Media advisory

Reference Panel for Green Investment Fund Appointed

The Treasury has appointed Rachel Brown, John Chandler, Karen Silk and David Woods as Reference Panel members for the Green Investment Fund.

The Government is establishing the Green Investment Fund to support the transition towards a net-zero-emissions economy by 2050. The Fund will receive a $100m capital injection from the Government to make investments that both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide a financial return. 

The Reference Panel will provide an expert sounding board for the Treasury as it plans the establishment and launch of the Fund.  This will complement the Treasury-lead cross-government agency working group that was established earlier this year. The Panel is expected to play an important role in shaping a credible and effective Green Investment Fund by giving the Treasury advice of the highest standard. Each of the members appointed bring valuable experience and professional acumen to undertake this work. Their work together has already started and is expected to run through to September.

The Green Investment Fund is being established a result of the Confidence and Supply Agreement between Labour and the Green Party.  Budget 2018 set aside $100 million of new capital funding for the Fund.

The Green Investment Fund is part of a wider suite of Government work on transitioning towards a net-zero-emissions economy, including the Zero Carbon Act, reviewing the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme and establishing the Independent Climate Change Commission.

Reference Panel member profiles#

Rachel Brown ONZM was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2018 for years of service to sustainable business. She is the founder and chief executive of the Sustainable Business Network (SBN). Her work focuses on the methods and means of advancing the value of sustainability across New Zealand. The SBN team work on a number of projects including Smart Transport, Procurement, Leadership training, Circular Economy, Water Restoration (Million Metres Streams), Good Food Nation - and emerging projects in tourism. All have a strong focus on communicating the value and benefit of reshaping profit.

John Chandler founded niche merchant bank JC Capital in 2009 after a career at ANZ that included Head of Capital Solutions and Director Leasing and Structured Asset Finance. He is a specialist in structuring, negotiating and leading complex funding transactions, including the development of innovative and novel solutions. John has industry experience in banking, funding for agriculture, irrigation, transport, commercial property, power generation and other infrastructure. Clients and employers include a wide range of borrowing entities, lenders, fund managers and other investors.

Karen Silk is currently General Manager of Commercial, Corporate and Institutional at Westpac New Zealand.  She is responsible for leading the development and delivery of Banking Services to New Zealand Businesses, and also holds responsibility for the Westpac Life and BT NZ Funds Management businesses. Earlier in her career Karen led the Westpac agribusiness team for four years.  Karen was Chair of the joint Sustainable Business Council and BusinessNZ Climate Leadership Initiative in 2015 and was appointed to the Advisory Board of the Sustainable Business Council in 2017.

David Woods is an experienced general manager and director with a long international career in the finance and investment sector.  David is currently a Director of Ngai Tahu’s Whai Rawa Fund Ltd, a trustee of The Gift Trust. He is also Chair of the Impact Enterprise Fund, a tie-up between Akina Foundation, New Ground Capital and Impact Ventures, which gives him specific insights into the challenges of balancing financial and non-financial objectives. In addition, David is leading the establishment of the NZ Impact Investment Advisory Board. He sits on three overseas microfinance company boards for the Aga Khan Foundation as an independent director. Prior to emigrating to New Zealand in 2016, David was Managing Director of Oikocredit International, a microcredit fund with total consolidated assets of $1.2 billion which supports financial inclusion, agriculture and renewable energy in the developing world.


Bryan McDaniel | Principal Communications Advisor
Tel: +64 4 917 6268
Email: [email protected]