Board of Directors

Our board of directors is made up of both Vodafone employees and independent experts in community, education and philanthropic sectors.

Antony Welton, Chair


“It’s inspiring to support people with the passion, drive and determination to make a real difference. The impact for young people, their families and communities is impressive.”

Born in the United Kingdom, Antony trained as an occupational psychologist and has worked in HR, strategy and marketing with Vodafone in the United Kingdom, Japan, India and New Zealand.

Now settled in Auckland with his wife and two daughters, Antony Welton has been the Chair of Vodafone NZ Foundation since 2012 and is also HR Director of Vodafone NZ.

Antony is continually inspired by the people and organisations that the Foundation supports, knowing that they are playing a key part in supporting New Zealand’s young people to live lives they value.


Mānuka Hēnare


“Manaaki ki te tangat’a is to show compassion and respect of each person – this epitomises my respect of the purpose and nature of the Foundation’s work.”

Mānuka lives in Haruru, Bay of Islands with his wife Diane. He is blessed with five children and eight mokopuna. Mānuka is Associate Professor, Māori Business Development in the Department of Management and International Business at the University of Auckland. He is also a researcher and consultant in the private and indigenous social enterprise sectors with a specialty in Māori business enterprise and development economics.

Mānuka is passionate about social enterprise development and the spirituality of people and societies. He has travelled throughout Asia and the Pacific assessing the spiritual and community development of these regions.

He supports the recognition of Māori, Pasifika, and Asian youth as an emergent new force for diversity enhancement providing an impetus for change to the quality of life of all New Zealanders.


Alison Taylor


“It’s wonderful to be a part of the evolution of Vodafone NZ Foundation into an innovative leader in effective philanthropic funding that supports New Zealand’s young people.”

Alison Taylor is Vodafone NZ Foundation’s longest standing board member and has brought a wealth of sector knowledge to the Foundation over the past nine years.

She has extensive leadership experience in the not for profit, public, philanthropic and youth sectors in the United Kingdom and New Zealand. Her expertise includes designing and developing strategic initiatives and contributing to emerging practice in capacity building, sector development and initiatives that have greater impact.

Alison is the Head of the Centre for Social Impact, which supports philanthropic, community and government initiatives to address complex social issues.


Hinurewa Poutu


“I am passionate about the revival and use of Te Reo Māori, particularly among our youth and am motivated by the Foundation’s strong focus on young people and creating a vibrant future for our country.”

Born and raised in Palmerston North, Hinurewa descends from Ngāti Rangi, Te Āti Haunui-a-Pāpārangi and Ngāti Maniapoto. Having been raised through kōhanga reo, kura kaupapa Māori and wharekura, she works at her wharekura as a secondary school teacher.

Hinurewa holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in which she explored the role of youth in Māori language revival, and the factors that influence the use of Te Reo Māori among those who’ve been educated in Wharekura (Māori-medium secondary schools).

Having witnessed the benefits of the Foundation’s World of Difference programme first hand, Hinurewa considers it an honour to be a board member.


Liesbeth Koomen


“It is a privilege to be involved in improving the lives of young New Zealanders.”

Liesbeth Koomen is the Legal and External Affairs Director at Vodafone NZ. Her role also covers Sustainable Business – of which the Foundation’s work with young people and its emergency support via Vodafone’s Instant Network is a core part – along with wider strategies of diversity and inclusion, increasing rural connectivity and reducing our carbon footprint.

Liesbeth has worked as a lawyer in New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. In Europe she worked for British Telecommunications and two international law firms, and here in New Zealand she ran the Commerce Commission’s legal enforcement division for six years before joining TelstraClear’s leadership team.

She is an advocate of corporate responsibility and appreciates Vodafone’s strong social, environmental and governance agenda and its commitment to giving back.


Management team

We have a small team, made up of passionate individuals with wide-ranging experience within the community, funding and business sectors.

Lani Evans

Foundation Manager


“I’m passionate about generosity in all its forms and about improving outcomes for our young people through practical, sustainable programme development and systemic change.”

As the Foundation Manager, Lani works to deliver on our vision of all young people living lives they value.

As a World of Difference recipient in 2009, Lani engaged young people in their communities through Volunteer Otago. She went on to run the Regional Volunteer Centre before establishing a national youth organisation, Regeneration Aotearoa New Zealand. Since then she has worked for community organisations in governance and leadership roles, including her role as CEO at Thankyou Payroll, a Dunedin based social enterprise.

Lani is currently co-chair of Thankyou Charitable Trust, trustee for Philanthropy New Zealand, vice chair of ActionStation, co-chair of the West Harbour Beautification Trust and co-founder of Christchurch-based youth transitional housing project Room:Maker. Lani received the Winston Churchill Fellowship for 2015 to explore the efficacy of devolved decision-making models in international philanthropy.

In her spare time, Lani enjoys tramping, playing with her puppy Tomoe and is training for her first ultra-marathon.


Cristina Serrano Rueda, Engagement Lead


“We all need someone who believes in us just a little bit more than we do ourselves. It’s a privilege to support our partners as they encourage vulnerable young New Zealanders to fulfil their potential, transform their lives and find a positive fit in society.”

Cristina was born in Spain, but has spent the past six years making New Zealand her home and working in Vodafone NZ’s marketing team.

She loves to make a difference in the youth sector and has volunteered at Starship Hospital, Red Cross NZ and at an Indonesian orphanage through the Vodafone Hands Up programme.

A member of the Foundation since 2014, Cristina’s role is to ensure that our alumni and partners are connected to the right people so that they can gain extra skills where needed. She links specialists in the Vodafone business up with our community partners and organises our hui, where our partners and alumni learn from each other’s experiences as well as find opportunities for collaboration.


Racheal Monks, Foundation Administrator


“Dame Whina Cooper’s words inspire me: ‘Take care of our children. Take care of what they hear, take care of what they see, take care of what they feel. For how the children grow so will be the shape of Aotearoa.’”

Racheal comes from a strong administration background, having spent the past seven years as an EA and TVNZ and MediaWorks TV. She trained as a primary school teacher and coaches various kids’ sports teams.

She believes every child deserves to feel loved and considers it a privilege to make this happen every day through Vodafone’s community partners. She enjoys using her skills to help make a difference in the youth sector and also sponsors a Variety Kid, Spencer from the East Coast and will participate in the Lifewise Big Sleepout this year.

Racheal joined the Foundation in 2016 and loves every minute of her part-time role, which allows her time to run around after her three children.


Josh Briggs, Grants Lead


 “I love being part of a team that is supporting better outcomes for our country’s young people.”

Josh has a background in youth work, community development and governance. He lives with his wife Aimee and their daughter Ellie in Wainuiomata, Lower Hutt.

In 2009 Josh was a World of Difference recipient, he worked at Evolve – Wellington’s Youth Health Service to support young people to connect with their community and increase their self-esteem through youth led activities and events. Since then Josh has taken on a variety of roles to support young people and their communities.

Josh is currently a board member of Parents Centre New Zealand Inc,  board member of the Toimata Foundation and Hutt City Councillor.

Josh spends his down time with his family, playing video games and taking part in community events.