Museum Governance Group

Museum governance group members appointed

As part of its Long-term Plan deliberations, the Invercargill City Council resolved to establish a governance group to provide advice on reimagining the Museum.

The purpose of the group is to create a unique and compelling vision for the museum that will define the nature of the service for the community of Invercargill and solidify its role in the Southland region.

Experienced South Island director Rex Williams was appointed Independent Chairman of the group in August 2021.

The appointed members of the group are: Rūnaka appointee Evelyn Cook, Gavin Bishop, Trish Lindsay, Lou Sanson, Roger Beattie and Simon Owen.

Group Members

Independent Chair: Rex Williams


  1. Evelyn Cook – (Rūnaka appointee confirmed by Waihopai and Awarua Rūnaka) has a background in Te Reo, Kāi Tahu cultural narrative and represents local rūnaka in a number of different community and governance positions. Born and raised in Waihopai/Invercargill and has a deep love for the place and its people.
  2. Gavin Bishop, ONZM – a children’s author of national and international reputation – has published 70 books that have been translated into twelve languages and won numerous awards. He has also written two children’s ballets for the Royal New Zealand Ballet. Gavin was born and raised in Invercargill and is of Ngāti Awa and Tainui descent.
  3. Trish Lindsay – voluntary work on local boards and committees including Community Trust South, ILT Stadium Southland Board Founding Director and Southland Art Foundation Trustee as well as various roles with Southern Institute of Technology (SIT).
  4. Lou Sanson – Director-General of the Department of Conservation. In an earlier role, Lou was the Conservator for the former Southland Conservancy where he led the establishment of Rakiura National Park, listing of the New Zealand Sub Antarctic Islands as a World Heritage Area. Before becoming Director-General, Lou was Chief Executive of Antarctica New Zealand for 11 years.
  5. Roger Beattie – managing director of Beattie McDowell Architects with 35 years’ experience in the field of Architecture. He has been a member of the NZ Institute of Architects Southern Branch Committee and is formerly a Director of the national NZIA Council. He is an invited member of the Registered Master Builders Southland Executive Committee and the Southern Institute of Technology Architectural Advisory Committee.
  6. Simon Owen – A born-and-bred Southlander, Simon Owen operates as an Independent Marketing Consultant under his brand ‘The Orange Sheep’. At 23 and recently elected as the youngest ever board member on the Southland Chamber of Commerce, Simon offers a unique view point to challenge status quo thinking. “The success of the Museum project will be in a vision that understands its customers at heart” says Simon.

Terms of Reference

Draft Invercargill Museum Governance Group -Terms of Reference – Implementation
The Terms of Reference will remain in draft until the group is appointed and one of their first actions will be to review, confirm and adopt these as their final Terms of Reference.