What we do

The Marlborough Business trust is an independent, non-profit organisation which provides business development services including...

  • business coaching
  • business mentoring
  • business training
  • business resources
  • business networking

Business Trust Marlborough is here to assist businesses of all types - startups as well as existing businesses.

We offer free, confidential advice and guidance on any aspect of your business, or your business idea. Our well-qualified Client Advisor will provide information and advice to help your business succeed.

So, whether you are wanting to start a business or to grow your business, remember that you do NOT have to go it alone. Support is available.

Located in the CBD at Level 2, 3 Main Street Blenheim (in with Lifetime - above Rebel Sports), this service is backed by a diverse range of experienced local business people, appointed as Trustees, who all want to see Marlborough businesses thrive.

Meet the team

Brian Dawson - Manager / Client Advisor

Manager and Client Advisor Brian Dawson welcomes the opportunity to meet with local business owners and anyone with a business idea they’d like to explore. 

Brian and his wife Tricia have owned and operated their own business for the past 14 years. Brian is also a former General Manager of the Marlborough Chamber of Commerce and a District Councillor.  

A very important part of the service Brian provides is matching businesses with local volunteer business mentors through Business Mentors NZ and supporting both mentors and clients through out these relationships. As a result he has seen first hand the benefits to both clients and the extended Marlborough community of a successful business mentor client relationship and is passionate about helping people and their businesses succeed. 

Sue Avery - Chair

Sue holds a BCom from the University of Canterbury and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2005 working as a Senior Tax Consultant in Christchurch before moving to Marlborough. Having been a small business owner and the previous Manager of the Business Trust, she understands the many demands on those who own or manage a small business and the value in seeking an objective, outside perspective on business matters.     

Sue is currently actively involved in the not for profit sector and is passionate about taking a holistic approach to supporting  Marlborough businesses and the wider community through this engagement.

Beth Barnes - Deputy Chair

Beth owns her own business, Button Help, which focuses on digital marketing, training and assisting businesses to become the best and most efficient they can be. This includes management of Social Media accounts, one-on-one training on Social Media and Technology Tools, and resource creation (creating documentation) for business owners who would rather work in their business than on their business. With a varied background from large organisations to small, Beth brings common sense and a fresh viewpoint for the businesses she works, assisting them in getting systems and strategies in place to help them move forward.

As well as running her business Beth is active in the community, being on other Boards and Committees as well as Business Trust Marlborough. She is also one of our business mentors.

In her free time Beth loves to spend time with her husband and young daughter, enjoying the amazing food and wine from this region (both cooking and eating!), as well as being a keen scrapbooker, mixed media artist and sewer - she always has a project or two on the go and loves to share these passions with other people.

Graham Gosling - Trustee

Graham Gosling has very strong connections with local Marlborough businesses, having owned a variety of Marlborough businesses including a cherry orchard, service stations and a motel complex. He was instrumental in setting up and supporting the Picton Business Support Group which provides networking and information sharing opportunities and a voice for Picton Business. He is also a life member of the Marlborough Car Club. He spent 3 years on the national MTA Service Station Committee and over 4 years as Chairman of Endeavour Park Pavilion Society overseeing this project from set up to completion.

Graham’s first venture into business started while he was still at College when he grew garlic on his grandmother property for sale. During his career he has worked as a Purchasing and Sales Manager at Stresscrete, before getting back into being a business owner by purchasing Springlands Service Station. He later also owned and operated a service station in Picton and a cherry orchard. More recently he owned Harbour View Motel in Picton which he completely refurbished.

Graham believes that, in business, honesty and integrity are extremely important. He was motivated to become a Trustee for Business Trust Marlborough as he saw it as a way to assist new business owners, who may have a great idea, but not the necessary knowledge or experience to successfully implement it. He feels that access to the right information is paramount to the survival of these businesses and that Business Trust Marlborough is the key to providing this.

Tracy Atkin – Trustee

Tracy is the CEO of Marlborough Capital Ltd, a specialty investment bank that invests in start-ups and small businesses, helping them grow and thrive. She is a Chartered Accountant and has a Business Degree from Victoria University. Tracy trained in business services and audit with Price Waterhouse in Wellington, before moving to London to further a career in management consulting in the financial services industry. Tracy’s focus has been on improving organizational processes, controls and strategic planning. She subsequently gained a Project Management qualification as well as in Kaizen Lean Process Transformation. In 2001 she decided to follow her passion for the wine industry and retrained in Grape-growing and Winemaking. Tracy moved from Auckland to Marlborough in 2018 to set up NZ’s first Grape and Wine Research Institute, gaining invaluable start-up experience as well as project-managing the build of our first national research winery.

In 2019 she was awarded an AGMARDT Leadership Scholarship and completed Escalator - a year-long course in Leadership and Governance for women in primary industries. She is on two Boards - Angel Investors Marlborough and Business Trust Marlborough, and is a business mentor with Business Mentors NZ.

Tracy hopes to use her strengths in accounting, finance and strategic planning to make a difference to her local community, and is a volunteer with the Red Cross Refugee Resettlement Programme in Marlborough. When not spending time with her 3 children, she loves jogging, cooking, and of course Marlborough wine.

Callan Hendriks - Trustee

Callan Hendriks is a Builder, Managing Director and Owner of his own business. He holds the New Zealand Certificate in Carpentry, Is a Licenced Building Practitioner and had been a business member of the New Zealand Certified Builders association since 2016. He has built his company on hard work ethic, strong teamwork, honesty, and a constant line of clear communication between clients and subtrades.

Callan believes being a trustee of the Business Trust Marlborough can be beneficial to the trade sector where asking for advice or guidance can sometimes go a miss. He would like to expose the Business Mentor system to aspiring new business owners. He believes the trade skills, multiple site and people management can also be beneficial skills to pass on to other business sectors.

In his free time Callan enjoys spending time with his family, and exploring New Zealand’s great outdoors and all they have to offer.

Rob White – Trustee

Rob has a strong business background having held several senior management roles in a number of iconic NZ businesses including Tip Top Ice Cream, Watties, Goodman Fielder and Hubbard Foods. He has a long connection with the Marlborough region having held the position of CEO for The New Zealand Wine Company (Grove Mill) for seven years and was a Director of the Tasman Rugby Union. Having recently returned to Blenheim with his wife Linda, Rob has taken up a number of Directorships and consulting roles. Outside work Rob spends time with family including two children currently living in Australia, has an ongoing interest in sport especially rugby together with his interest in travel, food and wine.

Mark Lucas - Trustee

Mark has managed a building supplies company in Picton, and volunteers for Land Search and Rescue and Surf Life Saving.  He was in the NZ Police for more than 20 years and was the local chair of the Police Association. He left the Police in 2015 to take up the position of Operations Manager at the Avantidrome in Cambridge. He has also had an extensive cycling career representing New Zealand internationally and coaching.

Zoe Kennovin - Youth Board Member

Zoe went to Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology after finishing school at Marlborough Girls College in 2017. She studied a Diploma in Business Management and has undergone further study in economics and strategic communication at Massey University. Zoe used her management diploma to become the country’s youngest manager at a large retail chain store and has since broadened into a health and safety role, and Occupational Health and Safety Diploma.

Zoe is heavily involved with business among youth in Marlborough and is passionate about helping youth start and maintain their businesses in the region.

Loisi Papa Manu Ofahiki Leger Kula - Youth Board Member

Loisi was born in Wellington but raised in Marlborough. She considers Blenheim home. She attended St Mary’s School before Marlborough Girls’ College and finished off her level 3 NCEA at Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu. During her time

in High School she was selected to attend the United Nations Youth NZ Aotearoa Youth Declaration Conference, in which brought together 200 high school students from all over Aotearoa to write the youth declaration which represents a youth perspective on public policy. She was also selected for the UN Youth NZ annual Pacific Leadership tour the following year. After high school Loisi continued on with her passion of social justice and her interests in global issues. In 2019, with the help of community fundraising and sponsorships, Loisi attended the United Nations annual Youth Assembly in New York City, in which she represented Marlborough, New Zealand and the Pacific in discussions about global change, sustainability, social justice and the impact that youth can make to shape the future through changes in their own communities. The conference was based around the sustainable development goals. Loisi was also selected to attend UNESCO’s Youth Diversity Forum. A conference held to support dialogue, addressing racism, education and spirituality in response to the mosque attacks of 15 March 2019. In 2020 Loisi completed her certificate in Business at Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology. 

Loisi is passionate about empowering action in minority and marginalised communities, especially young people of colour. She strongly believes that no person should be controlled by their circumstances. Her desire is to see that change in Marlborough first. With her interests in human rights, business, politics and social justice, Loisi is looking to complete further study before starting her own business and organisation. 


Our Vision

Business Trust Marlborough's core purpose is to empower small to medium Marlborough businesses to start up, grow and thrive. Our Trustees and delivery Team are passionate about both Marlborough and it's economic development.

This passion is reflected in the Trust's Strategic Plan.