Jeremy Tauri (Plus Chartered Accountants) - President

If you ask Jeremy Tauri what he likes most about his job, he’ll say it’s helping people. Whether it’s showing clients how to understand accounts or helping them understand how to overcome problems in their businesses, he explains things in simple, plain-English terms.

He is committed to developing Northland as a place to do business and is enthusiastic about helping other people achieve success.

Jeremy has been an accountant for the past 17 years at Plus Chartered Accountants, based in Whangarei.  He holds trustee roles for various charitable trusts around town and also writes a column for NZME regional newspapers.

Jeremy grew up in Kaikohe but moved to Whangarei to study when he was 18. He now has young children and enjoys the different perspective on the future that being a parent can offer.

In his spare time he enjoys kickboxing – but don’t worry, he’s very approachable.

Tim Robinson (Bernina Northland) - Vice President

Tim is co-owner and director of Bernina Northland Sewing Centre, Northland’s premium sewing machine sales and service centre, along with sewing and quilting supplies, dress fabrics, wool and sewing haberdashery. Tim is now working full-time in the business, after spending 33 years working in the ICT business with Spark NZ, formerly Gen-i & Telecom, working at the frontline with a range of companies, from small medium enterprise businesses to large local based corporates, partnering with them to develop and implement innovative solutions to enhance their business performance. All these endeavours, and especially now with his own retail business, have provided him with an invaluable insight into the issues surrounding small business, in particular compliance.

On a personal level Tim was raised in Whangarei and attended Whangarei Boys High School. He is married to Sandy, has three 3 towering sons, and is a self-professed lover of all sports involving water. Skiing, fishing, boogie-boarding, sailing and just basically getting wet fills his family leisure time. Tim is currently the Secretary of the Kai Iwi Lakes Water-ski Club and is on the Board of Trustees for Whangarei Boys High School, where he was previously Chairman for 5 years.

Tim has been a serving board member of the Chamber for the past 15 years, was Vice President for 6 years and President in 2009 & then as immediate past president the following year. He brings to the Chamber Board a sound understanding of business, relationship management, information technology and sales, plus a real affinity for the uniqueness of doing business in the regional environment. Tim also provides ongoing board succession and continuity of board development.

Danny Douglas (Gilmore Taylor Associates Limited) - Treasurer

Danny Douglas (Gilmore Taylor Associates Limited previously Gilmore Brown Ltd) – Treasurer Danny attended Kamo High School and completed his Business Management degree, majoring in Accountancy at Northland Polytechnic in 2002. He has been working for Gilmore Brown Ltd/ Gilmore Taylor Associates Limited since 2003.

Prior to being employed as an accountant Danny worked on deep sea fishing boats around New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands. And after leaving school also worked as a builder.

His experience at Gilmore Taylor Associates Limited has helped him to develop a keen interest in helping businesses to grow. And he enjoys helping clients achieve their goals.

Danny is an Associate at Gilmore Taylor Associates Limited, with a special interest in business advisory services and works with business owners from a wide range of Northland business sectors including;

  • farming and agriculture,
  • construction,
  • retailing and wholesaling,
  • professional sectors.

Ryan Welsh (WRMK Lawyers) - Board of Directors and Immediate Past President

Originally from Wellington Ryan has now firmly settled in Northland after having moved here 13 years ago to practice law. Ryan graduated from Victoria University with degrees in Law and Science. Prior to practising law Ryan was involved in fisheries management that dealt with research into New Zealand’s commercial fishing stocks. Ryan is married to Rose and together they have three young children.

Ryan is currently an associate with the law firm WRMK Lawyers (formerly Webb Ross McNab Kilpatrick) and practices in areas of law that constantly bring him in to contact with a wide cross-section of business people who operate in a broad range of enterprises. The experience gained from acting for these commercial clients provides an insight into the issues that business people face. This area of law brings Ryan into contact with not only the client but also many other professionals including accountants, valuers, financial advisers, surveyors to name a few, as well as local and central government agencies. Ryan has built up an extensive network of contacts with whom he has a very good rapport.
Ryan in a voluntary capacity also sits on the board of numerous community organisations in Northland.

Ryan has a strong interest in the local economic development of Northland and considers that a robust and sustainable regional economy helps build strong communities. Visionary leadership within Northland will also be pivotal to its success. As a result of his scientific background and experience Ryan considers that new and innovative ideas need support which goes hand in hand with an environment that fosters research and development.

Murray Broadbelt (Employer Services) - Board of Directors

Murray is the Managing Director of Employer Services Ltd, an employment relations consultancy based in Whangarei.

The Company’s client base extends as far as Invercargill but maintains a strong Northland presence from its offices in Maunu Rd, Whangarei.

Prior to establishing Employer Services Ltd in 2002, Murray spent 6 years serving employers and businesses throughout Northland as manager of the Employers and Manufacturers Association’s Northland office.
Murray has previously been a Board member and Vice President of the Northland Chamber.

Murray is in his second four year term as a Trustee of Foundation North (formerly the ASB Community Trust) and is also a Trustee of the Northland Emergency Services Trust (Northland’s Rescue Helicopters).

Tony Shi (Switch MSP) - Board of Directors

Tony founded his first business Orbitcoms Ltd in Whangarei in 2002 and has been in ownership and leadership role since. Currently, Tony is the managing director of Sitch MSP, a successful Whangarei based Managed IT Services Provider.

Tony has accumulated vast experience and knowledge in sales/marketing and business management. The background of his migrating from China over 18 years ago also enables him to bring a different cultural perspective to business and life in general. The most notable accolade to date is winning the 2014 Westpac Northland Business Excellence Awards Small Business Category (prior to re-branding, as Northcom ICT)

Tony believes in “vibrant businesses, vibrant community”, and recognises the importance of the role Chamber plays in the local business and wider community. He is confident that he is able to add value by getting involved in the chamber governing body and contributing to its members’ success.

Ken Wilson (GT Advantage) - Board of Directors

Ken is a 5th generation Northlander, now based back in hometown Whangarei  and trading as GT Advantage, a specialist role within Gilmore Taylor Associates.

Ken has over 30 years hands-on Operations and General Management experience throughout New Zealand, and across a broard range of business sectors including NZ Dairy Industry, Pulp and Paper, Hospitality, Manufacturing and Contract Packing, and Economic Development.

Ken’s particular strengths include effective Change Management for companies, Team Performance and Culture, and Good Governance.

Ken sits on the Board of the Northland Chamber of Commerce, an associate member of NZIM, a member of the Institute of Directors (IOD), and a judge for the Northland Business Excellence Awards. He also sits on a large number of Advisory Board for Northland Businesses.

Sue Walters (Ricoh Northland) - Board of Directors

It has been an honour to be part of the Chamber of Commerce and the past two years as a Chamber Board member has been incredibly inspiring. We are lucky to have such a talented group of business men and women working hard on behalf of our region’s economy. The networking opportunities that are available through the Chamber are an excellent way to connect with fellow business owners.

Whangarei has always been my home and I Love it Here! I have a genuine passion to see our city and region grow and prosper so that my 3 sons can enjoy an exciting and vibrant place to live, where there are both traditional and innovative job opportunities and where the community looks after it’s own.

Auriole Ruka (Te Puu Ao Charitable Trust) - Board of Directors

I am a descendant of Ngapuhi and it’s with pride that I currently hold governance roles and can contribute to Te Puu Ao Charitable Trust, The Chamber of Commerce, The Whangarei Accessible Housing Trust, so as to further the well being and economic development of whanau, hapu and Iwi.

I’ve worked in key senior management roles within CCS Disability Action Northern Region for 7 years, in Auckland, building inclusive communities for people with disabilities and more recently for He Puna Marama Trust as the General Manager Maori Business Transformation project managing initiatives like InnoNative Market and Business Base. As well I’m in my thesis year of my Masters in Business at AUT.

I have a love for the moana and waka ama keeps me connected and our club Te Puu Ao is based at Kowharewa Bay in Tutukaka where our whanau coach tamariki, taitamariki and we paddle on the coast and compete at a national level. Recently, we had four generations compete at this years nationals at Lake Karapiro.

I have recently begun a new role at the Northland Regional Council as Kaiwhakahaere Hononga Maori – Manager Relationships Maori strengthening commitment of Council to create effective outcomes that meet diverse needs of community.

Sarah Blithe (Hubands energy) - Board of Directors

As a 6th generation Northlander I am passionate about the Northland region and all it has to offer. Growing up in a family owned and operated business gave me a head start on understanding business life as well as the challenges and opportunities that local businesses face.

I spent 13 years working in marketing and media starting at MediaWorks Northland then working on a National level in Auckland on television, radio and digital. While working full time I also pursued my LLB and having the opportunity to use this in day to day business life has been invaluable.

After relocating to Queenstown for 3 years and managing The Heritage Hotel Conference Centre my husband and I felt the pull of Northland calling us home in 2015. I stepped (or jumped!) back into our family business, Hubands Energy embarking on a full re-brand and move which has resulted in a business growth fast track.

It has been inspiring to see the business growth in Northland over the past few years. I believe my passion and understanding of this region as well as being at the forefront of a local SME puts me in a position to offer both experience and fresh ideas to assist the Chamber in the continued growth of Northland businesses.

Jeroen Jongejans (Dive! Tutukaka) - Board of Directors

I’m Jeroen Jongejans.

Business is the engine room of communities, and, when businesses work well as a collective, we can achieve positive change.

I believe we are living in exciting times, the next 5 years will see more changes than the last 95.

We have to play an active role in this process and ensure that “regulators” become partners and facilitators for smart sustainable growth.

This is currently not the case.

I served on the Chamber Board from 2007 till 2015, and I also serve on the Boards of “Northland Inc” and “Tourism Industry Aotearoa” plus have a good business and political network.

Keen to work on the Board to help Northland grow!

Phil Alexander-Crawford (LLB, BAM, MIndSt) (NorthTec Polytechnic (Tai Tokerau Wananga)) - Board of Directors

(Ngati Rehia, Ngati Hine, Ngapuhi, Scottish, English)

Philip is Director of Development at NorthTec leading student recruitment, business development and Government Investment. Most recently, he was sponsor of the Tai Tokerau Regional Investment Plan that looks to improve access to and outcomes for learners in Northland.

His board and governance experience includes 7 years on the Kamo High School BOT, Northland Rugby League and work in Wellington with the Tertiary Education Commission and NZQA. He has also been a member of Ako Aotearoa Northern Hub Advisory Board for the last 4 years..

Philip is committed to seeing Tai Tokerau prosper and grow.

With his wife Nicki they have 4 children –two of whom are finishing their study in Wellington and two that are at Kamo High School.

Fiona Taylor (Flat Lands Ranch Ltd) - Board of Directors

My name is Fiona Taylor. I have resided in Whangarei since 2003. I live with my husband, and we have a blended family. My husband has operated his business in Whangarei for 30+ years.

I have lived in the North for most of my life, apart from a few roles in New Plymouth and Auckland during my working career. In the 80’s I worked alonside my parents businesses in Kaikohe. I have operated my own successful businesses in both Kaikohe, New Plymouth and Whangarei.

I have a Bachelor of Applied Management, Certificate in Audit Teaching and a great deal of experience in management, sales and training. I have worked within government agencies and held positions on Board of Trustees over the years.

I believe connecting with businesses, communities and people is where it starts. I would like to bring my passion and drive, as a new Board member.

Nick Madden (QRC Tai Tokerau Resort College) - Board of Directors

I am currently the General Manager of QRC Tai Tokerau Resort College, alongside my proven experience in the tertiary education sector, the hospitality industry and my transformational leadership style, I am confident I have the skills and personal qualities required by NZ Chamber of Commerce Northland and believe I would be an asset to my local area.

With over 18 years leadership and operations experience across a wide range of businesses and with my strengths in business planning and developing high performance teams. I am a hands-on manager that’s able to work with heads of departments & managers to develop and implement effective business strategies.

QRC is New Zealand’s premier Tourism & Hospitality Management College, with a focus on professionalism, continuous improvement and positive outcomes which underpins the culture. QRC Tai Tokerau has an important role in developing the workforce, QRC prides itself on providing a high quality, unique and world-class learning experience. This results in excellent graduate outcomes; 97% of graduates progress directly into industry employment or pathway to further study.