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Business Support in Ōtorohanga

At Elevate, we aspire to be the cornerstone of business growth and economic vitality in the Ōtorohanga District. Our primary goal is to build a thriving business community by leveraging the unique attributes of our region.

Our Vision

A vibrant and connected Ōtorohanga community where Whānau and business thrive. We envision a district filled with opportunities, where every business, regardless of its size, has the potential to grow and contribute to the local economy.

Our Strategic Priorities

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Elevate provides a wide range of support to businesses across different sectors through networking opportunities, workshops and business breakfasts, building platforms for learning, networking and growth. Additionally, our team leads various economic development projects and initiatives aimed at promoting sustainable growth within the district. We are committed to highlighting the opportunities that Ōtorohanga presents, making it an attractive destination for investment and business development.

Our Board Members

Marain Hurley


Marain has been the Chairperson of Elevate since being appointed as interim Chairperson in 2022.  Marain has commercial and rural experience in the business world where today, Marain and her husband Noel own and oversee their dairy farm operation in Ōtorohanga. Marain brings to the Board 15 years’ experience as National Sales and Marketing Manager, followed by the ownership/operations of her retail store Marayns in Ōtorohanga for 22 years.

Michelle Erikson


Katrina Christison

Council Representative

Carolyn Christian

Board Member

Born in Huntly Carolyn moved to Ōtorohanga when she was 6 months old. Carolyn is a director of Ōtorohanga Transport Limited Group and Waikato Thorougbred Racing. Alongside her family Carolyn supports the Ōtorohanga community in many ways, serving on sports committees and Boards and sponsoring groups and events.  Carolyn enjoys most sports and loves her time walking the family miniature schnauzer.

Grant Matthews

Board Member

Born and bred in Ohaupo, Grant has lived in the Ōtorohanga District for the last 17 years and has worked in Ōtorohanga since purchasing Paper Plus in 2020.  Grant has previously worked as a Regional Sales Manager for multinational companies servicing predominantly the hardware industry throughout the upper north island. Prior to this Granted owned and operated Guthrie Bowron Te Awamutu.

Grant really enjoys being on the board of Elevate and being able to give back to the local community and businesses.  Grant is married with three kids.

Pat Edwards

Board Member

Pat arrived in the Ōtorohanga District in 2004 purchasing a farm at Korokonui and in 2013 sold that farm and purchased a 300ha dairy farm at Maihiihi with his son and his family. Pat was brought up in Auckland and left 45 years ago to go farming.  He is a director of Ovation Farms Limited and a member of Ōtorohanga Lions. Pat really enjoys supporting young people to achieve their dreams and goals in the community and I his spare time enjoys fishing and bike riding 

Hano Ormsby

Board Member

Born and bred in Kawhia, Hano whakapapa’s to Maniapoto Iwi, Ngati Kiriwai Hapu Ngati Kiriwai and the Rakaunui Marae.  Hano is a member of Te Taiao of Kawhia Moana.  He is a Director of Orsymb Products Limited, a Manager of Tainui Kawhia Forest and shareholder in Forest management Service Kawhia.  Hano has a particular passion for the community of Kawhia and is dedicated to support business and the community in the district. 


Michelle Hollands

Economic development

Teresa Ferguson

Local Business Co-Ordinator

Born, bred and educated in Ōtorohanga Teresa has been employed by the ODDB since 2000.

She took over management of the i-site in 2004 and has also covered various Board roles including minute secretary and administrator.  After a recent restructure her role has expanded to supporting local businesses and implementing the membership programme.

Having raised her four children locally she is delighted that two of them are now settled here as she watches her grandchildren thrive in this ever-supportive community. 

In her spare time Teresa enjoys a good book, NZ travel and spending time with close friends and family. 

Vanessa Drinkwater

Events and Marketing

After relocating from the sunny Bay of Plenty , Vanessa started employment at the isite in 2013 welcoming tourists and visitors to the district and supporting community events and initiatives.

She enjoys the laid back lifestyle and community that makes Ōtorohanga a great place to raise a family, live and work.