Radio New Zealand Board of Governors

Radio New Zealand Board of Governors


Dr Jim Mather

Chair of the Radio New Zealand Board of Governors

Dr Jim Mather is of Ngāti Awa, Ngāi Tūhoe and English descent. He grew up in the communities of Te Teko, Ōtara and Māngere

He was appointed Chair of the Radio New Zealand Board of Governors in May 2018.

Previously Jim was the Chief Executive of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa for five years.This followed nine years as Chief Executive of Māori Television, and prior to that he was Chief Executive of the Pacific Business Trust for almost three years.

He holds a Masters of Business Administration from the Henley Business School in England and a Bachelor of Business Studies, as well as diplomas in business and management. He also completed a PhD in Māori economic development through AUT University in 2014.

With business management experience spanning 25 years, and a qualified accountant by profession, Jim has held a variety of private sector roles including General Manager of a marine engineering business and Financial Controller for a local subsidiary of a Swiss multinational.

Aligned with his commercial background, Jim is also a former officer in the New Zealand Army, and was awarded the Sword of Honour in recognition of his distinguished achievements in Officer training.

He currently holds governance roles with the following organisations:

  • Chair of Radio New Zealand
  • Chair of Lakes District Health Board
  • Chair of InZone Education Foundation
  • Chair of Ako Mātātupu / Teach First NZ
  • Director of Auckland Transport
  • Director of Ngāti Awa Group Holdings Limited
  • Director of NZ Health Partnerships
  • Member of MBIE Risk & Advisory Committee
  • Managing Director of Mather Solutions Limited

Jim is passionate about Māori development, the media sector and the importance of education.

Dr Mather's term with RNZ will be three years from 1 July  2023.

Sina Wendt

Radio New Zealand Board of Governors

Sina Wendt has 25 years working in governance and executive leadership roles across the commercial, public and not-for-profit sectors. Her experience includes Chief Executive roles at Leadership New Zealand Trust and National Pacific Radio Trust Inc, the first national Pan-Pacific radio broadcasting network which connects Pacific communities across New Zealand. Sina’s term with RNZ is two years from 1 July 2023.

Michael O’Donnell

Mike O'Donnell smiling

Photo: RNZ / Jeff McEwan

Radio New Zealand Board of Governors

Mike "MOD" O’Donnell is a professional director, writer and business advisor with a focus on digital, media and consumer issues.

MOD is Chair of online booking company Timely. He is also director of online global music company Serato, financial services company Kiwibank, fund manager Kiwi Wealth, destination marketing agency Tourism NZ, software intelligence platform Raygun, and IP marketing agency G2G Knowhow.

MOD is the Saturday business columnist for Stuff Media and is also involved in motorcycle safety and consumer rights.He is also host of the television series 'Start Me Up'.

Michael's term with RNZ is one year from on 1 July 2023.

Irene Gardiner

Irene Gardiner smiling

Photo: RNZ / Jeff McEwan

Radio New Zealand Board of Governors

Irene Gardiner is a long-time television producer, with particular expertise in the area of factual programming. She ran TVNZ's internal production unit from 1995 to 2001, before becoming TVNZ's Head of Commissioning in 2002.

Irene was also the founding Content Director for the NZ On Screen website from 2009 till 2016. Irene is a board member for the producers' guild SPADA, and a member of the NZ Television Awards organising committee.

She also works as a consultant Executive Producer, and as a television and radio commentator on screen and media issues.

Irene began her career as a journalist working at the Dominion and Evening Post in Wellington. She then moved into television as a publicist before taking up a role as a trainee director.

Irene's term with RNZ will be three years from 1 July  2023.

Jane Wrightson

Jane Wrightson smiling

Photo: RNZ / Jeff McEwan

Radio New Zealand Board of Governors

Jane Wrightson took up the role of Retirement Commissioner in February 2020 after a long career in media. She came to the role from her position as the longstanding chief executive of NZ On Air, the public media funding agency. Prior to that, she was the chief executive of the Broadcasting Standards Authority, chief executive of the Screen Producers Association, and was NZ’s first woman Chief Censor. She began her career with a 10-year stint at TVNZ. She’s held various governance positions, currently as a director of Experience Wellington, a CCO. She holds an MBA with Distinction, a BA in literature, and is a chartered member of the Institute of Directors.
Jane's term with RNZ will be three years from 1 July  2023.

Mihimaraea Parata Gardiner

Mihimaraea Parata Gardiner smiling

Photo: RNZ / Jeff McEwan

Radio New Zealand Board of Governors

Mihimaraea joins the RNZ Board as part of the State Services Commission’s Future Directors programme. The programme gives talented people the opportunity to observe and participate on a board for a period of 12 to 18 months.

Mihimaraea Parata Gardiner is of Ngāti Porou descent with links to Mataatua, Te Arawa and Ngāi Tahu, and is currently an adviser for Te Puni Kōkiri in Tairāwhiti, leading efforts to help grow a highly skilled and capable Māori workforce through training and development and leading work in connecting rangatahi Māori with career pathways. She speaks Te Reo Māori and French, holds a BCA in Marketing, International Relations and Political Science, and has worked in both private and public sector organisations. She was Communications Coordinator for Te Matatini Kapa Haka National Festivals in 2017 and 2019.

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