Board member group photo

Meet the Board

Blind Low Vision NZ Board of Directors focuses on governance and strategic issues such as our purpose and direction.

The Board may have up to eleven directors. Our voting members elect nine of them and the remaining two directors may be co-opted to the Board for their specific skills or experience. Directors serve for a term of three years.

Judy Small, Deputy Chair

Judy joined the Board in November 2013. She has been a client of Blind Low Vision NZ since she was four years old.  Judy graduated in 1999 with a Masters of Social Science (Hons). Her thesis was a sociological study of blind people and how they identify themselves.  She worked as a Policy Analyst for 11½ years in social policy in the Office for Disability Issues and has also served on the Blind Citizens New Zealand National Executive. Judy is currently employed as a Disability Advisor to the Hamilton City Council.

Board Committees:

Chair, People Committee; Governance Committee, World Blind Union Delegate and Board Representative on Blind Low Vision NZ Health & Safety Committee.

Martine Abel-Williamson

Martine joined the Board in May 2019 to fill a casual vacancy.  Blind since birth, Martine has been living in New Zealand for the past 22 years since emigrating from South Africa.  Her qualifications are in the areas of vision rehabilitation, education and social policy and previously worked at the Blind Low Vision NZ in the fields of blindness awareness training and service co-ordination.

For the past 11 years, she has been working at local government level as Disability Advisor.  Martine serves on various pan-disability and health-related governance boards, including Parent and Family Resource Centre, Independent Living Services and the ACC Customer Advisory Panel.  Martine is also Treasurer of the World Blind Union.

Board Committees:

Audit & Risk Committee; People Committee and Sir Arthur Pearson Memorial Fund.

Fraser Alexander

Having become a member of Blind and Low Vision NZ in 1996, Fraser joined the Board in November 2017. Holding an Undergraduate degree in biosciences and a Postgraduate honours degree in business, Fraser has spent 22 years in not-for-profit marketing including nine years with us. A past President of Retina New Zealand, he held management committee responsibilities with its parent body, Retina International for 13 years – culminating in leading the organising committee for the 2018 Retina International World Congress in Auckland.

Board Committees:

Audit and Risk Committee; Governance Committee and World Blind Union Forum.

John Billings

John was welcomed as a new Director on the Board in November 2019. Having qualified in England, he has been practising his profession as a Dispensing Optician for 35 years, the last 25 of which have been in Wellington.  John has always had a strong interest in providing Low Vision Aids and services to the partially sighted in order to help them continue with as good a quality of life as possible. His passion for this aspect of his profession has resulted in him being asked to speak on the subject at conferences, including one overseas. As well as the Low Vision community, he also has experience with the Deaf community. From 2007 to 2015, John served as a professional member on the Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians Board which is the Minister for Health appointed body that oversees the professional standards of the two respective professions.

Board Committees:

Governance Committee; People Committee and Sir Arthur Pearson Memorial Fund.

Deborah Boyd

Deborah rejoined the Board in November 2020 as the fourth-placed candidate in the 2020 Board elections filling the casual vacancy created after Rick Hoskin retired from the Board.  She was previously on the Board from 2017 to 2019.

Deborah is the Chief Executive of Auckland Eye, understanding the importance of working in partnership with the Foundation to ensure patients get the very best of care and support when its doctors are unable to offer any solutions to restore or improve sight.  Deborah is a Board Member for Health Informatics New Zealand and is passionate about e-health with a keen interest in governance and organisational leadership.  She is a registered nurse and certified health informatician.

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Peter Hoskin

Peter Hoskin joined the Board for the first time in November 2012 and was re-elected in 2015 and again in 2018. Peter has been a Blind Low Vision NZ client since he was nine-years-old. He studied law at Auckland University, worked at Russell McVeagh, an Auckland firm of solicitors, and also set up his own practice. After 27 years in one career, it was time for a change so Peter sold his practice and today manages an investment portfolio. He also plays and writes music and helps raise two teenage sons. Peter is a member of the Institute of Directors.

Board Committees:

Chair, Audit & Risk Committee and Governance Committee.

Clive Lansink

Clive was elected to the Board in November 2016 and re-elected in 2019 although this is not his first time on the Board, having served on it from 1991 to 1995. Blind since birth, Clive has spent much of his personal life working on behalf of blind and low vision people and was President of Blind Citizens New Zealand for a total of thirteen years.

He has an engineering degree as well as a law degree. Much of his career has been spent in the computer industry, and in the blind community he is particularly known for his development of the Foundation’s Telephone Information Service. He is now semi-retired running his own business from home, doing consulting and projects in areas of technology and human rights law.

Board Committees:

Audit and Risk Committee; Governance Committee and Chief Executive Performance Review Committee.

Donna McCaskill

Donna was elected to the Board in November 2020. She worked for almost 20 years with Blind Low Vision NZ before standing for the Board. She currently works within the disability sector for a pan-disability social enterprise as a direct line manager and advocate for a team of people with sensory, physical, cognitive and intellectual disabilities. She has studied psychology, sociology, human service, social science and physical sport/recreation – my personal belief, that physical activity is a great support tool for people with disabilities. She is a founding member of the blind youth support network, SEYFF and also chaired Blind Sport New Zealand.

Carolyn Weston

Carolyn Weston was welcomed back to the Board in November 2012, having previously served from 1992 to 1998. She was re-elected in 2015 and again in 2018. Carolyn is a client of Blind Low Vision NZ who studied and worked in early childhood education. She has 20 years’ experience working in governance, serving on various boards of trustees and committees. Carolyn is passionate about Blind Low Vision NZ clients’ needs and access to services. She is also a member of Blind Citizens New Zealand.

Board Committees:

Chair, Governance Committee; People Committee and Chief Executive Performance Review Committee.