Board(Trustees) vision

The Guardians of the Sea Charitable Trust has a board of six trustees. The trustees have many years of commercial experience but it’s their shared passion and empathy towards the vision of the trust that ensures that the trust works independently and purposefully towards a better future for New Zealand.

Charitable status

In 2006, The Guardians of the Sea Charitable Trust (Ngā Kaitiaki mo Tangaroa) was established and obtained charitable status as defined by the Charitable Trust Act 1957. We are approved by Inland Revenue for the purposes of sections KC 5, DB 32 and DV 11 of the Income Tax Act 2004.

Trust Governance

Trustees are bound to carry out their duties in accordance with the deed of trust (Download the trust deed here). There are currently six trustees with one of the trustees acting as secretary.

From time to time the trustees engage professional advisers to ensure that governance protects all parties, particularly donors and grant seekers.

The trustees engage with donors to ensure that donations are applied to grant seekers within the objects of the trust and the wishes of the donor. This is done with care to ensure that tax deductibility is preserved for a donor. Trustees are particular to engage with donors at appropriate intervals. The trustees ensure that grant payments are properly approved either in meets or with appropriate email approvals.

The Trustees provide their time and expertise without charge to the Trust. The only costs incurred by the trust are professional fees including legal, accounting, audit, administration and IT.

The Current Trustees
[Trustees from left to right: Tom Fox, Steve Sangster, Wane Wharerau, Martin Irvine, Luke Kingstone, Jason Foord]


The trust operates cost effectively with the trustees work done without fee or charges from the trustees. The recurring annual costs are accounting fees for annual accounts and audit of same. Our legal advisers have been very good to the trust over the years with very reasonable charges when engaged. The trustees seek to meet three or four times a year.

The Trustees

Tom Fox
Retired Company Director

Martin Irvine
Company director of Auckland

Jason Foord
Company director of Auckland

Wane Wharerau
Chairman of Te Rūnanga-Ā-Iwi-Ō-Ngāpuhi

Steve Sangster
Retired Company Director

Luke Kingstone
Company director of Auckland


The Board has the endorsement of:


Professional support and advice to the Trust is provided by:


  • North Harbour Law, Auckland
  • Jeremy Johnson.  Auckland


  • Phibbs and Co, Auckland


  • Jolly Duncan Wells , Auckland


  • ASB Bank Limited

Meet The Trustees

Tom Fox

Tom lives in Auckland with his wife Tory. They have three grown children.

“I have been fortunate to enjoy a lifetime in the outdoors primarily fishing and shooting. As a trustee of GOTS it gives me an opportunity to put something back into the sport and environment that has given me so much pleasure over the years”.

Tom retired in 2019 as a Financial Adviser and Director of Canopy Group Ltd. Tom has chaired the Trust over recent years and his broad experience in business and background as a Chartered Accountant (retired) provides compliance and governance expertise to GOTS.

Jason Foord

Company Director, Auckland. Husband, father and passionate outdoorsman.

Aotearoa New Zealand is more than just a place to live, for me it is a refuge that still allows us, her guardians, to readily connect with real things – the air, the land, the water, the wildlife. Access to these natural resources is both a right and a necessity; we care most for those things that nourish us, physically as well as spiritually. If we lose that connection we lose a little bit of what it is to be human, our hearts grow hard and our souls weary. I would contend that truly connecting to the land and seas by being out there, gathering kai and sustaining our families with it, is the highest expression of what it is to be part of the land, to be a New Zealander and she needs our help, more than ever.

We can’t solve all the problems we face but we can do something for the ocean and those who seek sustenance from her, step forth and donate and we will ensure that your hard-earned dollar is put to work protecting the precious taonga that are our fisheries. More fish in the water, is our battle cry!

Martin Irvine

I’m a father, grandfather and the founder and managing director of Warwick Fabrics (established 37 years ago).

I have always been and remain passionate about our coastline and fishery. Working towards abundance for ALL New Zealanders is my guiding principle.

Steve Sangster

I’m a retired businessman, living in and loving the Far North. Us Kiwis are so fortunate to live in our special place. For me, one of the most special things about being Kiwi is access to the water, great times and especially food for the table.

Having fished throughout my life, raising a family of three children and now a blended family of six plus eight grandchildren, I share my fellow Trustee’s aims to help preserve and enhance our fisheries for future Kiwis.

Wane Wharerau

The simple mantra of ‘More Fish in the Water’ has a common sense tone to draw in all sectors of the fishing fraternity – customary Māori, commercial or recreational. My tenure of some eight years as a Trustee with The Guardians of the Sea has been rewarding in achieving marine abundance.  I am an avid environmentalist and fishing and diving have been a huge part of my life.

I also have an interest in commercial fishing as chair of Te Rūnanga-Ā-Iwi-Ō-Ngāpuhi. Our role is to work hard to preserve our wild fish stock.

Luke Kingstone (Secretary)

Luke lives with his young family in Auckland where he is a Chartered Accountant and Director of Kingstone and Associates, a chartered accountancy and business advisory firm. Having spent a lifetime on the water as a sailor, fisherman and diver, Luke wants to ensure his children have the same enjoyable experiences he had growing up fishing and gathering kaimoana. The Guardians of the Sea Charitable Trust’s  mantra of “More fish in the Water” resonates with Luke, as having a more abundant and sustainable fishery resource benefits all New Zealanders and future generations.

Will your grandchildren get the chance to catch a snapper?

For decades, New Zealanders have enjoyed the freedom to fish for our seafood resources. Future generations, however, may not be so lucky. Growing populations, commercial influences and environmental impact have seen fish stocks decline and mounting pressure put on our oceans.

Support a proud future of fishing in NZ