Board Members

The Board at Fostering Kids is made up of 8 dynamic, professional volunteers. Each brings a wealth of experience from the foster care sector. They decide the strategic direction of Fostering Kids New Zealand, so that we can grow and make sure more and more kids in foster care are able to reach their potential.

Colin Hardgrave | Chairperson & Central North Island Representative
Colin lives in the Bay of Plenty and has fostered two girls who have now graduated from university and left home. He continues to provide short term fostering and respite care in a Family Home. Colin has cared for around 40 children over the last decade.
Colin’s work experience is in banking management.

Edwina Poynton | Deputy Chair
Edwina comes from a long career in social work in Ireland, the UK and New Zealand, including government, NGOs and education. The cornerstone of her work is a strengths perspective, enabling the voices of children to be heard in decisions affecting them.
Edwina is Care Services Manager at Cholmondeley, a home providing residential respite care, transition to permanency and foster care.

Peter Edmonds | Cultural Advisor
“Ngapuhi is my Iwi and Ngatirangi my Hapu”. Peter and his wife have two whangai mokopuna and is now retired. As a child, Peter was whangai to his grandparents. He had a 17 year history working as a Statutory Social Worker, 6 of those years as a Caregiver Social Worker. Peter then managed a Respite Care Service for an NGO for 5 years before retiring. In retirement Peter responds to the needs of his local Marae and works voluntarily as a Maori Warden. He also attends his Marae based youth court when it sits.

Diana Halsted | Lower North Regional Representative
Diana has been involved with foster parents and children throughout her social work career, initially with CYFS for 13 years, and then with Presbyterian Support for 15 years. She was a member of the local foster association during these years and a board member since 2007.
Diana believes that all foster parents need to be supported to carry out their vitally important role caring for children.

Elizabeth Tere Tai | Upper North Regional Representative
Elizabeth was born in the Cook Islands but raised a Kiwi. During ten years living in Rarotonga Elizabeth realised the importance of understanding where you come from and learning about your own people and the land upon which we live. When she returned to NZ, Elizabeth pursued her dream of being a social worker in Child Protection Services. She is now studying towards a BA in Social Work whilst fostering for a young boy.

Janice Purchase | Lower South Island Regional Representative
Janice lives in Mataura. She has grown up children and twin daughters now off to university. One foster child, along with his wife and family, will always be part of their family. With the loss of one of their girls they are now caring for her family.
Janice is part of a carer support group in Central Otago and is also part of the Gore Support Group. Janice is determined to make a difference – she has never been afraid to put up her hand if she sees injustice, especially with child abuse.

Racquel Lewis | Upper South Regional Representative
Racquel is a committee member for the Otautahi Foster Carers Association and a respite care giver for children in the care of CYFS, along with being a Critical Support Worker for Fostering Kids NZ. Racquel has counselling skills and has studied Advanced Psychotherapy and Neuro Linguistic Programming. She is a member of Associated Stress Consultants.
Racquel brings her 15 years’ experience in multi-disciplinary senior management, including change management. Her strengths are counselling skills, business acumen,and a “hands on” attitude to business.

Nicola Atwool
Nicola has a particular interest in attachment theory and resilience, which she explored in her PhD. An ecological framework, the sociology of childhood, critical theory, and a children’s rights perspective informs her work. The goal of her research is to influence policy and practice to improve outcomes for children and young people exposed to adversity.  Nicola came to an academic position with extensive practitioner experience and is committed to research that bridges the worlds of academia, policy and practice.
At the beginning of 2006 Nicola took up a position as Principal Advisor in the Office of the Children’s Commissioner. Nicola returned to Otago University at the beginning of 2012 as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology, Gender and Social Work.

Board policy

The Board has between seven and nine members.

Each of the seven regions are represented by a caregiver board member.

We also have up to four other members with governance skills, including the Cultural Advisor and a Financial Specialist.

Please find BOTH the board role of a Foster Carer Representative AND the nomination form by clicking on this link