Our Trustees

The InZone Education Foundation  is governed by the InZone Education Foundation Board of Trustees.  Our trustees share successful careers in the commercial and education sectors and have a passion for families and communities.  We have trustees with expertise in human resources, marketing, education and strategy; and additionally trustees with a deep knowledge of mātauranga Māori  to enhance the InZone kaupapa.

To further strengthen governance, the Board has established four sub-committees: Finance, Audit and Risk; Development and Sustainability; HR and Remuneration; and Student Culture and Outcomes.

Deborah George

Executive Chairperson

Deborah started her career as a secondary school teacher and has spent the past thirty years working in education in a variety of roles across commercial, government and not-for-profit organisations. Over this time she has owned businesses in both Hong Kong and New Zealand, worked for the New Zealand and Australian governments, and was one of a team of three to expand the Duffy “Books in Homes” programme nationwide. In 2017 she was invited to join the judging panel of the Prime Minister’s Excellence in Education awards which celebrate outstanding achievements across the sector.

Deborah is a Trustee and the former Chair of Teach First NZ which she co-founded in 2011. Teach First NZ is an innovative not-for-profit organisation which, in partnership with the University of Auckland, engages top graduates to teach in secondary schools serving low decile communities.

Formerly the Director of Enrolment and External Relations at Auckland Grammar School, Deborah also spent five years on the School’s Board of Trustees and three years as Director of Development. Deborah has been closely involved with the InZone project since it’s scoping in 2010 and a Trustee of the Foundation since its inception in May 2013.

Sam Ruha


Sam is a Chartered Accountant (CA) and a current member of the NZ Institute of Chartered Accountants. He attended St Stephens School in Bombay from 1979 to 1983. He graduated from Auckland University in 1986 with a BComm in Accounting and has worked in finance and management roles since then. His most recent role was as the Group Finance Director of Asiaciti Trust Group. He was the General Manager of the Asiaciti Trust New Zealand office for about 5 years and acted as a director of multiple trustee companies during that time. Sam is also a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and he is a qualified trust and estate practitioner (TEP) having completed a diploma in international trust management (Dip ITM).

Brandon Edwards


Huruiki te maunga
Puhipuhi te whenua
Whakapara te awa
Whakapara te marae
Ngāti Hau te hapū
Ngāpuhi te iwi

Brandon is married with three children and he and his family live at Matapouri in Northland. Brandon and his wife own and operate a beef farm, Huruiki Angus, at Helena Bay in Northland. Brandon attended St Stephen’s School and then University of Auckland, graduating with Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws degrees. Brandon has a legal and investment banking background, having worked at Ernst & Young and Bell Gully in Auckland, Linklaters in Hong Kong and Credit Suisse in Hong Kong, Singapore and London. He now enjoys working on their whenua and being kaitiaki of their ancestral mountain, Huruiki.

Brandon has a son currently attending Auckland Grammar School and boarding at InZone Boys Te Kāinga Wānanga. Brandon is passionate about the InZone kaupapa and wants our Māori and Pacific Island boys and girls to achieve their maximum potential.

Ngapera Riley

Ngapera is the Deputy CEO of Figure.NZ, a technology company that believes in the democratisation of data, and exists to enable everyone in New Zealand to make sense of data and see Aotearoa clearly.

Ngapera has spent most of her professional career working in the United States developing business opportunities for NZ companies. On her return to New Zealand she spent several years working with tertiary providers and Universities with a focus on inspiring, supporting and developing programmes that contribute to Maori and Pacific success in education. Previously she has worked for NZTE, the Ministry of Health, and several Universities. She also runs her own entertainment company and is a professional vocalist.

Her future goals are to continue developing international opportunities for New Zealand and to contribute to New Zealand’s prosperity through economic, social and cultural activities. Outside of work, Ngapera is passionate about spending time with her family, youth development and the pursuit of excellence amongst Māori.

Terry Bates


Terry has extensive experience working with governments, educators, schools & communities, endeavouring to lift the participation and performance of students. Originally from Kaikohe and a secondary teacher, he was the Regional Manager for the Ministry of Education in Auckland and Northland; the founding Director of Southern Cross Campus in Mangere, the largest decile 1 school in New Zealand; and is currently a Ministerial appointee to the Kura Hourua (Partnership Schools) Authorisation Board. He has recently retired after 12 years with Cognition Education, 4 of those as Chief Executive. Cognition Education is a $30m business which works internationally with governments, educators, schools and communities.

Astrud Burgess


Astrud’s career spans nearly 20 years of marketing leadership roles in both New Zealand and the United Kingdom and her experience includes senior positions in banks, finance companies and advertising agencies. As Head of Marketing for ANZ, she leads a team of 50 people, responsible for all brand and marketing initiatives across ANZ’s business, including retail, business, corporate, agri and institutional banking, as well as ANZ’s sponsorship activities. Astrud is involved with InZone because she believes that being able to access a good education opens doors to all sorts of opportunities in life. When she was 16, Astrud, who is originally from Kaikohe, boarded at St Mary’s School in Ponsonby for two years. She says that boarding was a pivotal experience for her, as it was there that she really learnt how to study and to make friends with a diverse group of people.

Lana West


Lana West is Head of People and Culture for Beca New Zealand having recently moved from the Head of Diversity and Inclusion at BNZ. Throughout her career in banking and human resources she has worked in various roles in New Zealand, Australia and Samoa.  Lana is a Kiwi Samoan and is a firm believer in family, respect and living in a way that shows courage, strength and humility. Outside of work, Lana has a love of sports and has played netball both provincially for Auckland and internationally for Samoa. Community remains important to her and she currently either coaches or manages several sports teams; fortuitously for us, it was through coaching two of our girls in netball that she learnt of and became involved with InZone.

Board Alumni

The InZone Education Foundation has valued the contribution of a number of individuals who have served in the past as founding Board members. We would like to acknowledge them here.

​Terrance Wallace (Founder of the InZone Project and former Managing Director)
Matt Whineray (Founding Chairperson)
James Mace
Simon Rupapera
​Richard Wells
David Copley