Be. Institute Trustees

John Allen – Chair

John AllenJohn Allen was appointed the Chief Executive of the New Zealand Racing Board in March 2015, having previously held the role of Chief Executive and Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade since July 2009.

Prior to joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, John was Chief Executive of New Zealand Post, where he led a range of initiatives to drive growth in advance of declining mail volumes. He held a number of senior positions at New Zealand Post before his appointment as its Chief Executive in 2003.

A former Partner of Rudd Watts & Stone, specialising in commercial and public policy issues, John has also been a visiting Lecturer in Law at Victoria University of Wellington. He is an experienced company director and was co-chair of the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum until April 2011. In his previous role he was adviser to the Boards of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Education New Zealand and Asia New Zealand Foundation; and trustee of the New Zealand China Council. John is Chair of the New Zealand Police Assurance and Risk Committee and Be. Accessible Charitable Trust. He is also a member of the Territorial Forces Employer Support Council; and a trustee of the New Zealand International Arts Festival and Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa Foundation.  

Ant Howard - Trustee

Ant HowardA former CEO of Wang New Zealand (now known as gen-i), which under Ant's leadership reinvented itself from a product company to become one of the country’s most innovative and successful systems integration and services companies. It listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange as part of this process.

Ant's broad experience with public and privately owned companies gives him depth and breadth of expertise in strategy development; go to market planning and execution; corporate governance; corporate restructuring; mergers and acquisitions; capital raising; business strategies and planning. He has particular expertise and passion for building highly effective leadership teams and facilitating a strong and constructive working dynamic between investors and owners.   

Mary-Jane Rivers – Trustee

Mary-Jane Rivers

For Mary-Jane, the importance of communities was reinforced though her family's involvement in their own neighbourhood and her senior management roles in local and central government, especially leading social impact assessment work in the late 1980s. Mary-Jane has been CEO of the NZ Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux and has run her own business.

Mary-Jane has been involved with international development work in several Pacific countries, Asia and in Eastern Europe for the World Bank, UNDP and NZ MFAT. She has seen the lasting and far-reaching impact of many community development initiatives based on community leadership working hand-in-hand with government, business, NGOs and funders.

Ross Brereton – Trustee

Ross Brereton

Ross is a committed advocate for the human rights and protections of disabled people and he has over 30 years’ experience in the management and governance of disability organisations.

Ross has an MA in Sociology and diplomas in Teaching and Human Resource Management.

His previous roles include: CEO of Disabled Persons Assembly NZ, Human Rights Commissioner, Assistant Chief Executive of CCS and National Services Manager of the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind. Ross has a congenital visual impairment.