Our people

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

Tiana Epati

President of the Law Society

Tiana became the President of the New Zealand Law Society in April 2019.

Tiana is the fourth woman in the 150-year history of the Law Society, and the first President of Pacifica descent. She is also one of the youngest to be President. Tiana resides in Gisborne with her family and is a partner with Gisborne law firm Rishworth Wall & Mathieson.

Tiana was admitted as a barrister and solicitor in September 2000 after graduating from Auckland University with a BA (in philosophy and history) and an LLB. For many years she was a Crown prosecutor in Auckland and Wellington. Since 2012, she has been a criminal defence lawyer and an outspoken advocate for better representation, and access to justice, for minority communities.

“I feel very privileged to join the Grants and Scholarships Committee. Already the Borrin Foundation has been a huge influence in funding philanthropic projects to bring about social change and the sharing of invaluable knowledge. Covid-19 presents some acute challenges for access to justice in Aotearoa. I am excited by the challenge of figuring out the best and most effective ways to meet the challenges our communities now face.”

Mark Hickford

Dean of Victoria University Law School

Mark Hickford has been Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Law at Victoria University of Wellington since May 2015. He has held a range of senior roles in the public and private sectors, including (most recently) being in the Prime Minister’s Policy Advisory Group in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. He spent eight years as a Crown Counsel at the Crown Law Office, specialising in public law, the Treaty of Waitangi, Crown-Māori relations, and natural resources law.

Mark has published on aboriginal title and customary rights, issues relating to the Treaty of Waitangi, and the history of New Zealand’s constitution and laws. He holds degrees from the University of Auckland and a doctorate from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.

“The generosity of Ian Borrin and his family will have a lasting impact on legal scholarship in this country. It is an honour to be involved in a Foundation set to strengthen and enhance the legal system that underpins life in New Zealand.”

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 14 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 17 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.

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.”

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 has recently entered the creative sphere as the writer/producer of a web series tackling the themes of unconscious bias, diversity and inclusion.

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.”


Megan Sety

Operations and Programme Associate (and Executive Assistant to Chief Philanthropic Officer)

Megan 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. Megan comes from a diverse background. After 15 years working in policy and programme development in the social and health sectors in the US, Australia and New Zealand, Megan has most recently been responsible for business operations in the private sector. She blends this unique set of skills to support the operations of the Borrin Foundation. Megan holds Masters degrees in Public Health and Social Work, as well as a BA in Psychology.

“Through the Foundation and Judge Ian Borrin’s gift, there is an incredible opportunity and responsibility to support social change through the law. I am excited about the opportunity to be a part of this work.”


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.