Our People

National Board of Directors


Nick Dangerfield - Chair

Nick has had over 25 years’ experience as a senior financial and operations manager in both the manufacturing and social services sectors. During that period Nick has spent over 10 years as an Executive Director of the Interlock Group of companies, an exporting manufacturing business which was well-known for both its quality and innovative products and management practices. More recently he has worked for Presbyterian Support Services as its General Manager of Elderly Care.

Nick has also been a member and chaired a number of not-for-profit, Maori and SME boards. He is an IoD and NZICA presenter and facilitates NZICA’s post degree program and conducts educational programs for corporates, SOEs and government departments in governance related topics such as Finance, Accounting and Ethical behaviour.

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Maria Livingstone - Treasurer

Maria is a senior accountant with Young Read Woudberg Ltd in Tauranga. She joined the board as treasurer in September 2019


Kirstin Mead - Secretary

Kirstin is part of Callaghan Innovations' Regional Business Partnership. Her role is to connect Bay of Plenty companies to the support that is available - this could be connecting you to specialists to help solve technical problems, helping business access programmes of support to build innovation capability or supporting and guiding businesses through the publicly funded R&D grants opportunities (sometimes all three at the same time!). She qualified with a BMS (Hons) in economic and strategic management from Waikato University


David Tanner 

David joined the original House of Science Tauranga board in September 2014. He has eight years leadership experience with leading global horticultural brand company, Zespri International, with the past six years in an executive leadership team position (as General Manager, Science & Innovation). Prior to that, he had five years with a global top-six R&D authority in Australia (CSIRO), where he managed and undertook research for the Australasian Food Industry.

David has a proven track record, driving growth through incremental and breakthrough innovation in the agri-food sector. He is a highly driven, dedicated thought-leader with global leadership and management experience in utilising complex science concepts for genuine business improvement and profitability. He has proven technical leadership and experience in crisis management. David’s formal education includes a BAgSci (Hort Tech) and PhD (Food Engineering), both from Massey University.


Joseph Wright 

Joseph has spent his adult life in the service of developing people. He now considers himself an agent for producing potential – closing the gap between what is and what can be. He is a secondary science and biology teacher and a founding trustee of the Wright Family Foundation who are cornerstone partners of the House of Science.


Natasha van der Wal

Natasha is a senior solicitor whose expertise is focused on commercial law, property and Maori legal issues. She advises on a range of property and commercial matters for individuals, corporate entities and local government. She also provides advice on Maori legal issues for individuals, Maori trusts, Maori incorporations and post settlement governance entities. Her academic achievements include a LLB and BSc from the University of Auckland. She was admitted to the Bar in 2009. Natasha brings a fresh legal face to the House of Science board of directors.

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Barbara Johnson

Barbara has over 25 years experience in the industrial chemical industry. She has held various technical, research and management positions both in New Zealand, North America and Australia. In 2018 Barb was contracted to the House of Science NZ for a year as the Branch Sustainability Adviser. She Implemented sound operating practices and management processes at House of Science centres around NZ and developed sustainability tool-kits.


Mary-Anne Macleod

Mary-Anne was Chief Executive of the Bay of Plenty Regional Council from 2011 until mid 2018, resigning to pursue a governance career. She has a science background, is on the Board of NIWA and gives strategic advice to a variety of organisations. She has worked for the Ministry for the Environment, as well as in the private sector in NZ and Europe in international consultancies specialising in environmental management and working in the oil and gas, and mining sectors. Mary-Anne has a Masters of Earth Sciences (MSc), Geography and lives in Tauranga.

National Office Staff

Chris Duggan - National Founder & CEO

Chris trained as a Biochemist at Massey University and taught secondary school science, biology and chemistry for 15 years in the Bay of Plenty. Throughout her teaching career Chris had a growing sense of concern about the lack of science knowledge students had when arriving at high school. When she read an E.R.O. report in 2013 that stated over 70% of NZ's primary and intermediate schools lack an effective science programme, she decided something needed to be done. She left her middle management and teaching role mid 2013 and the rest - as they say - is history.

Chris now leads a small but effective team that develop new science resource kits, assemble kits to send all over the country, train new staff and support the growing number of regions establishing their own House of Science trusts.

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Associate Professor Siouxsie Wiles

House of Science Ambassador

“The House of Science model is brilliant – the science kits are amazing and make science accessible for all primary schools. Science is a resource-hungry subject so by sharing these kits among a group of schools it allows access to quality resources covering the whole science curriculum. I feel very honoured to be given this role as Ambassador for the House of Science. I hope that I will be able to help the charity raise awareness of their amazing and important work."