Our Board Members

Brigid McDonald


Brigid joined the Board in November 2022, with a passion for enabling access to justice, community empowerment, and good governance.

She has worked as a lawyer in the areas of property, construction, resource management and local government. Currently, Brigid leads the strategic property team at Kāinga Ora, with a focus on land development feasibility and acquisitions for new social housing and urban development.

Brigid is a Member of the Institute of Directors and holds a current legal practising certificate.

Born and bred in Rotorua and now living in Tauranga Moana (via Tāmaki Makaurau), Brigid is an advocate for a thriving Bay of Plenty region and its diverse communities.

Laura Gaveika

Deputy Chair

Laura worked for the Institute of Directors NZ as the BOP Branch Manager for 7.5 years. During this time she organised and attended hundreds of events and courses focused on best governance practice. Laura has also recently completed a course on Māori governance.

As well as being a Baywide Trustee, Laura is a Committee Member for Te Puke Gymsport, a Trustee for Education Pathways Trust and the Owner / Director of TORA Limited. She was Chair for the Institute of Directors Staff Whole-Being Committee from 2018 – 2022. Laura is passionate about making a positive impact in our community and developing greater diversity in the governance space.

Maz McKevitt

Board Secretary

A volunteer for the Citizens Advice Bureau Whakatāne for 7 years, Maz has worked as a secondary school teacher, tutor, and industry trainer, as well as an administrator in the education and health fields. She served as Secretary (2016-2018) and Chair (2018-2021) of the CAB Whakatāne Board, and for 4 years was a Trustee on the National Board of CABNZ. 

Maz was an inaugural member of the BOPDHB Health Consumer Council 2018-2019. She has been a Baywide trustee since 2018 and has been Chair since 2021. Maz is driven to support a fair and just society and is committed to the Baywide focus on access to free legal advice, information and education.

Helen Stewart

Helen Stewart

Helen was Executive Director of the Kawerau Enterprise Agency (KEA) Inc from 2002-2018. She is interested in community development and chairs Kawerau and Districts Ageing in Place (KADAP) Inc and STEAM-ED Charitable Trust in Tauranga.

Helen has been active in the voluntary sector for many years and is involved with several non-profit organisations across the wider Bay of Plenty. She also had 2 terms on the Bay of Plenty Institute of Directors Committee.

Dale Eru

Since returning to NZ in 2017, Dale has moved from a career in commercial media to working with, for and in her community. Dale joined Baywide as a trustee in November 2022 and is a trustee for Whakapoungakou 24 (Tikitere Trust). Dale has also volunteered for numerous not-for-profits and charitable trusts in the UK and Australia. These include Magic Me (arts based intergenerational projects), Positive Lives (an international photographic project documenting the impact of HIV & AIDS around the world) and Te Reo Maioha ki Poihakena.

Jess Andrew

Jess worked as a lawyer for Crown Law in Wellington and then as General Counsel Environment & Property with Waka Kotahi.  Jess has recently moved out of the law, working as Regional Manager System Design for Waka Kotahi across Waikato and Bay of Plenty.

Jess is passionate about effective governance to enable organisations to thrive.  She became a Baywide trustee in 2021 to ensure greater access to sound legal advice and information for those who would otherwise not have access to these services. Jess was previously a trustee on the Hutt City Council’s Community Facility Trust.  

Kate Ashcroft

Kate Ashcroft is a Partner at Copeland Ashcroft Workplace Lawyers, a national firm providing specialist advice, representation and support across the full ambit of workplace law issues, including employment, health and safety and immigration.  In this role, Kate provides commercially pragmatic, tailored solutions to client issues.

Kate has also always had a passion for volunteering, including holding non-profit governance roles throughout her career.

Kate is a member of the Institute of Directors and is on the Bay of Plenty Branch Committee of the Human Resources Institute of New Zealand (HRNZ).