Eric Pilling – Chair

Having grown up around Waiheke when sailing with their families, Eric and Fiona purchased their first humble cottage in Matapana Road in 1994. They are now permanent residents of Waiheke living at Palm Beach . Their daughters Alanah and Lauren have both been active in the education of the youth of Waiheke. Eric is a keen tennis player, a member of the Waiheke Tennis Club, where he was instrumental in launching an event that has provided the Waiheke Health Trust with two electric vehicles for the district nurses with another one on the way.

He also hosted an event that raised $20,000.00 for the Waiheke Rugby Club and is passionate about the community and how he can help. Fiona is the treasurer of the Palm Beach Hall and the Waiheke Tennis Club and Eric's dad Jim is the vice president of the Hall.

After nearly 20 years as a global executive based in Switzerland, UK, Dubai and Singapore, where Eric led multiple global mergers, acquisitions and integrations and transformational change programmes, he returned to New Zealand.

Eric's connection to Electric Island Waiheke started when he joined as a trustee, then chaired the action group, a team focused on raising awareness and implementing agreed actions of the Trust. With Max Parkin stepping down as the chair of Electric Island Waiheke, Eric has taken up the role of Chair and is committed to raising awareness and focusing the team's efforts and delivering on our vision and our unique opportunity of an all-electric island by 2030.

Max Parkin

Max brings vast experience and a life-long involvement with the dairy industry. A former CEO of Southland Dairy Cooperative and General Manager of Kiwi Dairy Products. Max was also the Group General Manager Manufacturing and Milk Supply for Fonterra. With numerous directorships including Hubbard Foods, Taura Ingredients Ltd, Combined Technologies, and New Image Group, Max was appointed a Distinguished Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Food Science in 2010.

Roger Hunter

Roger grew up in Tutukaka and Whangarei, spent 10 years in Australia where he earned a PhD in Mathematics, and taught at the University of Sydney. From there, he and his wife Sally moved to New Mexico where he continued research and teaching as a professor. He co-founded a scientific software company and was CEO and head of research and development. He eventually sold the company to Thomson Reuters and went on to found several quantitative funds. His current work is mostly in machine learning. Sally and Roger purchased their home in Matapana Road in 2006 and are making it their permanent home. Roger has a deep interest in electric vehicles, batteries, solar power and all technologies directed towards a carbon free future.

Betsy Whitehead

Betsy Whitehead is a direct descendant of one of the original settler families on Waiheke. Her grandparents and mother were born on the Island and when Betsy’s much-loved grandson Dominic was born he completed six generations of the Day family to have lived on Waiheke. Betsy came to the island to live here permanently with husband Vern in 1992, settling in Palm Beach and commuting each day to the city to work. She was one of the original members of FUG (Ferry Users’ Group) and with Vern was one of the founders of the annual Waiheke Homecare Hospice garden party which raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Hospice over a period of ten years. She shares Vern’s interest in many island causes. Betsy believes that we must act today to mitigate the effects of climate change on our planet by moving to an all electric future on Waiheke as soon as we can.

Vern Whitehead - Founder

Vern has lived on Waiheke for almost 30 years and is the publisher/director of Auto Media Group which produces the authoritative electric vehicle magazine/website EVs and Beyond for New Zealand and Australia. Vern is a former long-term president and life member of the Waiheke Island Rugby Club and and for 10 years raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Waiheke Homecare Hospice as a leader of the annual Hospice Garden Party team.

Electric Island Waiheke Trust is legally registered as a charitable organisation. It includes the following trustees as members of the board which provides governance and policy for the Action (Management) Group.

Darleen Tana

Darleen has lived on Waiheke since 2014. She is a creative and entrepreneurial business professional who helps companies realise their power through the talents of their people. Experienced working in large organisations (15,000+) with lead responsibility for diverse domains spanning talent management and strategic change programs. Darleen is particularly skilled at getting buy-in across all stakeholder groups and driving work through to results. She applies this skill particularly to help achieve the aims of Electric Island Waiheke in ensuring a fossil-fuel free future for the island by 2030.

Robin Taylor

1965, the first time I came to Waiheke!!! First impressions not favourable so I never came back, despite knowing my great grandparents had lived and worked here in the early 1900s, in Little Oneroa. If you had asked me ten years ago could I or would I ever live on Waiheke my answer was a solid NO! Seven plus years ago I met my partner and guess where she lived, right here on Waiheke. Naturally, if one wanted to pursue a relationship then one just had to start visiting and the rest is history.

For the past few years we have been back living here on Waiheke and I have to admit we love it. The past fifty years of my working life has been as a Chiropractor and my love of things natural and an understanding of health prevention and living within our environment has made me aware we need to look seriously at sustainability and the future of our planet. To me, it’s a no brainer- we need to shift from fossil fuel reliability and embrace as much as we can other options. Having had the opportunity to travel and see what happens in other countries and the use of wind power, solar power, etc I fully support and am involved in helping the Trust try and achieve its goals of electrifying the island. Not everyone will see or embrace the Big Picture, but it won’t be for want of trying that the Trust will be a catalyst for change.