zealand.

His experience has seen him engaged with a spectrum of organisations from community-based to government and has included forming strategic alliances between disparate bodies in both urban and rural settings.

He has been a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, manufactures and commerce (FRSA) since 1999.

Jane Lancaster

Jane  has been involved with Birthright since 2012. She is a trustee and chair of Birthright Canterbury Trust.

Jane is a director of Food Standards Australia New Zealand, Catalyst® Ltd and High Value Nutrition National Science Challenge and is a chartered member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors.

In her working life she is a consultant to companies in food and agribusiness, providing advice about business development and export of products.

She was made a Member of the NZ Order of Merit (MNZM) in 2006. She and husband Bill have four adult children and four grandchildren. Jane enjoys gardening and walking and is active in her community church.

Mark Ford

Mark has been involved with Birthright since 2015. He has been a Birthright New Zealand board member since 2017, and he is Treasurer of Birthright Wellington.

Mark is an experienced finance and operational management professional with over 20 years experience as a senior manager within the Media/Publishing, Financial Services, Transport, and Government sectors. Mark is currently Chief Financial Officer at Wellington Water.

 Outside of work Marks enjoys spending his time with his wife Nicki and two teenage daughters - Georgia and Ella. You can often see him running, mountain biking or tramping the many great trails around Wellington.

Susan Symons

Susan has been on the Birthright New Zealand Board since 2011. She has had experience on other National Boards and likes the ability to be part of an organisation, and to see it grow and continue to support its aims.

For a number of years Susan has also been involved with Birthright Central Otago, which is a grass roots affiliate that operates with volunteers and works closely with other social agencies and schools.  Susan fills the roles of Board Committee Member and Secretary as well as managing the day to day work of Birthright Otago.