First Foundation/

Our Trustees

First Foundation is a charitable trust which was incorporated in 1998. It is administered by a Board of Trustees as follows:

Steven Carden, Founder

First Foundation Founder Steven is currently CEO of Landcorp Farming Ltd, having moved from Melbourne where he was PGG Wrightson Seeds Australia General Manager.

Prior to joining PGGW, Steven was a manager at the international management consulting firm, McKinsey & Company. Based in New York, he worked on strategy issues for North America's largest companies in the financial services, media, healthcare, logistics and telecommunication industries. He was General Manager of New Zealand's largest internet retailer, Flyingpig, and has worked in the finance industry.

He is the author of New Zealand Unleashed: The Country, Its Future, And The People Who Will Get It There, published by Random House in July 2007. This book discusses New Zealand's future in a dramatically changing world.

Steven has a MBA from Harvard Business School, where he received a Knox Fellowship. He also holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts (political science) from the University of Auckland. In 2005, Steven was one of five inaugural winners of the Sir Peter Blake Emerging Leaders award.

Read Founder's Message here

Tiumalu Peter Fa'afiu, Chairperson

Tiumalu Peter is currently a Partner with business consultancy, Navigator Limited.  He was previously Interim CEO/GM Corporate Affairs for the Tamaki Regeneration Company.He was Head of Government and Community Relations for New Zealand Post Group and is a former diplomat and trade negotiator.

His other governance roles are: Chair, Amnesty International NZ; Trustee, Pacific Business Trust; Business Rep, Auckland Airport Consultative Group; Member, NZ Press Council and Member, NZ Institute of Directors.  Tiumalu holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts (Politics) from the University of Auckland. He also has executive education from Mt Eliza Business School (Melbourne). 

He was born in Samoa and raised in Glen Innes, Auckland. His matai (high chief) title is from the village of Satuimalufilufi.

Dallas Seymour

Dallas is well known for his sporting credentials - he has played for the New Zealand Rugby Sevens team in 35 international tournaments including the 1993 and 1997 World Cups and he has also played an impressive 100 games in first class 15 a-side for Canterbury, Hawkes Bay, Wellington, and Bay of Plenty.

Whilst Dallas has now retired from a professional rugby career, his passion for sport continues unabated and is now reflected in his role with Sport & Recreation New Zealand where he works to empower young people to live healthier lives through physical activity and participation in sport.

As well as being a role model in his professional life, Dallas and his wife Julie, also lead by example in their personal lives - as parents to four young children and as Ambassadors for The Family Help Trust in Christchurch; an organisation that helps empower vulnerable families to create safe and nurturing homes for their children. 

Penelope Peebles

A partner in the global executive search firm Caldwell Partners, Penelope has an established global network after 17 years working in executive search in Asia Pacific.

She has been an enthusiastic supporter of First Foundation since 2009, firstly as a mentor and then Scholarship Partner and is proud to service as a Trustee and advocate for First Foundation.

With a Masters in Commerce, Penelope has studied at a postgraduate level at Columbia University in the United States and has a Postgraduate Certificate of Management (Governance) at Waikato University.
She is also Deputy Chair of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.

Dr Melinda Webber

Dr Melinda Webber is an Associate Professor and Director of the Starpath Project in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Auckland. Melinda is a former Fulbright/Nga Pae o te Maramatanga scholar who has published extensively in the fields of culturally responsive research methodologies, Maori education, cultural identity and social-psychology. Melinda has tribal links to Ngati Whakaue and Ngapuhi and is actively involved in a number of national education research projects.

Rich Easton

CEO of the Neurological Foundation of NZ, Rich moved into this NGO role after 30+ years leading IT, technology & digital teams in the Telco & Insurance sectors. 

Rich has been a mentor with the First Foundation since 2009, and supported the on-boarding of Students into the scholarship programmes within Spark NZ for a number of years.  He has also been a regular interviewer for First Foundation student selection days.

In the education sector Rich volunteers time to support School Principals through strategy development as part of Springboard Trust. And on the governance side Rich is the Chair of Volunteering Auckland.


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