About Us

Wai-ora Group
Wai-ora Trust

Joshua Smith

General Manager


Commercially astute General Manager with more than 18-years senior-level experience in construction industry. A values-based individual, skilled in organisational leadership, strategic planning, and business strategy, Josh’s senior-level management skills combine powerfully with his visionary leadership and outcomes-focused approach. Accustomed to leading in challenging environments where direct and honest conversation is required, Josh is regarded as someone who is composed in any situation regardless of conflict or pressure.

Tiffany Cavanaugh

Sales & Contracts Manager – Nursery


Tiffany Cavanaugh studied landscape architecture as a postgraduate at Lincoln University and the University of Pennsylvania and began practising as a landscape architect at a civil engineering firm outside her hometown of Philadelphia in the USA. Since moving permanently to New Zealand in 2007, Tiffany has managed large scale native planting projects both as a site foreman and nursery dispatch and sales manager. If you are interested in purchasing plants or you are developing a project and looking for advice in planting and planning, please call or email Tiffany.

Tom Ferguson

Production Manager – Nursery


Tom Ferguson manages plant production for the nursery. He has had extensive experience in plant health and nursery management with various nurseries in the South Island. He was awarded the Individual Youth Leadership for Sustainability Award, the NGINZ Young Achiever award and second place for Young Horticulturalist of the Year Award. He has a Bachelor of Viticulture and Oenology and is a member of IPPS, the Canterbury Botanical Society and NZPCN.

If you are looking for specific advice on growing and maintaining plants or are interested in allowing our seed collection team to collect seed on your property in exchange for discounted plants, contact Tom.

Che Pauro

Manager – Ecological Contracting


Che brings a wealth of experience in senior management, with over 15 years in the construction sector including key account management, project and business management. Strong conflict resolution and HR abilities from emotional intelligence and mentoring skills developed through his volunteering with Lifeline Aotearoa. Che also has great resilience in dealing with the pressures and noise of stakeholders expectations and feedback.

If you have a project and are in need of a contractor, call or email Che.

Meryl Dawson

Accounts Manager


With over 30 years of business accounting, administration and secretarial experience, Meryl helps ensure seamless support behind the scenes to Wai-ora’s operations. With a unique drive to achieve 100% accuracy, Meryl remains mindfully aligned with Wai-ora’s philosophy to help others. “He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.”

Ricky Ehau



Ricky is the oldest son of George and Wyn Ehau.  Ricky joined the board of Wai-ora and eventually took over the role of Trust General Manager, overseeing the social and health services of the organisation as well as continuing in a governance role.
While Ricky carries a management and governance role at Wai-ora, he also enjoys being involved at the coal face and along with his whanau runs Wai ora’s weekly food bank as well as all our summer camps from our Kaikoura farm property.
Throughout the 40 years of Wai-ora, there are a few constants. One of these is the Ehau whanau.
George and Wyn Ehau are part of our founding group and have supported the work and people of Wai-ora from the beginning. Until his passing in 2016, Matua George (far left) held the role of Kaumatua. Whaea Wyn (far right) is an advisor to the board and finance manager for the Trust.
The Ehau whanau is synonymous with Wai-Ora and it is somewhere that allows them to be part of a team who creates a turangawaewae (a standing place) for anyone needing a place to belong.