Board

Aakash Chhibber, Chairman
Aakash Headshot

Aakash is a philanthropic medical doctor with experience leading non-government organisations to success and has a passion to make strategic systems level change. With advanced training in Urgent Care and Clinical Microbiology he understands provision of healthcare from primary to quaternary health settings. Aakash is involved in numerous projects as a biostatistician and is also a research clinician with Motor Neurone Disease Research Group at Auckland University.

Aakash is Chairman and a member of the Audit and Risk Subcommittee for NCF where he provides additional oversight over NCF to ensure it continues to deliver successful outcomes for its clients.



Bill Armitage, Client Representative

Bill Armitage Cropped Pic

Bill joined the board in October 2018. He brings a wealth of experience as a successful business owner of Pete’s Packaging. Bill sits on the board as the client representative specifically for Stroke and is a loyal and fiercely supportive member of the foundation attending his stroke class regularly.



Karen Bishop

Karen Bishop

Karen recently joined the NCF board and has a personal conviction to support neurological rehabilitation following many years supporting her Father with Multiple Sclerosis. The board will be in a position to leverage her 20 years commercial experience across Sales, Marketing, Project Management, Negotiation and Stakeholder Management. Karen is currently the Procurement and Projects Director at Danone Nutricia New Zealand and part of the NZ leadership team. Karen’s aim in joining the NCF Board is to drive, alongside the GM and other board members, the execution and expansion of this rehabilitation service offering both physical improvement and emotional connection for existing and new clients.


Kishan Gunatunga

Kishan Gunatunga Picture

Having graduated from the University of Otago in 2014 with the unique combination of Laws (LLB) and Biomedical Science (BBMedSc, hons - 1st class) Kishan, a scientist turned lawyer is a recent addition to the NCF board. Kishan has previous experience driving success at the helm of not for profit organisations and is a practicing lawyer who has worked both in top tier private practice environments and for NZX listed companies. Kishan recognises the importance that therapeutic recovery services can afford to its clients and looks forward to leveraging his expertise to help continue to drive the Foundation forward for the benefit of its clients.



Gary Stewart

Gary Stewart

Gary joined the Board in October 2021. He has extensive experience on the Boards of Not For Profit's over the last 20 years, most recently the Waitemata Community Law Centre, Violence Free Communities and the Ranui Community Centre, primarily in finance roles. Gary was the Service Manager for Henderson Budget Service for 7 years and is currently the Financial Coordinator for Belong Aotearoa. He lives in the Earthsong Eco-Neighbourhood and has a BFA from Elam.



Deborah Hardiman

Deborah 002

Deborah Hardiman is a Director at PwC with more than 18 years' experience in finance. commercial management, transformation, technology, project delivery, procurement, and consulting. Deborah has worked in multiple industries across NZ, Hong Kong and the UK. Of particular relevance is her work in local government and Covid Healthline. Whilst leading the project team supporting the Healthline's response to the crisis, Deborah worked closely with the DHBs, MoH and also supported the development of a dedicated line to help disabled people gain access to the vaccination.

She is looking for a long-term way to use her professional skills to give back to the not-for-profit sector. Deborah is passionate about supporting neurological disorders. She has first-hand understanding of its challenges with both her father having Parkinson's disease and her mother having experienced strokes.