About Us

Our Vision

NEXT Foundation’s vision is to create a legacy of environmental and educational excellence for the benefit of future generations of New Zealanders.

Education and the environment have been chosen as the two categories for support and investment because we consider that they have the greatest potential to inspire and create lasting value for New Zealanders.


By supporting and investing in aspirational education projects, we aim to empower young people today and the leaders of tomorrow. Education opens the door to personal development, economic opportunity and innovation for society as a whole. New Zealand has an excellent education system, but there are a wide range of initiatives that can drive higher achievement and outcomes, including innovative projects at the edges of traditional systems.

We will invest in projects that strive for educational excellence to provide all New Zealanders with the opportunity to fulfil their potential and develop into talented individuals with the skills and confidence to confront the challenges and embrace the opportunities of a globalised world economy.


New Zealand’s natural environment is the foundation of not only our economy but also our sense of identity.

Our vision is to ensure our natural environment remains healthy so that it will continue to provide us with the essential resources that underpin a thriving and prosperous New Zealand. Focussing principally on conservation, there are many threats to be managed or overcome such as habitat loss, introduced predators, urbanisation and water use.

In doing so, we aim to preserve New Zealand for tomorrow’s generations. Where Kiwi and other iconic native birds still exist in the wild, not just in online image galleries. Where our native forests welcome the day with a chorus of bird song. Where our children and their children can safely swim in clean lakes and rivers. Where our natural heritage and culture are preserved for all.

How We Work

The NEXT Foundation administers an up to 10-year, $100 million programme of strategic philanthropy.

Education projects supported are those that contribute to New Zealand’s long-term knowledge capital and performance through research, teaching, leadership training, skills and values development, technology adaption, and institutional and methodological innovation that ultimately underpin our country’s economic strength.

Environment projects supported are those that significantly protect and sustain New Zealand’s natural elements, habitats and species, including research and innovation, conservation and community participation in ways that enhance the relationship between people and nature.

Projects supported have demonstrated that they:

  • are significant in scale and impact
  • overcome a specific problem, address a current need, or create a future opportunity
  • are well supported by research and analysis
  • have good management and governance, and
  • have measurable outcomes at various stages of the project.

The $100 million investment programme is exclusively for project funding. 

Our People

Chief Executive Officer

Bill Kermode

Bill has been NEXT’s Chief Executive since its launch in 2014, leading its sixteen environmental and educational investments to date, as well as oversight of the previous philanthropic commitments made by Neal and Annette Plowman. He had for the previous two decades been a founding director of Direct Capital, New Zealand’s most experienced private company investor, and director of a number of private companies, including Ryman Healthcare, PF Olsen, NZ Pharmaceuticals, and EziBuy. He is a director of the Edmund Hillary Fellowship, offering global social change-makers a path to New Zealand citizenship through New Zealand’s new Global Impact Visa, and is Chairman of the Palmerston North BHS Educational Foundation Trust and a graduate of Massey and Oxford Universities.

Investment Director

Ewen Anderson

Ewen has a 25 year background in the private sector working across a broad range of industries and geographies, initially as an investment banker for Credit Suisse First Boston, followed by senior management roles at major New Zealand corporates Carter Holt Harvey and Fletcher Building, and most recently as a Director in startup logistics business Netlogix. He is passionate about New Zealand environmental and education causes, was involved in initiatives in both these sectors prior to joining NEXT Foundation as Investment Director, and is a Director of The Rotoroa Island Trust. Ewen hails from a Northland farming family and retains a close affinity both with the land and with the Northland community. He is a commerce and science graduate of Auckland University and lives in Grey Lynn, Auckland with his young family, where he serves on the Board of Trustees for Grey Lynn Primary School.



Jan is of Ngati Tuwharetoa and Ngati Raukawa-ki-te-Tonga descent having grown up in South Auckland. Prior to joining NEXT, Jan spent 7 years with the Department of Conservation leading teams at district, regional and national level building partnerships and developing large scale collaborative impact projects focused on people, biodiversity and water. Previously Jan’s early career was as an electronics and systems engineer mostly in the New Zealand Airforce with some earlier time with Telecom over a period of 12 years. While in the RNZAF he also developed skills in strategy and leadership training and development, international stakeholder liaison and relationship management. Jan has always enjoyed a passion for the outdoors and the environment, climbing, diving, mountain biking and just being. This passion led to a career change in his late 20s where he spent time at Canterbury and Lincoln University completing undergraduate and post grad work in Natural Resources Engineering. For the next 10 years he consulted and worked for clients including regional government, in hazard mitigation, water resource protection and environmental restoration both in New Zealand and overseas, before joining DOC in 2009.



Polly Hudson is communications director of NEXT Foundation. Prior to this position she was Senior Communication advisor to the National Science Challenge, High-Value Nutrition. Polly’s background is in the media. She was a journalist at TVNZ, working as a reporter for TVNZ news and current affairs. She was the TVNZ Australian correspondent and a presenter on 60 Minutes. Polly also worked as newspaper journalist, writing for the Dominion and some London publications.



Katherine works as the Practice Manager for The Business Advisory Group Ltd, a boutique chartered accounting firm in Auckland and also assists NEXT as Office Manager. Katherine has previously worked in the United Kingdom and lived for a number of years in the Republic of Ireland where she worked in one of the top three law firms in Dublin as the Personal Assistant for a Senior Partner. During her career, Katherine has developed skills essential when working within high profile and demanding job environments, including attention to detail and the ability to manage a range of different tasks to meet deadlines.

Board of Directors


Barrie Brown

Barrie Brown has been a director on the Board of the NEXT Foundation since its inception in March 2014 and was appointed Chairman in February 2017. Barrie is an experienced Company Director. Since retiring from PwC fifteen years ago, he has held several Board positions including NEXT environmental initiatives Project Janszoon and the Rotoroa Island Trust, and was Chair of the Auckland City Mission Capital Foundation. He is Chair of private equity investor Waterman Capital, an independent trustee of the WA Stevenson Memorial Trust and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand.


Carol Campbell

Carol is a chartered accountant and a member of the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. Carol has extensive financial experience and a sound understanding of efficient Board governance. Carol holds a number of directorships across a broad spectrum of companies, including Public companies such as T&G Global, New Zealand Post, NZME and the Fisher Listed Investment companies – Kingfish, Barramundi and Marlin Global where she is also Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee. She also holds a number of private company Directorships and trusteeships. Carol was a Director of The Business Advisory Group for 11 years, a chartered accountancy practice, and prior to that a partner at Ernst & Young for over 25 years.

Scott St John

Scott St John joined NEXT as a director in February 2017. Scott has been Chief Executive of First NZ Capital for 15 years before stepping down in early 2017. He will remain a non-executive director. Scott is Chancellor of the University of Auckland, a director of Fonterra, The Fonterra Shareholders Fund, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, and a former Chair or member of a number of Government appointed and financial industry bodies.


Chris Liddell CNZM

Chris Liddell is the Founding Chair of NEXT Foundation. In that role Chris was instrumental in setting the vision and agenda for NEXT from its launch in March 2014. He stood down in February 2017 to take up a position with the United States Government administration and was promoted to Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy Coordination in March 2018. Based in the United States, Chris is a New Zealander passionate about education, the environment and philanthropy. He has been a director on NEXT supported environmental initiatives Project Janszoon and the Rotoroa Island Trust. He has been chairman of Project Crimson and a Patron of the University of Auckland fundraising campaign. Chris stepped down as Chairman of the Board of the Xero Corporation and CFO of WME-IMG at the same time he moved into the White House. He was previously Vice Chairman of General Motors and CFO of Microsoft Corporation. He was also CEO of Carter Holt Harvey In New Zealand, and has been a Director of the New Zealand Rugby Union. Chris was New Zealand Businessman of the Year in 2011. He is a graduate of Auckland and Oxford Universities.

Advisory Panel


Margaret Bendall

Margaret is a former principal of Epsom Girls Grammar School and Board Member of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority. Since 2005 she has also held a number of leadership and management roles in the Faculty of Education at the University of Auckland. Much of her recent work has been focused on the implementation of the New Zealand Curriculum and professional learning for principals and other school leaders. She is currently a Trustee of Cognition Education Trust and a senior adviser to Teach First NZ. In 2005, Margaret was made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) for her services to education.


SIR Rob Fenwick KNZM KStJ

Rob is co-founder and Director of Living Earth and co-founder of the New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development. He was a key advisor to Department of Conservation in developing its new partnership model with business, community, iwi, and local government. He is currently Chairman of Antarctica NZ and NZ Antarctic Research Institute, the Ministerial Waste Advisory Board, Predator Free NZ movement and Bank of New Zealand Save the Kiwi Trust; as well as a Trustee of Sir Peter Blake Trust and Air NZ Environment Trust. In 2008 Rob was honoured Companion of New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) for services to Conservation.


Roger France

Roger is a professional director. He trained as a chartered accountant and is former Manging Partner of Coopers & Lybrand, Auckland subsequently leading the Corporate Value Consulting Practice for PwC in the Asia Pacific region. He is currently a Director of Orion Health, Tappenden Holdings and Southern Cross Medical Care Society. Roger also chairs the Deep South National Science Challenge and is on the Board of the Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge. He has been a Director of a number of major New Zealand companies including Fonterra Co-operative Group, Air New Zealand and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare. He was a Member of the Council of The University of Auckland for twelve years, serving as Chancellor of the University from 2009 to 2012. He is a Trustee of the University of Auckland Foundation. In 2016, Roger was appointed an Officer of The New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to business and education.


Devon McLean

Devon had a 30-year career in the New Zeaand forest industry holding a range of management positions including 10-years on the Operating Committee of Carter Holt Harvey, member of the NZ Forest Industries Council for 10-years with five as Chairman, Director of the National Association of Forest Industries of Australia and Director of the NZ Forest Research Institute (now Scion) for seven years. Since 2005 he has pursued private interests including as Chair of Project Crimson which he helped found in 1990, Director of Rotoroa Island Trust and he is the Project Director of Project Janszoon.


Geoff Ricketts

Geoff is a commercial lawyer, company Director and investor. He is Chairman of The Todd Corporation, Heartland New Zealand, and a Director of Suncorp Group as well as other private companies. He was formerly Chairman of Lion Nathan. Geoff is also Chairman of the University of Auckland Foundation, a member of the Auckland Catholic Diocese Advisory Board and a consultant to Russell McVeagh where he was a partner for over 25 years. In 2013 Geoff was awarded the Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) for services to education, the arts and business.


John Taylor

John is currently Senior Advancement Consultant to The University of Auckland, having retired as Director of Alumni Relations and Development after directing the University’s successful “Leading the Way” campaign which raised over $200million. Prior to that, he was Headmaster of both King’s College and Rathkeale College.  His current educational activities include membership of NZ Model of Charter Schools Committee, the NZ Initiative and the Education Forum, of which he was the founding chair in 1991. He is a trustee of the NZ Education and Scholarship Trust, of the John Drake Memorial Scholarship Trust and of the King’s School Board.

Alistair Nicholson

'Alistair's career has taken a 'random walk' through the education and finance industries on the journey taking in many of the leading financial centres of the world. Alistair has been a school teacher, corporate treasurer, investment banker and hedge fund investor. Alistair returned to New Zealand with his family in 2007, he has just stepped down after six years as chair of Wakatipu High School, he is on the board of Teach First NZ, the board of Gareth Morgan Investments, the board of a Singapore family office (Vulpes Investment Management) and oversees a portfolio of horticultural assets in New Zealand. He is strongly committed to seeing young people in NZ get the very best out of their educational opportunities.

Edward Krishna

Edward is a solicitor in the corporate team at law firm DLA Piper. Originally from Palmerston North where he was Deputy Head Boy at PNBHS, Edward is involved in a range of different areas including leading goups focusing on equity and diversity issues and helping to co-ordinate the local pro bono practice at his workplace. He is a passionate musician singing with a community choir Stellar Singers and playing in various bands and groups. Edward led a NEXT youth focus group which looked into trying to increase the engagement and impact of young people in social-outcome type projects. He is also involved with the youth arm of Philanthropy NZ, exploring ways to get more young people meaningfully engaged in philanthropy.

Shelley Campbell MNZM

Shelley Campbell is the CEO of Sir Peter Blake Trust, responsible for its leadership development and environmental programmes. She is on the Board of the Halberg Foundation, Sustainable Seas, Te Pou, and LeV. She also mentors young emerging CEOs and business leaders across New Zealand. Previously Shelley was on the Cancer Council NZ and Chaired the Minister’s National Bowel Cancer Screening Taskforce. She was a member of the NZ delegation to the World Health Assembly in 2008 and has examined health systems in Canada, the US and the UK. In 2007 Shelley was awarded a Sir Peter Blake Emerging Leader award- the first Maori recipient. In 2015 she was awarded an Honorary Captains rank in the Royal New Zealand Navy.

Jamie Tuuta

Jamie Tuuta is the independent Chair of the Taranaki Mounga Project, and the Māori Trustee and CEO of Te Tumu Paeroa.. He is a director of Aotearoa Fisheries Ltd, Te Ohu Kaimoana Trustee Ltd, Wools of New Zealand, Taranaki Investment Management Ltd and is a board member of Tourism New Zealand. He is the former chair of Parininihi ki Waitōtara Incorporation, , Te Runanga o Ngāti Mutunga and the Ngati Mutunga ki Wharekauri Asset Holding Company. He is also a former director of Port Nicholson Fisheries Ltd, and was a member of the Investment Advisory Panel for the Primary Growth Partnership. Jamie is also a recipient of the Sir Peter Blake Emerging Leadership Award.

Friends of NEXT

NEXT values the partnership and support these organisations are providing to help us transform environment and education in New Zealand.

PwC New Zealand

PwC New Zealand

PwC New Zealand and NEXT collaborate to provide a unique opportunity for a young graduate, under the PwC NEXT Young Leader programme . The PwC NEXT Young Leader is a second or third year employee of PWC who is seconded to work in the NEXT team for up to 2/3 of their time. Through this secondment and other PwC support, NEXT receives access to PwC’s vast expertise, capabilities and networks. PwC’s support for NEXT is invaluable. In particular, NEXT would like to thank PwC Financial Advisory Services partner David Lamb for his leadership of the NEXT relationship. NEXT Foundation CEO Bill Kermode said “PwC’s unconditional support for NEXT is invaluable. The PwC NEXT Young Leader provides us with capability and resource that we could not access otherwise, and an entrée into the PwC network that has opened many doors for us.”

Hear more from the PwC NEXT Young Leaders

See their website here: www.pwc.co.nz

Chapman Tripp

Chapman Tripp

Chapman Tripp provides high quality legal services to the NEXT team on a pro bono basis, and makes its networks and capabilities available to NEXT. In particular, NEXT would like to thank John Strowger and Phillippa Wilkie for their leadership of the NEXT relationship. NEXT Foundation CEO Bill Kermode said “Having the highest quality legal advice available to NEXT has a hugely positive impact for us and our investee organisations as we look to support them. We are privileged to have such a supportive partner in such an important discipline.”

See their website here: www.chapmantripp.com

Play It Strange

Play It Strange

Play It Strange spotlights the great songs that are written in New Zealand schools. NEXT chooses songs from Play It Strange artists to back its project videos. NEXT loves having the opportunity to showcase the song writing talent in our high schools. We thank Mike Chunn for his leadership of Play It Strange, and collaboration with NEXT Foundation.

See their website here: http://playitstrange.org.nz

Soar Print

Soar Print

NEXT thanks Soar Print for sponsoring the publication of the NEXT Foundation Review. NEXT Foundation CEO Bill Kermode said “We are delighted with the quality of the NEXT Review. Soar Print put in a huge effort to achieve this , and we benefited enormously from their expertise and commitment to doing a professional job.” Special thanks to Soar Printing Managing Director Fred Soar.

See their website here: www.soarprint.co.nz

Natural History New Zealand

Natural History New Zealand

NEXT would like to acknowledge and thank Natural History New Zealand for their generosity in allowing NEXT to use some of its spectacular environmental footage in some of our storytelling.

See their website here: www.nhnz.tv

Rainger and Rolfe

Rainger and Rolfe

Rainger and Rolfe have provided strategic marketing, communication and design advice to the NEXT team. NEXT would like to thank them, in particular Ant Rainger, Jen Rolfe and Lauren Plumb for their continued support in telling the wonderful stories NEXT is proud to be part of.

See their website here: www.raingerandrolfe.co.nz

Our Charter

  1. The Next Foundation has been established with a vision “to create a legacy of environmental and educational excellence for the benefit of future generations of New Zealanders”.
  2. This Charter sets out the basis upon which the Foundation will conduct itself in seeking to achieve its vision.
  3. The Foundation will disperse its funds as part of an Expression of Interest process to Projects that meet the criteria set out in its guide (see How We Work).
  4. Projects will need to be in the general areas of Education and Environment and be able to prove that they achieve a lasting impact and contribution to New Zealand.
  5. Education projects are defined as ones that contribute to New Zealand’s long-term knowledge capital and performance through research, teaching, leadership training, and institutional and methodological innovation that ultimately underpin our country’s economic strength.
  6. Environment projects are defined as ones that significantly protect and sustain New Zealand’s natural elements, habitats and species, including research and innovation, conservation and community participation in ways that enhance the relationship between people and nature.
  7. Projects will need to demonstrate that they:
    1. are significant in scale and impact
    2. overcome a specific problem, address a current need, or create a future opportunity
    3. are well supported by research and analysis
    4. provide evidence of good management and governance
    5. have measurable outcomes at defined stages of the project.
  8. The Foundation will be governed by a Board of Directors who will decide on the Projects to be funded. All decisions by the Board are full and final.
  9. In making this decision the Directors will be assisted by an Advisory Panel.
  10. The Advisory Panel will be selected by the Directors and shall consist of both experts in the areas of Education and Environment and generalists who can assist in the assessment of projects.
  11. Neither any of the Directors nor any of the Advisory Panel shall assess the selection of a project that they have any direct involvement with or benefit from. A Conflicts of Interest policy will be implemented to ensure that and potential conflicts are identified.
  12. The Next Foundation is a division of Hutton Wilson Charitable Trust. The Board shall consist of between three to five Directors, all to be appointed by Hutton Wilson Nominees Limited, which shall also appoint a Chairman and Auditor for the Foundation. PwC is the current auditor.
  13. The Board shall appoint a full time CEO for the Foundation who shall administer and lead the activities of the organisation.