Our People

Meet the folks behind the festivals

Each festival takes an incredible amount of time and effort to pull together. From our artistic directors and festival managers, right through to our generous festival vollies, TAFT brings together some amazing creative talent!

The TAFT team are a dedicated and highly experienced collection of events professionals who together pool their expertise to create festival experiences unlike any other. From event management to booking the best artists and developing effective press and marketing campaigns, the team’s expertise is second to none.

Here are the people who work to make each festival a roaring success.

Staff

Suzanne Porter

TAFT CEO

TAFT logo

Megan Brown

Artistic Director

Tetsu Garnett

Garden Festival Manager

Rebecca Johnson

Marketing & Communications Manager

Philippa Berry-Smith

Graphic Designer

Tracey Bell

Business Manager

Board of Trustees

Charles Wilkinson (Chair)​

Charles is a lawyer and a senior partner of leading New Plymouth law firm RMY Legal.  He has 35 years of business and legal experience and has practiced in many areas of law - including as a litigator and latterly as a contract, property and trust law specialist.  He has a lengthy and committed history of working with community organisations in Taranaki and has been a proud member of the TAFT Board of Trustees for 14 years and is presently the Trust Chair.

Marie Pearce

Marie is a district councillor and is appointed to the board by the New Plymouth District Council. Having lived in Inglewood for some 40 years as a farmer and as a business owner Marie is passionate about her home town. Marie is a past president of Inglewood's Cue Theatre and is Chairperson of the Len Lye Committee. Marie has a keen interest in the arts.

Glenn Brebner

Glenn is managing director of the nationally renowned design company Boon Goldsmith Bhaskar Brebner Team Architecture. He has a wealth of project design and construction contract experience across public and private sectors. He is passionate about the application of Design Thinking as an active strategy that puts human experience at the heart of collaborative design processes. He has overseen the design of numerous projects undertaken by TAFT and WOMAD NZ.

Chris Lynch

Chris has been a chartered accountant for 34 years and is a director of the firm Baker Tilly Staples Rodway in New Plymouth. As an experienced tax and business advisor with a solid background in property, engineering, business, oil and gas, agriculture, transport, professional services and local government, Chris acts for a number of large commercial concerns and many community organisations.

Katie Wolfe

Katie (Ngati Mutunga, Ngati Tama) is an outstanding and well known theatre and screen arts practitioner, who was born in Taranaki. As a multi-award winning actor and director, known for her work across film, television and theatre. Katie is widely known in Taranaki, and within the New Zealand arts community and brings a wealth of experience to the TAFT Board of Trustees.

Hayden Wano

Hayden has over 30 years experience in senior management and is currently Chief Executive of Tui Ora Limited, a Maori development organisation based in Taranaki. He has extensive governance experience, including public sector, not for profit, philanthropic and private sector and is currently a board member of the Tui Ora Ltd, Taranaki Chamber of Commerce, Wises Group, Taranaki Arts Festival Trust (TAFT), WOMAD NZ, and Te Niho o Te Atiawa Inc.