Our Trustees contribute skills and wisdom gained through senior roles in health, education, business, community and philanthropic sectors.

Playtime with scissors.


"Great Potentials is a unique New Zealand not-for-profit trust with its multiple and inter-related programmes directed at children, youth and families at critical stages of development.  The Board of Trustees views its key role as encouraging and supporting the staff in the collective endeavours to achieve the Foundation's goals and shared vision."

Angus Fletcher Chairman

Angus Fletcher, Chairperson

Angus Fletcher has had a long career in business, principally with Fletcher Challenge and a longstanding involvement in a wide variety of ‘not for profit’ community based organisations. Many of these community activities are directed to young people and involve education initiatives.

Currently his trusteeships include the Fletcher Trust, Business in the Community, the Methodist Employment Generation Fund and For The Sake Of Our Children Trust.  What these trusts have in common with Great Potentials is that they all make a positive difference to our communities and society.

Marion Heppner (on leave of absence)

Marion is a legal and commercial consultant who has taken a leave of absence from the Great Potentials Board of Trustees so that she can do some work as the Foundation’s Business Development Manager. In this capacity, Marion’s focus is on establishing, strengthening and growing sustainable sources of income.

Marion is a lawyer with a BALLB from the University of Auckland. She spent her first five years in practice as a litigator in New Zealand and Hong Kong, and then became a commercial lawyer in
the television industry, working in London and Switzerland and then back in New Zealand. She now works as a consultant in the for-profit and non-profit sectors.

June Hieatt

June Hieatt is General Manager of two tourist hotels, employing 46 staff. She has been a Justice of the Peace for 30 years, a Marriage Celebrant for 15 years, and a past member of the Auckland Regional Authority, the Auckland Regional Council, and the Manukau City Council. June believes in community involvement and has been active in numerous community groups including Plunket and ZONTA.

The focus for June is the family. She has been married for 47 years and is the mother of four daughters and grandmother of 10 children. June’s concerns about family life in New Zealand underlie her commitment to Great Potentials.

Commodore Tony Lewis

After 38 years in the Royal New Zealand Navy, which included command of HMNZS Ships OTAGO, TARANAKI, PHILOMEL, and a final posting as Maritime Commander NZ, Commodore Tony Lewis retired from active service in 1992.  Since then he was a Member of the Residence Appeal Authority (Immigration) for 4 ½ years and a Member of the Takapuna Community Board for six years, two of which were as Chairman.  He graduated with a BCA (Victoria) in 1975 and was awarded an OBE in 1982.

Tony is a JP, a member of the Rotary Club of Takapuna North, President of Takapuna U3A, a former Vice-President of Stroke Foundation, Northern region.  He has been married to Rachel for over 50 years; they have three children and eight

Louise Surynt

Louise has worked voluntarily for Great Potentials for three years and joined the board at the end of 2009. She has spent many years helping with the set up and running her husband’s medical practice in Manurewa where many low decile families live. As a dedicated mother of three, she is passionate about children and believes that every child has the right to be loved, nurtured and given the right start in life.

Leeanne Mataira

Leeanne is a dentist working in Newmarket, Auckland.  She grew up in Dunedin where she attended Queen’s High School and the University of Otago, where she completed her dental degree in 1990.  In 1994, Leeanne completed a Masters degree in restorative dentistry at University of London.  She returned to New Zealand in 2003 with a young family of four children and has since then been working full time for her family and as a dentist.   Focus on her family and improving social outcomes for all New Zealanders motivates Leeanne’s involvement with Great Potentials.

“I joined as a trustee of Great Potentials in 2013 and I regard it as an honour and privilege to have been asked to contribute.  The outstanding work Great Potentials provides clearly improves the lives and the outcomes for many young New Zealanders and their families.  Having community based support, a focus on family initiated solutions and providing educational assistance is so valuable and critical in nurturing and growing our young people.  I appreciated and benefited from these things when I was growing up, and I have a strong desire to contribute something back through Great Potentials”.


In memory of Dr Zoe During (1925-2008)

Dr Zoe During was a founding trustee of Great Potentials. 

Her contribution to the Foundation was of the highest importance and she is greatly missed by our CEO and Founder Dame Lesley Max, our Board of Trustees and all the staff. 

A Medical Officer of Health for 39 years, Dr Zoe During worked in Wellington, Lower Hutt, Hamilton and Auckland.  She was responsible for many innovative programmes, including follow-up care for discharged psychiatric patients.  She was a trail-blazer in sexuality programmes and health education in New Zealand.  She was a member of the first Child Protection Team in Mangere, and has been a mainstay of Health Camps.  Dr During, who held the qualifications MBCHB and MCCM, was awarded an MBE in 1985 for her services to children.

Dr Zoe During was a women with an unsentimental understanding of life in poverty who provided Great Potentials Foundation with the important framework for our family work.  It was Dr During who in 1987 drew Dame Lesley Max’s attention to a monograph of HIPPY.  The outcome of this conversation is many thousands of New Zealanders enjoying educational success and warmer family relationships as a result of the implementation of HIPPY in New Zealand.

Dr Zoe During combined intellectual brilliance with clinical expertise and a lifelong commitment to the welfare of those less fortunate.  Her clarity of thought, generous spirit and immense breadth of knowledge strengthened Great Potentials and those who work in it.