Meet The Foundation Trustees

The foundation trustees are all members of the Matamata community

Louise Trower


Louise moved to Matamata in mid-2002 with husband John and has two children and two step-children.  She has been involved in several clubs and committees in Matamata including Matamata Primary School Board of Trustees for six years; Matamata Primary PTA; Matamata Athletics Club treasurer; and a committee member of Matamata Kidz Toy Library and Rawhiti Kindergarten Association.  

Louise has been self-employed since 2005 and is currently operating her own consultancy business, Lime Limited, offering human resources, recruitment and business planning.

Louise enjoys walking (and sometimes even running), pilates, reading, vegetable gardening, watching her children play sport and drinking the odd glass of wine.

Jodi Conning

Foundation Administrator

Jodi is a Matamata born girl with roots that date back over One Hundred years. Jodi spent a lot of her younger years growing up on the Tapper family farm in Okauia and attended Matamata Intermediate and College before making a move to Auckland to peruse a career in the Hospitality industry.

Jodi moved to London in her early 20’s and traveled throughout Europe for a number of years before moving back to NZ, and settling back in Matamata with her two daughters.  Jodi has workied within the Health & disability sector for over a decade.

Outside of work Jodi a passionate baker and also enjoy’s  what the Matamata community has to offer.

Sue Bruce


Sue was born and raised in Matamata. She taught at Otumoetai College before marrying George. They farm in Walton and have three adult children and three grandsons. Sue has served on the Waikato Netball Board.

Netball is a passion for Sue and she is actively involved in the Matamata Netball Centre, coaching umpires in both theory and practical applications. Sue’s dad resided at Pohlen Hospital for almost three years; this made Sue realise what a hugely valuable asset Pohlen is to Matamata, therefore would like to give back and contribute to its growth.

Elizabeth Stead


Liz has three adult children. She has lived in Matamata for nine years and has been involved with the children’s schools’ PTAs and swimming club. Liz has been an organiser for the three highly successful Home and Garden Tours for the Pohlen Foundation.

Liz is an artist, and also likes the creative process of gardening, home design and fashion. She loves reading and socialising, and belongs to a book club and the local women’s club. She works in fashion retail locally. Liz is an enthusiastic trustee and ambassador for Pohlen Foundation Trust.

Thomas Coats


Thomas has extensive experience working with Technology. Born and raised in rural Waikato, Thomas has a BSc and post-graduate diploma in Artificial Intelligence through the University of Waikato.

Thomas has spent 10 years producing software for a wide range of industries, including animal Improvement, education, power generation and meteorology.

Thomas lives in Matamata with his wife, Harvinder who teaches at New Shoots Matamata. Together they have two children. Thomas enjoys tramping and barbeques.

Hayden Wright


Hayden and his wife Lily are both born & bred locally they have three young children, Maya, Harrison and Amelia who keep them busy & active.

Hayden is a director & part owner of local company Comag. He is a certifying plumber & gasfitter so has spent a huge portion of time working within the local community and further abroad for over 15 years. His role as Operations Manager involves organisation and leadership which along with construction / trade knowledge can help the Pohlen Foundation Trust to continue their excellent work.

Tony Wright


Tony has four sons ,two step daughters and is married to Miriam. He was born and raised in Matamata and has lived there for over 50 years.He owns a local Plumbing Company and is a member of the Matamata Lions Club. He is a keen sports person and was a past NZ Surf  Lifesaving representative.

He also enjoys mountain biking, tramping and general exercise and has  spent a lot of time in the last couple of years renovating his house.

Tony feels that our town is lucky to have such a great facility in Pohlen Hospital and wants to help ensure it has a strong future.

Vaughan Nowell


Vaughan lives in Matamata with his wife and two daughters, Emily and Caitlin.

Vaughan has been involved with other committes over the years and has recently become a trustee for the Pohlen Foundation Trust.

He works as the Branch Manager for Fairview Ford and Mazda in Matamata, a company he has been with for quite a number of years.

Vaughan enjoys catching up with friends for a game of snooker, watching horse racing or other sports. He also enjoys the odd round of golf and has recently been exploring his culinary talents with baking.

Gilly Alexander

Events Contractor 

Gilly lives at Matarangi with her husband Ross having recently sold their sheep and beef property.

They have two adult children, Kyra and Cameron.

Gilly has been involved in fundraising, sponsorship and events in both paid and voluntary roles.

Her most recent role with Sport Waikato involved managing its sports awards programme.

Gilly was also heavily involved with fundraising for Fernhaven at Rangiura Rest Home in Putaruru where over $1 million was raised for the building of the secure dementia support unit.