BBBS of New Zealand

Big Brothers Big Sisters of New Zealand is an affiliate of Big Brothers Big Sisters International and represents 14 Regional Affiliates (Branches) in Aotearoa. 

Each of the Regional Affiliates operate with their own local governance boards and must meet programme delivery standards set by the National Office. 

our National Board

Elaine Ford

Board Chair

Having served in varying capacities on the Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBSNZ) Governance Board for over 6 years, Elaine now brings her passion for strategic partnerships and collaboration to the table, as Board Chair.

Elaine is passionate about finding the right partners for Big Brothers Big Sisters, knowing it is a highly reputable and trusted brand partner. In doing this she is helping grow BBBSNZ's ability to provide more quality mentors and better outcomes from NZ's youth.

Elaine is the Managing Director at Divest Investments in Auckland. 

Ross Lienert

BBBSNZ Lifetime Member and National Trustee

Police Inspector Ross Lienert was pivotal in establishing BBBS in NZ, 25 years ago and has remained a dedicated and passionate supporter and Trustee.
Working together with Sergeant Trevor Gaskell (who had heard about the programme while serving in Canada) - the two began working with Rotary , NZ Police and other youth advocates to recruit community leaders and establish the renown mentoring programme in Aotearoa.
Ross served as the National Board Chair for many years and recently was awarded the 'BBBS Lifetime Members' Award.

Ross has previously been the National Manager Youth at Police National HQ in Wellington where he still works, and maintains a close contact with youth related issues. 

Michael Woodward


Michael comes to the National Board after having served for over 5 years as the Treasurer for BBBS of Christchurch.

Mike is passionate about supporting NFP's in achieving their missions of building stronger, healthier communities especially if it is enabling the youth of New Zealand to achieve their potential and have opportunities to experience success. 

Mike is a Partner at Mackay Bailey Accounting in Christchurch.

Paul Warren



Paul comes to Big Brothers Big Sisters as a former mentor.
His background is in Agri-business and commodity trading, primarily in Asia and the Pacific.
He returned to New Zealand with his family in 2019.
His vision for BBBS New Zealand is to scale the organisation so it can make a positive difference in the lives of youth throughout the country.

Paul is head of Exports at Balle Bros. Group Ltd and is based in Auckland. 

Mike Smith


Mike loves creating an environment where people can achieve their outcomes and personal goals. It's really important for him that everyone can do this with a smile. He is passionate about giving back on the very important things that he has been fortunate to receive from many people growing up.

Mike is based in Auckland where he spend's time outside of work trying to "quietly" support his two children in everything they throw their interests into. Mike's legacy will be that people have been able to develop and grow through BBBS, achieved their goals, handed that on to someone else in better shape than they found it and most importantly laughed a little more than they did yesterday.

Mike is currently General Manager of Customer Management at NZ Post.

Teresa Monahan



Teresa has been a mentor for many years and loves helping others realise their full potential.  She strongly believes that mentors can bring about real, positive change and is delighted to join BBBSNZ, an organization that facilitates this.      
Teresa has a background that spans across wide variety of industries and functions, from manufacturing, distribution, construction, and retail, to general management and consulting roles.  
Giving back to the community and making a difference is important to Teresa.  She is a Board Trustee, Mentor with Business Mentors NZ and is actively involved in several not for profit organizations.

Teresa currently runs the Auckland Operation of Provet NZ.