The four trustees of the Waipori Goldfields Charitable Trust all have links to Waipori through family connections and/or a current involvement in the area. They and three people in supporting roles share a keen interest in seeing Waipori’s history preserved and its stories told for current and future generations.
The trustees and others can draw on a range of expertise and skills, as well as strong connections with other historical groups in the area (especially nearby Lawrence) in order to achieve the objectives of the Trust.
Kerry Driscoll (chair)
After a long career as a Gestalt psychotherapist Kerry began to immerse herself in genealogy and set out on a mission to find her ancestors, many of whom had Waipori links.
In 2016 Kerry organised a well-attended reunion of descendants of the original people of Waipori, which stimulated renewed interest in preserving the district’s heritage.
Sue Cotton (secretary)
Sue’s family settled in Waipori in its early days and lived there for several generations. She spent her first two decades in Otago and Southland and maintains strong links with the area, though now calls Wellington home.
She has a background in policy development, planning, project management, communication and connecting people together. Her interests include travel, the outdoors and the natural world.
With his brother, Roger runs a 1200-hectare family farm near Lawrence and owns a forestry block on land at Waipori that was settled by his ancestors in 1861. In 1877 Roger’s great-grandfather took on Waipori Station, which remained in the family for 97 years.
For decades Roger has been heavily involved in community organisations across local government, history, farming and sport.
Peter has been farming in the Waitahuna East district since 1968, when he took over land that was then a vast, undeveloped tussock run with very poor access and no power or phone services.
He has always been interested in the uniqueness of the area and its history, and is involved in several local community organisations.
Other roles associated with the trust
Three other people fill designated roles to support the trustees in fulfilling the charitable objectives of the Waipori Goldfields Charitable Trust.
Historian — David Still
David’s interest in Waipori’s history was sparked when he came across mining artefacts while tramping in the area more than 50 years ago. His curiosity at what he saw sparked decades of research in Dunedin archives, interviews with surviving miners and other residents, and involvement in a 1969 reunion of Waipori descendants.
David has built up an enormous storehouse of records and knowledge that is vital to the trust’s work, and he wrote the definitive work Gold beneath dark waters: the people of Waipori.
Treasurer — Anne Shepherd
Anne has lived in the Waitahuna East community for more than 50 years, raising a family and working as a physiotherapist in both the public and private sector. She has managed her own physiotherapy business as well as keeping financial records for the family farming business. Anne is involved in community and historical organisations in the area.
Website manager — Andrew Matheson
One of Andrew’s chief interests is writing narrative accounts that help to make history interesting and accessible to a wide audience. He has researched and published articles and books on historical topics, and maintains a website for another charitable trust with a historical focus.