Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors is responsible for the governance and oversight of Xerra Earth Observation Institute Ltd. The Board is comprised of five Directors, including a Chairperson. The Directors have a range of governance and executive experience in the public and private sectors, including experience leading technology start-ups.

Maria King


Maria lives in Tauranga where she is Executive Director and Chairman at D-TX Group LP. She has extensive knowledge of leadership, management and business development, with a background in scientific research, health and education.

Melanie Templeton

Melanie (Mel) also hales from Wellington. She has considerable experience in senior management and business leadership and brings valuable commercial, financial and legal acumen to the Board.

Dr Ian Boddy

Ian is Principal of his own technology company, IKB Consulting, in Hamilton. As a director of many science and technology-based organisations, Ian’s expertise in these areas will be of considerable benefit to the Xerra Board.

Dave Moskovitz

Dave is a professional director and investor focusing on taking New Zealand companies global. He has experience in educational technology, Internet infrastructure, software development, working with government, international growth, and early-stage investment.

Board of Trustees

Xerra Earth Observation Ltd is a Limited Liability Company, majority owned by The Space Science Technology Trust. The inaugural Board of Trustees is comprised of four Trustees, including a Chairperson, who are responsible for the appointment of our independent Board of Directors and monitoring the Directors’ performance.

Brian Sanders


Brian is a retired New Zealand diplomat with extensive experience and connections at the most senior levels across national and international political, government and business spheres. Brian has a comprehensive understanding of the machinery of the New Zealand Government and a practical understanding of operating a business in regional New Zealand. Brian resides in Central Otago where he and his wife own and operate their own vineyard - Charcoal Gully.


Deputy Chair

Tony has an extensive background in governance including local government, which culminated in two terms as Mayor of Central Otago District. Tony is committed to regional New Zealand, particularly Central Otago and has strong links to the horticulture sector and involvement with irrigation issues.

Bridgit Hawkins

Bridgit has broad, successful experience in science and technology commercialisation, specialising in the rural sector. She is CEO of Regen, a leading provider of decision support services to New Zealand farmers and has a strong understanding of and commitment to the aspirations and values of Xerra.


David is a practicing solicitor at Gallaway Cook Allan who specialises in commercial and corporate law with experience in all sectors of business, and increasingly in the technology sector. He is the Trust Account Partner for his company and has extensive experience working in trusts, including the creation and administration of the Orokonui Ecosanctuary in Otago.