Simon Beaton – Chair

Simon started as a Foodbank volunteer during Covid lockdown in April 2020, working as a driver to help deliver parcels and collect supplies.  He joined the Board later that year.  

Simon was educated in Scotland, attended St Andrews University and completed a post graduate teaching certificate at London University.  

After 13 years teaching chemistry at an international school in Cyprus, Simon moved to New Zealand with his wife and three young children in 1993. 

Simon found his talent for explaining complex theory was ideally suited for insurance – so he reinvented himself as a successful insurance salesperson, specialising in business insurance. 

After selling his share of his business in 2012, Simon joined his wife running a tourism company specialising in educational and student tours. Now semi-retired, Simon has time to continue volunteering at the Foodbank, as well as his Rotary club, where he is the current secretary. 

Maria Hardie – Treasurer

Growing up in nearby Kawerau, Maria began her career straight out of school as an accounting cadet with the Tasman Pulp and Paper Company while at the same time studying extramurally with Massey University.

She and her husband decided they’d like to raise their four children in Tauranga – landing here in 1995. In 1999 Maria returned to full time work with local accounting firm, where she has been ever since, becoming a qualified Chartered Accountant along the way.

When not at work, Maria can be found in her garden, annoying her grown up children or her most recently discovered passion of getting out and about on one of Tauranga many cycleways. She also volunteers as the Tauranga Special Olympics Tenpin Co-ordinator – organising 50 local athletes who enjoy their regular game of tenpin bowling.


Sarah Burns – Secretary

Sarah was born and raised in Tauranga.  Having such strong ties to the area, Sarah was eager to give back to the community and jumped at the opportunity to join the board in August 2022.

Sarah attended Otūmoetai College and later obtained her law degree through the University of Waikato.  She enjoys being able to contribute both her legal and local knowledge to the Foodbank’s operations.

Having fond memories of the old Dive Crescent site, upon joining the board Sarah was amazed by how greatly the Foodbank had evolved over the years and feels honoured to be a part of the team.

In her spare time, Sarah enjoys gardening and heading down to the beach with her husband and two pooches.

Lachlan Philp

Lachlan joined the Tauranga Foodbank in 2022 as a Board member.

He grew up in Tauranga and after leaving Tauranga Boys’ studied at the University of Otago and the University of Queensland, completing a Commerce degree and a Post Grad degree in Economics.

After leaving University he started a career in the Shipping and Logistics industry which led to him living abroad in India, England and Singapore.

Lachlan moved back to New Zealand in 2015 and after a few years in Auckland made the great decision to come back to the Bay with his wife and two children. He loves being on the side lines watching his kids play sport and can be found struggling his way around the golf course from time to time.

Jane Grace

Jane joined Tauranga Foodbank in 2021, both to help with communications and as a Board member.  

After growing up in the South Island and completing pharmacology and psychology degrees at the University of Otago, Jane moved to England and worked in the pharmaceutical industry for several years. She moved to corporate communications upon returning to New Zealand 15 years ago, where she currently works in the finance sector.  

Jane moved to the Mount with her young family in 2014, and is currently learning how to ski, surf, trail run and mountain bike – all with much more enthusiasm than aptitude.  

In the past, she has worked as a youth mentor, peer support leader and help line counsellor, and feels very privileged to be a part of Tauranga Foodbank.