Tōtaranui 250 Trustees

The Tōtaranui 250 Trust is a voluntary organisation, supported by the Marlborough District Council. The Tōtaranui 250 Trust was established in 2016 with representatives from the community and in partnership with tangata whenua Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō, Ngāti Kuia, Rangitāne o Wairau and Te Āti Awa o Te Waka-a-Māui, to commemorate Marlborough’s significant First Encounters in the context of the national Tuia 250 program.

Raymond Smith is a descendent of those who greeted Cook on his visits to Meretoto and he owns traditional land nearby at Anamahanga/Port Gore. Raymond has strong connections to the Kurahaupo iwi –  Rangitane, Ngati Apa and Ngati Kuia – and helped negotiate their Treaty settlement with the Crown. He has managed natural resources for Ngati Kuia in Marlborough for more than 15 years.

Trust Co-chairman

Raymond Smith

Chrissy Powlesland

Chrissy Powlesland has been a volunteer on the Picton Smart & Connected Steering Group since 2014, and held the chair between 2016 to 2019.

An active volunteer in the community, she was a committee member of Kaipupu Wildlife Sanctuary from 2013 to 2016 and helped organise and promote several fundraising events for the charity.

She spent six years as a Brand Manager for Accolade Wines in Marlborough, and previously worked for over a decade in the advertising industry in Auckland.

Prior to taking on the role of GM of the Tōtaranui 250 Trust, Chrissy was a volunteer Trustee for a year in 2018.

General Manager

Chrissy Powlesland

Ian Mitchell was Chairman of the Marlborough Sounds Maritime Park Board in the 1970s and 80s and accumulated a thorough knowledge of the Sounds and James Cook’s special places. Ian has also been a member of the Nelson Marlborough Conservation Board and Chairman of the Marlborough District Council’s Environment Committee.


Ian Mitchell

Cressida Bishop has worked in the New Zealand cultural heritage sector since 1994 and is currently the Director of the Millennium Public Art Gallery in Blenheim.  She studied early New Zealand history with a particular interest in Maori art and has been involved in a wide range of public programmes, locally and nationally. Cressida and her family moved to Marlborough 12 years ago.


Cressida Bishop

Peter Jerram is a retired veterinarian and former chair of the Marlborough District Council Environment Committee. He has a keen interest in the environment of the Marlborough Sounds and its early history, and has spent many years sailing and enjoying this special place. His travels have also taken him to Fiordland, Australia and the UK, following in the footsteps of Cook.


Peter Jerram

Cheryl Wadworth has been involved in education in Marlborough for more than 30 years and is currently Principal of Whitney Street School. She is on the Marlborough Principals’ Association Executive and is passionate about working with students so they gain an appreciation of their local environment. Cheryl supports school camps in the Marlborough Sounds and strongly promotes community/whānau involvement in education.


Cheryl Wadworth

Born in Marlborough, Riki Palatchie is Rangitāne, Ngāti Kuia, Te Ātiawa, Ngāti Apa and Ngāi Tahu. Riki is the director of an architectural design firm and has been in the industry for over 20 years working on a large number of projects in Marlborough and the Marlborough sounds. Currently a trustee for Rangitāne O Wairau, Riki is heavily involved in a number of Māori and local initiatives. He is also a keen fisherman and social rugby player.  


Riki Palatchie


Ivan Sutherland is a fourth generation Marlburian, qualified in Valuation and Farm Management at Lincoln University. He was one of the early pioneers of the Marlborough wine industry and developed his own vineyards and wine label Dog Point. Ivan has extensive involvement with NZ Rowing and is active in community initiatives. He also enjoys spending time with his family at their bach in the Sounds.


Ivan Sutherland

Nicola Coburn is an experienced communications professional and sits on the Trust on behalf of Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō. Nicola has spent the past 25 years working in media and communications in New Zealand and overseas, including a three-year stint as Marlborough regional editor for Stuff, overseeing the Marlborough Express, Marlborough Midweek, Saturday Express and the Kaikōura Star.  She is currently the communications advisor for Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō.


Nicola Coburn

John Hellstrom lives in Endeavour Inlet and has a deep interest in the history of the Outer Sounds and restoration of sites associated with Cook’s voyages.  John is a biosecurity expert and has served on and chaired several Ministerial Advisory Committees. He is currently chair of the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee and is a Guardian of Te Korowai o Te Tai o Marokura (Kaikoura Coastal Guardians).


John Hellstrom

Amai Thompson has been the cultural manager for the Te Ātiawa Trust since January 2019.

His previous employer was Queen Charlotte College where he worked within the special needs team assisting students.

He is proud to be representing his ancestors who once resided at Meretoto.


Amai Thompson

Dean Heiford is ex-officio on the Trust, representing the Marlborough District Council. He holds the Art, Culture and Heritage portfolio for Council. Dean has been involved behind the scenes with many of the district’s commemorations since arriving in Marlborough in 1993, including the Marlborough 150th and Edwin Fox publications.

Ex officio

Dean Heiford

Shelly Sidley is ex-officio on the Trust, representing the Department of Conservation. She has worked in Marlborough since 2008, supporting the Department and community groups to enhance partnerships and develop programmes that connect Marlburians to their natural and cultural heritage.

Ex officio

Shelly Sidley

Former Trustee of the Tōtaranui 250 Trust Barry Maister brings a wealth of experience and connections to the Trust as its Patron.

Barry is a four times Olympic hockey player for New Zealand winning gold in 1976. He spent 30 years as a science teacher including 14 years as a school principal.

In 2001 Barry was made secretary-general of the New Zealand Olympic Committee where he went on to become president. He was placed on the Executive Committee of the Oceania National Olympic Committees and became their Vice-President. He was also named to the Executive Committee of the Association of National Olympic Committees and spent nine years as an international sports ambassador for New Zealand.Barry was also a member of the Major Events NZ investment panel (MBIE) and is a member of the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame.

In 2012 Barry was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit. Other accolades and awards include: Fulbright Scholar, IOC Olympic order, Visiting teacher fellowship Lincoln University, Sport New Zealand lifetime achievement award.

Over the years Barry's love of Marlborough and the community has seen him active in governance roles with Kaipupu Wildlife Sanctuary, Picton Smart and Connected, Destination Marlborough and Outward Bound. 


Barry Maister


In 2019, New Zealand will mark 250 years since the first meetings between Māori and Pākehā during James Cook and the Endeavour’s 1769 voyage to Aotearoa New Zealand. Tuia – Encounters 250 will acknowledge this pivotal moment in our nation’s history as well as the extraordinary feats of Pacific voyagers who reached and settled in Aotearoa many years earlier.

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