About Us


Whanganui and Partners was established in 2014 as a Council Controlled Organisation (CCO) to act as the economic development agency for the district. 

With growth of Whanganui’s social and economic well-being at the forefront of activity, Whanganui and Partners has been developed to engage in public-private partnerships and to work with business, community and iwi.

Our aim is a more prosperous community for all.

A Statement of Intent has been accepted in principle by the Whanganui District Council in accordance of budgets adopted for the Whanganui District Council 2017-18 Annual Plan. The Statement of Intent is able to be downloaded here.


Governed by a Board selected for experience and expertise across sectors contributing to economic development, our aim is a more prosperous community for all.

Our Whanganui & Partners Board members:


Myles Fothergill, Chair
Myles is the Managing Director of Q-West Boat Builders Ltd, a multi-million dollar business established in Whanganui.  He has also held or holds governance positions on the Brunswick School Board of Trustees, Whanganui District Employment Training Trust, New Zealand Marine Industry Association, NZ Marine & Composites Industry Training Organisation, Auckland On Water Boat Show,  NZ Marine Commercial Vessel Group, and Heads Road Business Group.

Susanne Clay, Deputy Chair
Susanne is a commercial advisor for innovation, growth and strategy consulting and Director of Gecko Advisory Limited.  Susanne has held or holds positions in entrepreneurial management, commercialisation or governance with Wool Industry Research Ltd, NZ Wool Innovation Ltd, Croplogic Ltd, Kahne Limited, Living Cell Technologies Ltd, and internationally Minnesota Biosciences Council, Algos Therapeutics, Inc., and Cargill Inc.

Jonathan Russell

Jonathan Russell
Jonathan is a Director of Prospace Design and the Principal for JR Consulting currently based in Xiamen, China.  Prior to that, Jonathan was the General Manager for Saatchi and Saatchi Wellington, NZ and was engaged last year to develop the Whanganui – All you need (and then some) brand before becoming a board member.  Jonathan has held both management and governance roles in a cross section of industry including NZ Dairy Foods (now Fonterra), Lion Nathan, Prospace Asia & Prospace Global, NZ Advertising Standards Authority, NZ Centre for Photography, New Zealand Supply Chain Board, and the Wellington Council (RWC Advisory Group).

Pahia Turia
Pahia Turia is well known to many in Whanganui and brings a wealth of experience in governance and business management.  Currently a consultant to Taipak Development Limited, Pahia continues to work with Appliance Repair Care Ltd, Parliamentary Services, Ngati Rangiwhakaturia, Taumata Haora Trust, and Nga Wairiki-Ngati Apa.

Tania King
Tania is the Principal at Whanganui Girls College and has a passion for teaching and excellence in education.  With nationally recognised high NCEA results and engagement with international student programmes, Tania also has previous and current management and governance experience with PAUA Early Childhood Ltd, Feilding High School, ESOLl in South Korea, Sport Whanganui Board and Education Council.

Stephen Lee
Stephen Lee is currently General Manager of Manuka Farming NZ Ltd. Prior to this he held positions in foreign affairs, trade and marketing. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting and Marketing from the University of Canterbury. In his current role he reports to the Board of Directors of Manuka Farming. He has also held the position of Chair of the Shepherd’s Arms Foundation, a charitable trust which runs a children’s home in the Philippines.

Phillip Bedford

Phillip Bedford is currently employed as the CEO of the New Zealand International Commercial Pilot Academy. Prior to this he was Commanding Officer at the base headquarters at Ohakea. He has an MBA (with distinction) from Massey University and was involved in the initial working groups relating to the Regional Growth Study, which was then formalised as Accelerate 25, the Manawatu-Whanganui Economic Action Plan. He has held executive level management positions and served in governance roles including as a Trustee of the RNZAF Welfare Fund, Chair Base Leadership Group Ohakea and as a Trustee of the Carncot Independent School.


Whanganui and Partners is managed by Philippa Ivory and her team as they develop and implement the initiatives, projects and plans for their sector briefs.

A Statement of Intent sets out the strategic direction for the organisation incorporating and reflecting the expectations of both ratepayers and industry.  It describes the context within the entity operates, explains how the organisation will achieve the selected outcomes and priorities of work focus and also how those outcomes progress and are measured.

A draft Statement of Intent is in place and will be finalised with the adoption of budgets for the Whanganui District Council 2017-18 Annual Plan. More information on the Annual Plan Consultation Document and process can be viewed here.

The Whanganui and Partners team is available to meet and speak with all businesses and individuals on appointment and welcomes support and involvement in all projects where relevant.  If you’d like more information or to be included on our database for e-newsletters please email us at info@whanganuiandpartners.nz.

We’d be delighted if you’d like us on our Facebook page to regularly see what the team is working on and to join our Whanganui and Partners LinkedIn group for current news and information.

Follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn 

Our Whanganui & Partners management team:

Philippa Ivory   

General Manager
E: philippa.ivory@whanganuiandpartners.nz
T: 06 349 3040

Nilesh Prasad   

Project Administrator/Accelerate25
E: Nilesh.Prasad@whanganuiandpartners.nz
T: 06 349 3119

Rhonda Morris 

Strategic Lead – Business
E: Rhonda.Morris@whanganuiandpartners.nz
T: 06 349 3102

Paul Chaplow 

Strategic Lead – Destination Marketing
E: paul.chaplow@whanganuiandpartners.nz
T: 06 349 3216

Heather Cox 

Strategic Lead – Education & Youth
E: Heather.Cox@whanganuiandpartners.nz
T: 027 683 7341

Rene Olmos  

Strategic Lead – Innovation
E: Rene.Olmos@whanganuiandpartners.nz
T: 027 563 7662

Paul Kjoss  

Digital & Online Lead
E: Paul.Kjoss@whanganuiandpartners.nz
T: 06 349 3052

Louise Follett   

Conferences Lead & Promotions
E: Louise.Follett@whanganuiandpartners.nz
T: 06 349 3254

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