Our Board | WISE Charitable Trust

Damon Jacobsen


As a current Human Resource and Health & Safety Manager, Damon's working career helps fulfil the passion he has for people, their welfare and development. This is also at the heart of WISE existence regarding both employees and customers. Being married with two children and an active member of ‘The River’ church in Waitara, Damon has a loving appreciation for whanau. I enjoy keeping fit and active, being outdoors and getting into a bit of DIY renovations.

Tiri Porter

Tiri of Te Atiawa, Taranaki, Ngāti Mutunga and Ngā Puhi descent, has a strong interest in community engagement and collaboration across different sectors. Born and raised in Waitara, she is pleased to be living in Waitara with her youngest daughter while studying Indigenous Theolog at Laidlaw College. Alongside parenting, Tiri provides administration knowledge and expertise for local Hapū, marae and community organisations as well as a strong interest in governance, education and Maori business.

Ed Parker

MBA, Dip Dy Sci&Tech, BSc.

Ed is the Regional Manager (Taranaki) for NZ Trade & Enterprise and was the inaugural General Manager of WISE from 2002 – 2005. He has also worked in commercial roles on oil and gas projects, including Pohokura, Kupe and Mangahewa.
Ed has been involved in the community and not for profit sector throughout his career. Roles include trustee at Waitara High School and Manukorihi Intermediate, and various roles at the Knox Waitara Community Centre. Ed lives in Waitara with his wife Carolyn and they have two children who are studying at University.

Andrew Pepper

Andrew is Managing Director of Pepper Construction, a 3rd generation family owned business based in New Plymouth. He currently serves as a trustee on the Devon Intermediate BOT, is chairperson of the Together Grow Better Communities Trust, chairperson of the Taranaki Construction Safety Group and is also a past president of the Taranaki Master Builders. Pepper’s also provide support to the New Horizons, Build a Bach, Gateway programmes and sponsors numerous community activities. Andrew has a passion for people, enjoys socialising, travel and is an avid sports fan who tries to play golf.

Kura Denness

Kura has been a Chartered Accountant for nearly 40 years and has worked in that capacity in a number of industries throughout Aotearoa with a focus on governance roles both locally and nationally. Currently, Kura is the independent Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee for Stratford District Council, on the Boards of Ngati Rahiri and Te Korimako Radio Station, and she provides secretariat services to the Rohutu Trust. Kura has two wonderful sons, Rori and Lachlan, and a three-month-old moko, Noah. She lives on the beach next to our wild coast. Kura is really honoured to be involved with WISE, and the wonderful work we do.