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. 

Aaron Marshall - Chair

Aaron is currently self-employed as an aviation safety and risk management consultant, helping small aviation operators navigate the various Health and Safety and Civil Aviation rules.

Largely this involves developing and assisting with the implementation of systems that are simple enough for the small business owner to manage without placing a significant drain on their resources but are compliant with relevant legislation.

Aaron moved to Blenheim 10 years ago with his wife, and they now have one child, who is currently starting out on his own business journey. Through this, Aaron has developed a passion for enabling youth in business.

He is also involved in the Classic Fighters Airshow as a Trustee and is on the Board of Trustees for Riverlands School.

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.

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.

Darrell Bate - Trustee

Darrell, along with his wife have been self-employed in their own business for close to the past ten years, joining a successful automotive franchise, building the brand in Marlborough, and continuing to do so today. The business has achieved success in multiple Business Excellence Awards, being recognised in Best Emerging, Best Medium and Best Consumer Service within the Marlborough business community.  

Upon seeing a gap within the industry, Darrell and a fellow franchisee also created another company, specialising in importing automotive products for a niche market and owns a seasonal snow chain hire and sales business.

Committed to the community, Darrell is always willing to be involved with sponsorship and involvement where possible, including over 13 years’ service as a volunteer Fire Fighter predominantly in Blenheim with smaller periods served in Picton and Richmond brigades.

When not working, Darrell enjoys time with family and friends and the activities the province has to offer including spending time nestled in the beautiful Marlborough Sounds. Having recently become a new grandparent, the importance of quality family time has been taken to a whole new level.

Gina Jewell - Trustee

Gina is a communications specialist with more than 25 years experience across the public and private sector. 

When she moved to Blenheim in 2022, Gina had been a partner and owner of Wellington public relations consultancy for the past 20 years, and is now working as an independent contractor. Her areas of expertise include strategic communications, stakeholder management, issues and risk management, crisis planning and media relations. 

Throughout Gina’s career she has worked with a wide array of businesses, from start-ups through to listed companies. She comes from a family of small business owners, and currently supports two start-ups in an advisory capacity.

Gina has also been a volunteer for many years, including as a Business Mentor for Business Mentors New Zealand and in support of the Community Comms Collective, where communications professionals donate their expertise to support community organisations.


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.