Our Trustees

Shelley Payne (Chairperson)

I have been a member of the Arohanui Art and Education Trust Board of Trustees since its inception and am presently serving as Chairperson. Arohanui has now grown into three centres which are in Te Puke, Greerton and Fraser Cove, and provides a rich variety of activities for our clients.

Our family has lived in Tauranga since 1990. We have four adult children, one of whom, Ryan attended the Arohanui studio in Te Puke for nine years until he passed away in 2011. Ryan had multiple disabilities and flourished in this more intimate environment of friends and support staff, and his individualised day programme kept him engaged and happy.

My husband and I own and direct a hotel business in Tauranga. I also choose to be involved in a voluntary role in disability services as we feel very strongly about advocating for and supporting people with disability to have a rightful expectation for a good life.

Jenny Hutchings (Secretary)

Jenny was the initiator of Arohanui Art and Education Trust, bringing together the initial Trustees, and is enormously proud of the achievements of the Trust and Arohanui as a unique organisation offering real choice to people with disability. Past Chairperson, currently Secretary of the Trust, and mother of three with her eldest daughter an Arohanui Client.

Dr Candy Cookson-Cox

Dr. Candy Cookson Cox of Te Arawa/Ngai Tahu descent has been involved in the health and education sector for over 30 years. She has held senior positions in both sectors in New Zealand and overseas. Currently she is the Director of Ua-Cox Consulting Ltd, a company involved in audit and evaluation of service organisations and has recently been appointed as the Lakes District Health Board Child and Youth Mortality Review Co-ordinator. Candy has a child with special needs and is very committed to ensuring that children and adults with special needs are treated with the dignity, respect, compassion and consideration that they deserve and further, that this philosophy can be seen to be evident through-out their life time.

Paul Hickson

Paul Hickson, Chartered Accountant, with an office at his family farm, Century Farm, Pongakawa, Te Puke. Trustee of Arohanui since inception. Also a director of Bay of Plenty Cricket and several private companies. Interested in success of Arohanui as his late mother, Jean, was involved with the former IHC Centre in Te Puke.


Nikki was appointed as a trustee of the Arohanui Art & Education Trust Board in April 2015. She is a lawyer and a partner in the law firm of Burley Attwood Law. Nikki's legal practice includes a strong emphasis on Trusts (including Charitable Trusts), Property and Commercial law. Nikki has had experience on other trust boards and welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the Arohanui Art & Education Trust.

Nikki is committed to the local community. She has lived here in Tauranga for over 30 years and, together with her husband Roger, has brought her family up here in the Bay.