Meet our Trustees

The trustees collectively have a wealth of knowledge and experience as well as the desire and commitment to ensure the ongoing success of the Foundation. A short overview of each trustee is included below.

Mistletoe Charitablible Foundation
Simon Heath (Chair), Brian Moore, Sarah Brooks, Cathie Bell, Kate Gaines and Bruce Cardwell

Simon Heath - Chairman

Of Ngāi Tahu descent Simon has been an educator for 35 years, the last 24 years as a school principal in Marlborough. Simon is currently appointed to the Board of the Education Council Aotearoa NZ, a member of the Ministerial National and Regional Cross Sector Forum and Co Lead Principal of Piritahi Kahui Ako -  Blenheim Community of 21 Schools and 6 Kindergartens.

Simon has been Lead Principal for the Marlborough e-Learning Project and Eco Schools and also president of the Marlborough Principals Association as well as an establishment member of the Ministry of Education's Principals Reference Group. In 2012, Simon was one of four school principals awarded a Woolf Fisher Principals Fellowship to complete a course of study at Harvard University School of Educational Leadership. Simon is the foundation and immediate past Chair of Mistletoe Bay Trust overseeing the establishment of the Mistletoe Bay Eco Village and Camp Ground in the Marlborough Sounds over the past 12 years. This project of Environmental Education and Sustainability has been and remains a passion. In June 2013 Simon was sworn in as a New Zealand Justice of the Peace.

Bruce Cardwell

Bruce’s extensive career and governance history reveal his keen interest and dedication to the Marlborough region and its resources. His experience ranges from company start-ups, operations and risk management through to finance, training and change management. 

Bruce’s governance roles have included board member, Vice-Chair and Chair of Outward Bound Trust, the leading organisation in New Zealand for showing people their full potential through challenge and adventure in the outdoors. In 2001, Bruce was the instigator and founding director of the Marlborough First Light Foundation - a charitable trust that raised $300,000 supporting Marlborough youth to attend Outward Bound courses. Bruce was also an elected member of the New Zealand Marine Farming Association Inc. during a period of growth and legislative challenges surrounding the Foreshore and Seabed ownership. In addition, he also instigated training programmes in the mussel industry and was appointed Chair of the then newly formed Aquaculture Training Group for the Seafood Industry Training Organisation.

Brian Moore

Brian is the immediate past Chairman of the Electorate of Kaikoura for the NZ National Party He served two terms - from 2003 to 2005 and then 2007 to 2012. 

Brian helped form the St Marks Foundation, a charitable trust to assist with funding for the St Marks Society. The Society is the only residential rehabilitation centre for drug and alcohol addiction in the South Island. Upon receiving charitable trust status he was elected Chairman.

As a Trustee of the Canterbury Community Trust from 2010 to 2015, Brian enjoyed optimising the Trust’s investments to provide funds for significant donations and understanding the differing needs of the applicants as well as helping to determine opportunities in the investment portfolio. From 2002 – 2007 Brian was a Board member and deputy chairman of Destination Marlborough, the Regional Tourism Organisation. When first appointed, the organisation was in a dire financial position, but after two years of managing the financial portfolio, he had reversed the Trust’s position to one of budget surpluses and a positive cash flow. Between 2005 and 2008 Brian was a committee member of the proposed Ward Water Scheme development looking at the possibilities of bringing irrigation to the Flaxbourne Area and submitting a proposal to the Marlborough District Council. 

Other community positions held by Brian include: Chairman of the Vineyard Contractors/Employment Group during 2005 and 2006, which initiated the RSE Scheme currently operating in Marlborough, Member Marlborough Regional Land Transport Committee, Member of Marlborough Chamber of Commerce (President of the Chamber from 1996 – 1998).  1979 – 1990 Member of Greymouth Lions Club and then the Picton Lions Club including President of Picton Lions Club in 1985. 

Cathie Bell

Cathie is a communicator and storyteller working in journalism and the public sector. She brings strengths in relationship-building and crisis management, and has held governance roles for more than 20 years.An energetic highly-professional communicator who offers proven analysis and advice, strong leadership and strategic vision for team and organisational success, Cathie has had an extensive career to date in journalism, media and PR management within government sectors both local and national. Adept in establishing trust and credibility with stakeholders, Cathie has the ability to identify key priorities, translate and communicate concepts to senior management, groups and individuals in order to assist in achieving organisational goals.

Cathie has exemplary relationship management skills and is an articulate written and verbal communicator, experienced at facilitating meetings, networking and public speaking.  She has extensive experience developing close working relationships with people from a broad cross-section of society. She also excels as an effective project manager with the ability to analyse, design, implement and co-ordinate policies, procedures, resources, systems and events.

Sarah Brooks

In 2017 Sarah volunteered for a month in a Kenyan school which made a big impact on her. She mentions she will never forgot moments like when a friend donated a uniform for a shy child, her face lit up when she put on her new dress and shoes. That smile was like she had won the prize of all prizes and Sarah saw that smile every day after. So proud of her new uniform and thankful for the support.

After her short time in Africa Sarah developed a hunger for helping our next generation and a desire to help Kiwi kids. Thanks to John and Ros Stace she met Simon the founder of Mistletoe Charitable Foundation. When the opportunity arose to join the Mistletoe Charitable Foundation to help kids get an outdoor education at Mistletoe Bay she jumped on board.

Sarah has discovered people's leadership and generosity to help make a difference. Life is about people not money or things. Love and time is the most precious gift you can give anyone. You will always wish you had more time so learning to slow down and live in the moment. Watching that smile on a child's face when they know you or your business helped them. They have the opportunity to learn something new and succeed in their own life. It truly is a great feeling and every little bit helps another child.

Growing up in beautiful New Zealand Sarah's passion was learning to sail and she loves the outdoors. Sarah has worked for leading FMCG companies in Sales and moved to Blenheim in 2017 for a lifestyle change. She is looking forward to the challenges and opportunities ahead and grateful for the opportunity to be involved with such a great team and the Foundation.

Kate Gaines

Kate’s professional background is in compliance and risk management, with a recent focus on health and safety. She has been involved in the governance of several Marlborough not-for-profit organisations, helping keep the focus on strategic goals and outcomes. Kate has a young family, and is enthusiastic about the Foundation’s goal of enabling all children to benefit from the Mistletoe Bay Eco Village experience.

Mistletoe Charitable Foundation

This experience has definitely made an amazingly huge impact in my life in terms of coming out of my comfort zone and pushing myself to the limit. It has been a huge confidence booster for me and I would strongly recommend coming back or encouraging others to participate in this event also. This programme has helped identify different parts of who I am. 15 Year Old Student

Help us achieve our goal

To build the sort of capital required, the Foundation needs significant funds. Your donation can help hundreds of young people to experience the life-changing programmes at the Mistletoe Bay Eco-Village. The more we can raise, the more we will have available each year. This is where we hope you can help.