Our Staff

Wai-ora Group
Wai-ora Trust

Ricky Ehau

Kaiwhakahaere Matua Rōpū

Group General Manager


Ricky has held the role of Kaiwhakahaere of our Trust since 2004 and recently took on the role of Group General Manager, combining both the management roles of Wai-Ora Trust and also Wai-Ora Forest landscapes which have until now been held as separate roles.
While his focus has been in ensuring the Trusts social and health services are both successful and sustainable he also understands the importance of our social enterprise and is looking forward to working with an amazingly talented staff to ensure that the restoration of the land, and the restoration of people continue to be both successfully and sustainably maintained into the years to come.

Tiffany Cavanaugh

Nursery Operations Manager


Tiffany studied Landscape Architecture as a postgraduate at Lincoln University and the University of Pennsylvania. She 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 as a site foreman and nursery dispatch and sales manager.

If you are interested in purchasing plants or developing a project and looking for advice on planting and planning, please call or email Tiffany.

Tania Edwards

Manager – Ecological Contracting


Tania came to Wai-ora after working as a Park Ranger and sharemilker in the North Island. After years leading teams in Ecological Contracting, she now leads the entire division. She studied Environmental Management and Sustainability and worked in nursery production.

Tania has always had a love for the outdoors, so the variety and outdoor nature of her work is perfect for her. She likes working for Wai-Ora because we share a vision and are dedicated to the mission.

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

Tom Ferguson

Resident Botanist


Tom has a passion for botany and started working in Horticulture when he was 15.  He has had extensive experience in plant health and nursery management with various nurseries in the South Island. Tom enjoys growing plants and problem-solving. Working in Ecological Consulting and alongside our Conservation and Nursery Teams, he enjoys the natural environment. 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 the President of the Canterbury Botanical Society and a member of IPPS,  and NZPCN.

Sarah Batten

Nursery Delivery Manager


Sarah has greatly improved the quality of plants sold by the nursery in the time she’s been here. She brings to her role 4 years of experience in other Christchurch nurseries and enjoys learning about the peculiarities of New Zealand natives. Her favourite thing we do in the nursery is growing plants from duff even though it makes caring for a varied line of plants difficult.

Russell Creasey

Fencing Estimator

Russell joined Wai-Ora in 2022 with over 40 years of construction experience. He is a qualified builder who has been doing estimating in Christchurch since the earthquakes.

Russell has lived in New Zealand since 2005 and enjoys making a contribution to a successful team of people who are passionate about what they do.

If you have a fencing project, call or email Russell.

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.

Koka Wyn Ehau

Kaiwhakahaere Moni – Finance Manager


Koka Wyn is one of our founding members.
As well as managing the Trusts finances she is also involved in many areas of the Trust and supports those whom are seeking to better understand their whakapapa or make connections with whanau. She is also an Māori Anglican Chaplin at Burwood hospital as well as being involved in the Māori Anglican Church and travels on mission trips to Fiji with a group of over 65yr old from various denominations.

Cindy Ehau

Kai Awhina – Support staff


Cindy is Ricky’s wife and as well as raising their 4 kids, she has supported all areas of the Trust for over 20 years.
Today, her involvement is more specific and she heads up our foodbank and kai box service to the community, our weekly community lunches as well as overseeing our amazing team of volunteers.

Teish Nicholson

Kai Manaaki


Teish joined us in August 2022.
Having extensive experience working in the community, along with her strong Christian faith and empathy she has become an important member of the Wai-Ora team and covers many areas from administration, supporting clients, helping with our kai boxes and weekly community lunch as well as using her wide networks to open up opportunities for our community members and the Trust itself.
We knew Teish would be a great fit for our team and we are so blessed that she joined our small team.




Andrew initially came to Wai-Ora in 2015 in a voluntary role as he worked to change his life choices and create a better life for himself.
Over the years he has proved how motivated he was and gradually moved from a volunteer position to a full time role as our groundsman, a role he has held for a number of years.
Like many others, Wai-Ora has become a place to belong for Andrew.