Cawthron Institute announces New Trustee and New Director

18 January 2024

Cawthron Institute is delighted to announce the appointment of Naomi Solomon to its new statutory iwi position on the Trust Board, and Jan Hania as a new Director to the Board.

Following an amendment to the Thomas Cawthron Trust Act last year, an additional Trustee role was established to ensure iwi representation on the Trust Board. Naomi, nominated by Te Tauihu iwi, has been appointed with effect from 1 January 2024.

John Palmer, Chair of the Cawthron Institute Trust Board, said iwi representation on the Trust Board will help ensure Cawthron’s science delivers solutions that support the aspirations of Māori, and integrates indigenous knowledge with western science to create impact for all.

Naomi (Ngāti Toa) believes that Cawthron Institute’s leadership will enable future generations to build better understandings of our natural world. Naomi has a legal background and has held governance roles at a Trustee and Director as well as senior leadership roles within the environmental space at Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira. She works as a Project Manager and Consultant and lives in Blenheim.

Of the appointment Solomon says, “I feel incredibly honoured to be the first Iwi appointed Member of the Trust Board. I have a passion for the nexus between mātauranga Māori and western science and in particular the role that intellectual property law can play in this space. I have seen first-hand the role that science and innovation plays in determining environmental outcomes.”

The Trust Board is also responsible for Cawthron’s Board of Director appointments, and has announced that former Trustee Jan Hania has resigned from the Trust Board and will become a new Director effective from 1 January 2024.

Jan (Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Raukawa and Te Ātiawa) has a background in environmental engineering and strategic philanthropy. He is the Principal Strategy Development at Biome Trust and has held roles at the NEXT Foundation, as a consulting environmental engineer and with the Department of Conservation and local government.

Jan joined the Trust Board in 2020, and Palmer said Jan’s active participation and leadership of Māori in science and innovation has been an asset to the Trust Board. His strong background of putting environmental thinking into action and his close links to philanthropy will ensure that his skills are used more effectively for Cawthron.

Jan fills the Board of Directors vacancy left by Carl Carrington, who stepped down in July 2023 to take up the role of CEO at New Zealand King Salmon.

Image: Cawthron Institute. Naomi Solomon, a new Trustee on Cawthron Institute’s Trust Board.
Matt Miller with greenshell mussels in lab
Image: Cawthron Institute. Jan Hania, a new director on Cawthron Institute’s Board.
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