Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees is the legal authority for the organisation. Members are public trustees representing the interests of the organisation’s volunteers and of the wider community, donors and supporters.
- Peter Larmer – President
- Digna Toresen – Vice President
- Els Dutton -Northern Regional Representative
- Cate Grace – Southern Regional Representative
- Joe Stanton – appointed trustee
- Peter Jones – appointed trustee (NZRA)
- Rebecca Roberts – appointed trustee
- Richard Edge – appointed trustee
- Ben Blinkhorne – appointed trustee
- Peggy Lockyer – appointed trustee
- Jacob Toresen Pollock – appointed trustee
- To provide strategic direction and leadership for the whole organisation;
- To ensure the organisation is soundly managed;
- To work in close partnership with the Chief Executive to ensure the Board of Trustees’ goals and objectives are achieved, supporting and resourcing the Chief Executive to carry out his responsibilities;
- To appoint and monitor the Chief Executive, ensuring the organisation employs the best person for the position and provides fair and appropriate terms and conditions of employment;
- To develop and monitor policies, which provide direction and boundaries for both its own and the Chief Executive’s functions; and
- To establish Board of Trustees Committees or working groups as it sees fit.
Elected to GB 13/2/2012, appointed Trustee 28/2/2018
Peter received a total hip joint replacement as a result of osteoarthritis. Consequently, he has an excellent understanding of the challenges and difficulties one faces on a daily basis in dealing with the pain and disability of arthritis. Peter’s professional understanding of arthritis has been influenced from his 30 years as a physiotherapist.
His leadership and governance skills have been gained from his involvement in a number of organisations. He has held key positions in Surf Lifesaving New Zealand, as a government appointee on the Physiotherapy Board, involvement with the professional association, Physiotherapy New Zealand and is currently Head of the School of Rehabilitation and Occupation Studies at Auckland University of Technology. He has been involved in a number of research projects investigating arthritis.
Elected to GB 26/11/2014; appointed Trustee 28/2/2018
Digna has been involved in a governance role with Arthritis New Zealand since November 2014. Digna, who is based in Auckland, has a focus in the arthritis world as a parent and support person of a son with arthritis.
Digna has a wealth of human resource business knowledge including expertise from 22+ years specialisation both at a local and international strategic level. She brings her experience with business change, as well as management and leadership guidance. Digna takes a logical approach to the analytical and financial requirements of a business, by planning structured recommendations that match the behaviours and drivers of the people engaged in its operations.
Southern Regional Representative
Elected to GB 26/11/2016, appointed Trustee 28/2/2018
Cate is Managing Director and Founder of Cate Grace Training (2010). Cate has been positively managing arthritis since her early 20s. Since that time her relationship with Arthritis New Zealand has been an important part of her wellness.
Cate believes she can offer a personal and professional perspective on managing arthritis, while also representing the organisation into the next strategic phase. Her vision is that Arthritis New Zealand is a sustainable organisation with a bright future.
Cate supports discussions around keeping the organisation current, while bearing in mind that people are at the heart of our organisation and that this connection to those managing this often-crippling disease, is not lost.
Northern Regional Representative
Elected to GB 25/11/2017, appointed Trustee 28/2/2018
Els is a retired occupational therapist with wide experience practising in New Zealand and England, mainly in the public health sector but also with a short spell in private practice doing ACC assessments and helping clients with severe pain. She lives in Northland where she has had a long association with Arthritis New Zealand in various capacities over the years. Together with a local physiotherapist, she held seminars on arthritis and more recently helped out with the hydrotherapy group in Whangarei.
Her professional] experience has increased her interest in arthritis in its many forms, and its effect on the individual’s life and limitations. She has seen the progress of modern medications and treatments… but with all that is available, she maintains that the most valuable is the support and knowledge that one is not alone.
Elected to GB 21/11/2014, appointed Trustee 28/2/2018
Joe joined Constellation Brands New Zealand (formerly Nobilo Wine Group) in 1994 and since that time has held a number of senior management positions. Joe was appointed Chief Financial Officer in 1998 when the company was listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange and became Chief Operating Officer in 2002. In 2005 he was promoted to Chief Executive Officer and held that role until his retirement in late 2014.
He has served (2007–2014) as an elected Board Member of two wine industry boards: NZ Winegrowers and the NZ Wine Institute. He was Chair of the Finance Committee for NZ Winegrowers and also served on the Sustainability Committee. Prior to joining the Liquor Industry, he worked in both the Retail and Media sectors, primarily in Finance roles.
Brought up in the Far North of New Zealand, he completed his secondary schooling in Auckland and went on to obtain a Commerce Degree at Auckland University, before qualifying as a Chartered Accountant. He was a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants until he retired as a CA in 2009. He is married to Gill and they have one adult daughter. A former keen long-distance runner, he now focuses on golf and fishing as his main recreational activities and particularly enjoys overseas travel with his family.
Appointed Trustee 1/7/2018
Based in Auckland, Rebecca and has been involved in a governance role with Arthritis New Zealand since July 2018. After qualifying as a lawyer and working in private practice, Rebecca moved inhouse and has worked as a legal advisor within the financial services sector for over 20 years, focussed amongst other things on risk and regulatory requirements as well as employment-related issues. Rebecca has also recently been accredited as a mediator and has a strong interest in alternative dispute resolution.
Rebecca is excited about the opportunity to assist Arthritis NZ to deliver its future strategic goals.
Appointed Trustee 24/11/2018
Ben is a Wellington-based Trustee who brings financial and legal skills to the governance team of Arthritis New Zealand. He is proud to be involved with an organisation that makes a positive difference to those affected by arthritis in New Zealand.
Ben studied commerce and law at the University of Otago before starting a career in professional services. Initially Ben worked in a corporate finance team at PricewaterhouseCoopers before transitioning into corporate banking roles in Australia and New Zealand. In early 2019 he joined the senior leadership team of New Zealand’s largest privately-owned hospitality group, Kāpura. Outside of work Ben enjoys spending time with his wife and two children along with participating in cycling and running events.
Richard is the owner and Managing Director of a Wellington based creative digital agency, PlasticStudio. Having successfully built up the business from the start in 2008, he’s gained a broad range of business expertise including strategery, problem solving, management, HR and finance.
Day to day Richard leads and advises his clients through the complex challenges of brand communication, digital technology and customer experience. Richard is passionate about problem solving and working with down to earth, innovative people. You won’t hear over-techy geek talk from Richard, he’s got a knack for explaining complex issues in a way we can all understand.
Richard grew up in the Wairarapa, then went on to achieve an Honours design degree at the Wanganui School of Design. He has worked across digital technology in New Zealand, Australia and the UK for over 20 years.
Appointed Trustee 29/11/2019
Peg volunteered to be on the Board of Arthritis NZ because she wanted to see if she could make a difference for the consumer. Diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis since her early 30’s she has learnt that the initial decisions and care received from the medical fraternity are crucial to future management and overall wellness.
An ex NZ athlete, Physical and Health Education Professional and now Director of her own company, Peg’s knowledge of health and wellness has held her in good stead with regards her decision making around managing her Rheumatoid Arthritis. She exercises regularly at the gym, kitesurfs and surfs. She says that RA has not limited her life but is lucky her first rheumatologist was extremely good. She wants everyone to have the type of care that’s she experienced and feels strongly that being on the board at a strategic level could influence this goal.
Jacob Toresen Pollock
Appointed Trustee 29/11/2019
Jacob was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis at the age of 11 and has been involved with Arthritis New Zealand ever since. He attended his first kids camp that same year, and 2 years later came back as a leader and has been doing so ever since. In 2020 he attended his 9th camp as a leader.
Arthritis has played a major role in Jacob’s life, and this is what has motivated him to be more involved. Jacob has just finished his law degree at AUT University, is working as a Private Investigator. He is also sitting his Professional Legal Studies, to be admitted to the High Court.
Jacob is excited to be a member of the board and is looking forward to helping out in an area that is close to his heart; the youth population with arthritis.
Rheumatologist - NZRA Representative