Our people

The Borrin Foundation’s grant-making is led by its Grants and Scholarships Committee, supported by the Chief Philanthropic Officer, the Grants and Operations Coordinator and the Scholarships and Engagement Associate. The Borrin Foundation’s trustee is the Nikau Foundation.


Grants and Scholarships Committee (GSC)

Justice David Goddard

Chairperson Grants and Scholarships Committee

David is a judge of the Court of Appeal of New Zealand.

David began his legal studies at Victoria University, then studied law at Oxford University on a Rhodes scholarship. He taught law at Bristol University from 1986 to 1988, before returning to New Zealand in 1989 to practise law. He spent 10 years at the law firm Chapman Tripp before going to the bar in 1999. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2003. David had a wide-ranging practice at the bar,with a particular focus on appellate advocacy before the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.  

David spent the 2018/2019 academic year at New York University as a Senior Global Fellow in the Hauser Global Law School.  

On his return to New Zealand in July 2019 David was appointed as a judge of the High Court and Court of Appeal.

Before his appointment to the bench, David had an extensive involvement in law reform in New Zealand and overseas, advising ministers and government agencies on a wide range of policy issues. He has represented New Zealand in bilateral and multilateral treaty negotiations. David chaired a series of intergovernmental meetings at the Hague Conference on Private International Law that culminated in the adoption in June 2019 of the Hague Convention on Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters.

Ian Borrin was David’s first cousin once removed – his “Uncle Ian”. Ian shared his love of the outdoors with David, teaching him to ski and taking him tramping in the New Zealand mountains. Ian also took a close interest in David’s legal career.

“Ian’s legacy provides us with a great opportunity – and responsibility – to make a difference to New Zealanders, through the law. I look forward to working alongside, and learning from, talented and innovative people who share our vision and our commitment.”

Judge Heemi Maana Taumaunu

Nominee of the Chief Justice

“Ko Hikurangi te maunga
Ko Waiapu te awa
Ko Ngāti Pōrou te iwi
Ko Te Aitanga-ā-Hauiti te iwi taketake
Ko Ngāti Konohi te hapu
Ko Whāngārā-mai-tawhiti te marae
Ko Paikea, ko Pōrourangi me Tahu-Pōtiki, ngā mātua tīpuna”

Born in Gisborne, New Zealand, with tribal affiliations to Ngāti Pōrou (East Coast, North Island), and Ngāi Tahu (South Island), Judge Taumaunu completed primary and secondary school in Christchurch before joining the New Zealand Army as a Webb Class Regular Force Cadet in 1984. He then served as a Regular Force soldier and non-commissioned officer in the Royal New Zealand Signals Corp for four years.

Graduating from Victoria University of Wellington in 1993 with a Bachelor of Laws, Judge Taumaunu practised as a barrister and solicitor in the Gisborne region for 10 years prior to his appointment as a District Court Judge in January 2004. Judge Taumaunu is warranted to preside over jury, general and youth courts, is a resident Judge of the Auckland District Court, and regularly presides over Youth Courts in the Northern Region. Judge Taumaunu is the current Chair of the District Court Kaupapa Māori Advisory Group.

In May 2008, Judge Taumaunu presided over the first sitting of a Rangatahi Court, at Te Poho-o-Rāwiri Marae in Gisborne. In 2016, Judge Taumaunu was awarded the Veillard-Cybulski Foundation Award for his pioneering work in leading the development of the Rangatahi Courts of New Zealand.

In June 2012, Judge Taumaunu was sworn in as a Judge of the Court Martial of New Zealand. In February 2018, Judge Taumaunu was appointed Deputy Judge Advocate General and Deputy Chief Judge of the Court Martial of New Zealand. In October 2019, Judge Taumaunu was appointed Chief Judge of the District Court of New Zealand.

Jacque Lethbridge

Frazer Barton

President of the Law Society

Frazer Barton became the President of the New Zealand Law Society in October 2022. He is the first South Island-based President of the Law Society since 1996.

Frazer is a former President of the Otago Branch of the New Zealand Law Society, and a faculty member of the New Zealand Law Society Litigation Skills Programme. He is a member of the Council of the University of Otago and chairs its Appeals Board and Health and Safety Committee. Frazer is recommended for his expertise in Litigation Law by the ‘Best Lawyers’ rankings.

Frazer’s specialist practise areas include professional indemnity, insurance and insolvency, and he has recently conducted Treaty-related litigation on questions concerning tikanga and mana whenua. In the past Frazer has practised family law and criminal law, including on legal aid and as a duty solicitor. He is fully conversant with the access to justice issues facing New Zealanders, and the impact this has on practitioners, particularly in criminal and family law.

Lee Godden

Dean, Faculty of Law, Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington

Professor Lee Godden was appointed as Dean and Head of School,  Te Kauhanganui Tātai Ture (Faculty of Law) at Te Herenga Waka, the Victoria University of Wellington in November 2022. Previously, she spent over 20 years as an academic at  Melbourne Law School, The University of Melbourne. She  is a leading researcher in environmental law and property law and its intersections with Indigenous peoples’ rights to land and resources.

As the Director of Melbourne Law School’s Centre for Resources, Energy and Environmental Law, from 2008 she led a wide-ranging research programme that included: transnational environmental law, comparative scholarship on agreement-making with Indigenous peoples―including in Aotearoa New Zealand, and climate change law and energy transition policy. Her scholarship adopts a legal theory lens and an interdisciplinary, socio-legal approach. This is evident in a recent collaborative project on re-imagining property law (Graham, Davies & Godden Routledge Handbook on Property, Law and Society 2022).

After graduating from The University of Melbourne with Arts Honours and Master of Arts Research degrees, Professor Godden later studied Law at Macquarie University,  and was awarded her Doctorate from Griffith University in 2001. She is admitted to practice in several Australian jurisdictions. Professor Godden was  appointed as an Australian Law Reform Commissioner from 2013–2015, reviewing the Native Title Act 1993, with a focus on the claims process and proof for establishing Indigenous peoples’ connection to country.

Professor Godden also has led many substantial research projects and consultancies. She is widely published, held visiting positions internationally, and sat on numerous expert panels and advisory groups.

She is a reviewer for several international research-funding bodies, and she has supervised and examined many PhDs. Professor Godden is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, and of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia.

“I welcome the opportunity to join the Borrin Foundation Board and to play a role in shaping future directions for legal research and legal education in New Zealand. The Foundation is an important avenue to support civic and democratic ideals in legal research.”

Richard Caughley

Nominee of the Nikau Foundation

Richard Caughley is a partner at Morrison Kent Wellington, where he heads the commercial property team. Richard has been a trustee of the Nikau Foundation for over 15 years. From age 25 when he ran for the Wellington City Council to the present day, Richard has been passionate about Wellington, its people and its prospects. Richard graduated with a law degree from Victoria University and has been a practising lawyer more years than he cares to remember.

“When Ian signed the deed creating his foundation I thanked him for his confidence in the Nikau Foundation and said we would not let him down. Now it is about fulfilling the promise.”

Co-opted Members of the Grants and Scholarships Committee 

Sir Terence Arnold

Sir Terence researched and taught at law schools in Canada and New Zealand for over a decade, principally in the area of criminal justice, before joining Chapman Tripp as a litigation solicitor in 1982. He became a partner in 1985, undertaking a variety of commercial litigation but developing a particular interest in competition and regulatory issues. In 1994 he joined the bar and in 1997 he was appointed Queen’s Counsel. He became Solicitor-General in 2000 and was appointed to the Court of Appeal in 2006, where he served until 2013, when he was appointed to the Supreme Court.

Sir Terence retired as a permanent member of the Supreme Court in April 2017 but continues to sit when required as an Acting Judge. He has been active in teaching, writing, and presenting seminars in a variety of areas and was closely involved in the development of skills-based training for litigators. He has a continuing interest in law reform.

“Meaningful change to the law and the justice system requires top-quality research and analysis. The extraordinary generosity of the late Judge Borrin provides an opportunity to support the kind of research and thinking that is capable of producing meaningful change. It’s fascinating – and a little daunting – to be involved in giving life to Judge Borrin’s vision.”

Bronwyn Jones

Bronwyn Jones

Bronwyn Jones is the Principal Advisor to the New Zealand Law Society Chief Executive’s department. She has worked for the Law Society for more than 19 years in several roles, including secretary to the now-replaced Law Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal and acting branch manager for several Law Society branches before her current role as the General Manager of Policy, Courts and Government.

Her passion for justice initially drove her studies in criminology, sociology and legal studies, ultimately earning her Law Degree, her BA in Criminology, Sociology and her MBA from Victoria University.

“I am passionate about the law and the contribution of the profession to the rule of law and administration of justice. I am proud of the work that many lawyers do to contribute to access to justice and a fairer and more just society that upholds the rights of everyone. I hope that my contribution adds something to the bigger picture.”

Advisor to the Grants and Scholarships Committee

Ataga’i Esera

Ataga’i Esera

GSC Advisor – Family Law

Ataga’i Esera (Samoan/NZ European), over the past decade, has predominantly practised in the area of Family Law in Porirua, apart from a brief stint in South Auckland. She is currently a Director at Family Law Specialists in Porirua and the Family Law Section representative for Porirua. A large part of her practice is acting as Lawyer for Children. Ataga’i is currently Vice President (Wellington) of the New Zealand Law Society and is looking forward to being an Advisor for the Borrin Foundation GSC.

“I truly consider it a real privilege to meet with children and young people, and to advocate for them in what can be particularly difficult circumstances.”

Borrin Foundation Staff

Tupe Solomon-Tanoa’i

Chief Philanthropic Officer

Tupe Solomon-Tanoa’i is a Samoan/Fijian New Zealander who was born and raised in South Auckland. She joins the Borrin Foundation after working on development cooperation and effectiveness as an international civil servant in the Pacific. During her career in the New Zealand public service Tupe has worked on a range of trade, economic, and policy issues, including as Senior Adviser to the Minister of Education. She holds a BA/LLB(Hons), has represented New Zealand’s interests overseas as a diplomat, and currently has a seat at various governance tables including Philanthropy New Zealand.

JD-Borrin Chief Philanthropic Officer-Feb 2019

“The Borrin family’s sense of profound gratitude to New Zealand resonates deeply with me and I’m inspired by Judge Borrin’s desire to give back in a way that catalyses transformational change. I chose law as my discipline to contribute to a just, inclusive, tolerant and free society. After a career in policy, it’s a tremendous privilege to work alongside talented Borrin “doers” – the individuals and organisations who are helping to achieve this vision.”


Jan Ryan

Grants and Operations Coordinator

Jan looks after the infrastructure and day-to-day work of the Borrin Foundation, supporting both the Chief Philanthropic Officer and the Grants and Scholarships Committee.  Jan has an extensive administrative background in both public and private sectors.  An experienced administrator, Jan’s expertise lies in coordinating administrative and operational functions and is focused on ensuring the Borrin Foundation grantees are well supported.  Jan resides in Porirua and is very proud of her family history in the area which dates back to the early 1900’s.

“Through Judge Ian Borrin’s generosity, we are in an extremely fortunate position to make a difference to the lives of New Zealanders, through legal research, education and scholarships. I am excited to be part of the Borrin Foundation whanau.”

Oli Malthus

Scholarships and Engagement Associate

Oli works with the Chief Philanthropic Officer to run the Borrin Foundation individual Funding Programme and coordinate the scholarship application process. Oli is also involved in the Borrin Foundation’s outreach and engagement providing support through his social media, website, and other communications related responsibilities. After graduating from Massey University with a degree in Communications, Oli spent time in public-facing roles at the New Zealand Business & Parliament Trust, MetService Te Ratonga Tirorangi, and Te Papa Tongarewa before joining our team. He blends his unique set of skills to provide support across numerous Borrin Foundation operations.

“It is a privilege to assist in the delivery of Judge Ian Borrin’s gift to Aotearoa. Working with the Borrin Foundation and its community of grantees and alumni is a unique and humbling opportunity to have a positive and long-lasting impact on the laws that govern our society.”



Nikau Foundation Logo

Nikau Foundation


The Nikau Foundation is the community foundation for the Greater Wellington Region and is the trustee for the Michael and Suzanne Borrin Foundation. A community foundation is an independent philanthropic organisation working in a specific geographic region to encourage and facilitate generosity. The Nikau Foundation attracts gifts, handover trusts, legacies, and community organisation endowments and invests them. The income from these investments is distributed to charitable organisations in accordance with the donor’s wishes in perpetuity.

In its capacity as trustee, the Nikau Foundation has supported the establishment of the Borrin Foundation and is responsible for managing the Foundation’s investments to maximise the funds available. This ensures the foundation can realise its vision and mission.

Visit: https://www.nikaufoundation.org.nz/ to find out more about giving a donation or leaving a bequest as a lasting legacy.