Elected Board Member – Deb Bowry (Chairperson)
Deb is a previous board member for New Zealand Water Polo and has an interest in vast aquatic sports whether it is in the pool or in the ocean. She is of Samoan descent and loves the diversity that surfing provides for all walks of life in our beautiful country.
Deb brings knowledge and experience from seven years on the NZ Water Polo Board with a clear understanding of the difference between governance and management. Deb is currently the Sport Operations Coordinator for School Sport Canterbury with a finance portfolio aimed at helping grow revenue streams in the sporting environment.
Deb is a current member of the Southern Wahine Boardriders Club.
Appointed Board Member – Sarah Rogan
Sarah brings to the board over 20 years experience in communications with a strength in sports sponsorship and PR. She is passionate about sport and the positive impact it has in New Zealand communities.
During her career Sarah has worked alongside Surfing New Zealand on award winning events such as The Ultimate Waterman and Vodafone Surf Sessions. She is looking forward to using her experience to help grow Surfing New Zealand’s profile.
Appointed Board Member – Joe Hitchcock
Joe was the former Operations Manager at Sport Hawkes Bay and has strong revenue generation experience and expertise. Joe was also CEO for NZ Badminton from 2013-2021 where he led the development of the Badminton NZ Performance Programme.
He has an in depth understanding of the New Zealand sport sector and system and was the inaugural winner of the Future Leader Award & Scholarship as part of the New Zealand Sport and Recreation Awards (2018).
His education includes MSportMgmt (Dist), BEd, Dip Teaching.
Appointed Board Member- Heath Kerr
Heath joined the board in November 2021. Heath has over 20 years’ experience in private equity and investment banking in Australia and New Zealand. Over that time, he has advised small and large companies and organisations on capital raisings, capital management, strategy and governance. Heath is currently a director of one of New Zealand’s leading private equity firms, Direct Capital. At Direct Capital Heath is responsible for investing and managing capital on behalf of institutional investors to help some of New Zealand’s leading companies achieve their growth strategies.
Heath grew up in Hawkes Bay and then studied strategy and finance at The University of Waikato. Heath lived in Sydney for 13 years before returning and settling in Auckland 5 years ago. He is a passionate social surfer, as are his three children.
Heath is looking to leverage his passion for surfing and his commercial experience to help Surfing NZ achieves its vision and strategic objectives.
North Island Representative – Keri McKenzie
Keri is originally from Mount Maunganui, left to Australia when she was 18 and came back to NZ 16 years later. Australia was where she had her three surfing children. There she had a thriving natural skincare business before coming back to NZ to settle in the Hawkes Bay.
In Hawkes Bay she is the Community and Development Manager for the Your Solutions Hawkes Bay Boardriders, and a event co-ordinator for the largest game fishing competition in the region. She’s soon to also start a job in the Building Industry.
Keri’s favourite thing to do is hang with her family at the beach, travelling around new spots – always on an adventure.
South Island Representative – Russell Ritchie
Russell has over 25 years of sports administration predominantly as a volunteer. He has managed regional and national teams since 1989. He has administered regional and national surfing events both as a contest director and head judge.
Russell has driven his local boardrider club to become one of the most successful clubs in the country.
Russell has been a self-employed plumber 30 years being involved in all aspects of the construction industry, including the onsite/offsite coordination and management of jobs (housing & light commercial). Since 2011, he has been running a construction company involved in the large-scale repairs of earthquake-damaged houses in Christchurch.
Maori Representative – Alan Te Moananui
Alan is a secondary school teacher at Kaikoura High School. He teaches Health, Physical Education as well as junior Te Reo Māori. Alan is passionate about coaching students and is a rugby coach and judo coach at the school.
Alan has a Masters of Education in Bilingual and Immersion Teaching through the Hoaka Pounamu Programme at Canterbury University, and he is also currently studying the Māori Martial Art of Mau Rakau.
Alan has had a long relationship in high performance sport, having been a New Zealand Representative in Judo and also being a Māori Rep in the Aotearoa Surfing Team that competed in New Caledonia for the Melanesian Cup.
Alan feels that he can bring a positive Māori perspective to the Surfing New Zealand Board.