“Together we can do so much…”

Helen Keller

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Our Partner Schools

Papakura High School

Papakura High School

Mangere College

Mangere College

William Colenso College

William Colenso College

Hawke's Bay School for Teen Parents

Hawke's Bay School for Teen Parents

Tamatea High School

Tamatea High School

Karamū High School

Karamū High School

Flaxmere College

Flaxmere College

 2021 Tāwai Takapiri Whānau Wānanga, Lake Taupō

Our Funding Partners

Tāwai Takapiri Connect Futures NZ is grateful for the support of our current funding partners, all of whom share a passion for the tangata whenua of Aotearoa New Zealand.

These philanthropic organisations represent humble, hard-working, New Zealand pioneers all of whom have shaped the character of our proud country and its people.

We appreciate the opportunities for mahitahi, to stand alongside these organisations in support of their commitment to the tangata whenua of Aotearoa New Zealand. 

Ngā mihi nui.


The Joyce Fisher Charitable Trust strives to make New Zealand a better place by providing you New Zealanders with opportunities that enhance their leadership skills and values and, in turn, create community role models and future leaders.

The Fletcher Trust

The Fletcher Trust has a strong historical connection to the development of New Zealand. In its commitment to creative philanthropy, the Trust informs and supports New Zealanders to continue the best traditions of educational, social, cultural and business innovation www.fletchertrust.co.nz


As one of New Zealand's oldest family foundations, the Todd Foundation continues a family legacy of generosity. As a family foundation, trustees have the opportunity to commit to building long-term community partnerships that create lasting system change in Aotearoa society. The Todd Foundation stands on principles of reducing exclusion and disadvantage; building inclusiveness; strengthening communities; Mana Māori; respectful relationships; and listening and learning.


Waka Pacific Trust owns and operates Due Drop Events Centre, Vector Wero Whitewater and Momentum Hub. Through these businesses and facilities of national significance, the Trust provides financial resources, venue spaces and expertise which support school and community programmes designed to celebrate, transform and enrich people's lives.


Alterno is a privately-funded charitable foundation that supports projects and people that have the potential to make our communities better places for the people who grow up in them. Alterno is interested in partnering with organisations that enable people to be healthier, fitter, better-educated and more productive! 

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Tāwai Takapiri Whānau Wānanga

2020 - Napier 

Tāwai Tākapiri host Whānau Wānanga two-day off-site events that give member school Tumuaki and Community Co-ordinators an opportunity to network and share  their community engagement kaupapa learnings.

Whānau look forward to the Tāwai Takapiri Wānanga as an inspirational  source of motivation, encouragement, and support.

2020 & 2021 Wānanga were kindly supported by Alterno Foundation, The Fletcher Trust and Joyce Fisher Charitable Trust.

Our Supporters

Tāwai Takapiri Connect Futures NZ is privileged to be supported by representatives of the following organisations all of whom have contributed immense value since the first steps of our journey. 

To all of you, kia ora koutou - thank you.


InHive’s network building approach focuses on networks created by re-engaging those already around them – those in their hive – including former students, alumni and past programme participants. 

Ako mātātupu: Teach First NZ

Ako Mātātupu Teach First NZ has a vision to ensure all children in Aotearoa New Zealand fulfill their potential. The organisation works to achieve this by addressing the systemic causes of educational inequality by recruiting great people to join an immersive, two-year, employment-based leadership development and initial teacher education programme, and supporting them to teach in a school serving a low-income community. 


Over and above its traditional commercial service offerings, PwC New Zealand has a strong industry focus, with multi-discipline teams dedicated to key industry groups in both global and national markets. For their clients, this means the best local knowledge combined with the broadest global experience. 

Chapman Tripp

Chapman Tripp is New Zealand’s leading full service commercial law firm which a special interest in strategic philanthropy and social enterprise in Aotearoa. 


Our Team

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Vicki Fowler


With a long-standing passion for the critical importance of young people possessing positive mindsets and a strong, unwavering sense of self-belief, Vicki has found her niche leading the day-to-day operations of Tāwai Takapiri Connect Futures NZ.

With a background encompassing general business, partner relationship management and community building, Vicki experienced the enriching benefits of alumni engagement firsthand during the years that she lead the establishment of the community development operation at Westlake Boys High School, a large state secondary school in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Vicki is a proud alumnus of Otumoetai College, a co-ed state school located in Tauranga, on the east coast of Te Ika-ā-Maui, the North Island of Aotearoa New Zealand.

If you’d like to know more about the Tāwai Takapiri Connect Futures initiative, know of any state school alumni who have ‘done good’ (and by ‘done good’ we mean “is living a positive, fulfilling life”) or feel the urge to contribute to the Connect Futures cause in some way, Vicki would love to hear from you.

Email: vicki@connectfutures.org.nz

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Ross Brown MNZM


As Headmaster of Napier Boys’ High School for almost 18 years, Ross has extensive experience with New Zealand’s youth and state school sector and, in 2016, was deservedly awarded a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit medal for Services to Education.

Hailing from rural New Zealand, Ross was educated at Palmerston North Boys’ High School where he remains connected as a committed and involved member of the school’s strong alumni community.

He now actively supports schools (and their Principals) to enhance their performance and grow their communities.

We love the inspiring tales of connection that Ross unearths and brings to discussions in the Tāwai Takapiri setting.


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Jay Allnutt


As current CEO of MĀIA Centre for Social Justice and Education, and former CEO of Ako Mātātupu Teach First NZ, Jay has traveled the well-worn path of start-up NGOs in the education sector so brings daily doses of inspiration and sage advice to the Tāwai Takapiri Connect Futures table.

Hailing from in the UK, Jay started his journey in the education sector as a teacher before commencing his career with Teach For All UK and eventually moving to Aotearoa in 2015 to lead the establishment of the then fledgling organisation, Teach First NZ.

Ako Mātātupu Teach First NZ has a vision to ensure all rangatahi in Aotearoa New Zealand fulfill their potential. The team works to achieve this by addressing the systemic causes of educational inequality.

MĀIA’s Brave Learning Programme supports young people who left school before the end of Year 13 as a result of Covid-19.

There are many synergies between the visions of MĀIA, Ako Mātātupu Teach First NZ and Tāwai Takapiri Connect Futures NZ - all three organisations driven by social justice values and the desire for young people of Aotearoa to achieve their potential as a result of having access to equal opportunities during their school years.

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Edna Novak


Edna is a US-born New Zealander who spends a significant amount of time travelling in her role as Head of Asia Pacific for Teach For All, an organisation which exists to expand educational opportunity around the world by increasing and accelerating the impact of social enterprises cultivating change leadership.

Edna works alongside young people from low socio-economic regions throughout Asia and has seen, firsthand, on many occasions the positive impacts made possible when young people have the opportunity to connect with role models who not only inspire them but, most importantly, who they are able to relate to.

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Abi Nokes


As CEO of Inhive Global (formerly Future First Global), a UK-based NGO promoting and facilitating the establishment of alumni communities in third world regions across the globe, Abi was the driving force behind the establishment of the organisation that became Tāwai Takapiri Connect Futures NZ Trust.

Abi has been involved in the alumni community sector for over a decade, firstly as Programme Manager for Future First UK, then as Programmes Director for Future First Global before moving into the CEO role in late 2017.

Abi’s programme knowledge and expertise ensures that Tāwai Takapiri Connect Futures NZ progresses with confidence knowing that our operations are based on proven global models of alumni engagement.

Abi’s work takes her into many different time-zones, most of which do not work well with the NZ clock, but she never fails to dial-in and add extremely valuable insights at every turn of the Connect Futures journey. Our special thanks to our founder, a very smart, kind and special lady!

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Bill Kermode


As NEXT Foundation CEO and founding Director of New Zealand’s leading private company investor, Direct Capital, Bill generously contributes a wealth of commercial and philanthropic expertise to the Tāwai Takapiri Connect Futures NZ cause.

The combination of his unmistakable passion for the long-term well-being of the tangata whenua of Aotearoa, coupled with a well-honed eye for a “sure thing”, sparked Bill’s initial enthusiasm for the alumni community building concept which he declared very early on, was an absolute “no-brainer”. (We take Bill’s qualified opinion very seriously!)

Bill proceeded to recruit highly-respected educator and fellow Palmerston North High School Old Boy, Ross Brown, into the fold and both soon found themselves with a vested interest in the meaningful social justice cause that has since become Tāwai Takapiri Connect Futures NZ.

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Brian Morris (Ngāti Kahungunu and Rongowhakaata)


Educated at Central Hawkes Bay College (Waipukurau) and Palmerston North Teachers’ Training College, Brian is now the Executive Director of HUIA Publishing.

He is a qualified teacher, a fluent speaker of te reo, and a registered Māori language translator. Brian is a former Principal of one of Tāwai Takapiri Connect Futures NZ’s partner schools, Te Aute College, and has been a cultural ambassador to international festivals in Asia.

A highly respected leader, Brian has governance experience as a trustee negotiator on the Heretaunga Settlement Trust serves as Chair on two Ahu Whenua Trust Boards.

Brian was appointed to the Board of Te Māngai Pāho in 2015. Te Māngai Pāho promotes Māori language and culture through the provision of funding for Māori initiatives in music, radio, television and new media.

An outstanding representative rugby player and coach, Brian enjoys his extensive whanau connections across a range of sporting activities.