Our People

Community Research is run by a governance group with two caucuses –  Tangata Whenua and Tangata Tiriti –  and a small team based in Wellington.

Governance group

Tangata Whenua caucus members are:
Pania Coote: Co-chair
Erena Kara

Tangata Tiriti caucus members are:
Garth Nowland-Foreman: Co-chair
Sally Fenwick Ridley: Treasurer
Natasha McDougall

Tangata Whenua caucus members

Co-Chair Pania Coote (nee Simeon), Ngai Tahu, Ngāti Kauwhata and Ngāti Porou


Pania Coote is of Ngai Tahu, Ngāti Kauwhata, Ngāti Porou descent, lives in Bluff and affiliates to Awarua Runanga.  She has a Masters in Social Welfare from the University of Otago, Dunedin, specialising in research, management and counselling.  Pania is the District Manager, Māori Health at Southern District Health Board.  Her background in social work and community development underpins her work in both health and Māori specific areas.  Pania’s role includes overseeing Māori Health and Māori Mental Health secondary care services across the Southland and Otago regions.  She also works in collaboration with primary care, Māori Providers to reduce disparities and improve Māori health outcomes.

Erena Kara, Ngāpuhi

Erena Kara is the Operations Manager at Te Hau Ora O Kaikohe. Erena has a Masters in Social Sciences (Psychology) and has a strong interest in kaupapa Māori research, evaluation, and transformation.  Erena has worked within the health sector for most of her career, working in both the government and not for profit sectors.  Currently, she is involved in the evolution of the Whānau Ora programme as it relates to her rohe in Ngāpuhi.  Erena continues to be involved in research, particularly within the area of best health outcomes for Maori.  Erena is involved in the Kohanga Reo movement through her tamariki, is a member of the Maori Health Gains Council, Northland District Health Board, and is involved in iwi issues via her directorship on the Ngāpuhi Asset Holding Company.  She is married with two tamariki.

Tangata Tiriti caucus members

Co-Chair Garth Nowland-Foreman

Garth runs Community Solutions, a small consulting and training firm specialising in strategy, evaluation and governance for non-profit organisations and those who fund them. He also lectures in the Unitec NZ Graduate Programme in Not for Profit Management – in Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific – specialising in governance, social policy, community research, social audit, ethics, change management, strategy, and capacity building for non-profit organisations. Garth has researched and written widely on these topics and also on non-profit funding and accountability, and strategic philanthropy.

Garth has a number of voluntary roles and is on the boards of the Lottery Grants, Australia and New Zealand Third Sector Research (ANZTSR), and the Christchurch Methodist Mission. He chaired the Committee for the Study of the New Zealand Non Profit Sector and was the initial editor for the Community Research “How to” pages of www.community.net.nz. Garth was also the first SAN registered Social Auditor in Aotearoa New Zealand. Previously, he worked as an NGO lobbyist heading up a government policy and research unit, and was in a Cabinet Minister’s office. He was national director of the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) for six years. Garth has two adult sons, one of whom has a number of disabilities.

.Treasurer Sally Fenwick Ridley

Sally is originally from the North however has lived in the Waitetuna Valley in the Waikato for most of her life.  She is the Training and Communications Manager at Community Waikato.  Her focus is on community research and development, building capacity and disseminating information.  She has a Masters in Social Sciences and a Post Graduate Diploma in Community Psychology with the University of Waikato and is currently completing the Graduate Diploma in Not for Profit Management with Unitec. Sally is a member of the Aotearoa New Zealand Evaluation Association, and the Chair of MSSATW (Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Trust, Waikato) and Insight Endometriosis.

Natasha McDougall

NatashaNatasha is a born and bred Wellingtonian. She is the Communications, Marketing and Sales Manager at Funding Information Service. The Funding Information Service has been at the forefront of funding and resourcing for over 20 years. Natasha has over 20 years experience within the marketing and communications environment and has worked in corporate, primary industry, tertiary, public and community and voluntary sectors. Natasha has a variety of volunteer roles, with board, trustee appointments and as a volunteer at Ronald McDonald Family Room.


Jan Hinde – Director

Jan comes from the North of England where she spent over 10 years involved in Community Arts Development before joining the Arts Council in Ireland as Head of Arts Participation. She arrived in New Zealand for a placement with Creative New Zealand and has since taken diverse roles with the community and voluntary sector. She is a passionate advocate of small NGO’s. Jan is a member of the Treaty Relations Group of Quakers Aotearoa, a massage therapist, and New Zealand’s only female Uilleann Piper.


Native Council

Native Council help you communicate with Maori and Pacific Island audiences using Branding, TV, Video, Print, Web, Interactive, Email, Publishing, Apps and Social Media.  They look after the Community Research website and have designed and created this for us.  www.nativecouncil.co.nz