Key Champions

tara lorigan mnzm - founder

Tara is the drive, passion and will behind the scenes dedicated to crafting this organisation into a hugely practical and useful resource dedicated to female success. She is responsible for eradicating the word 'inspiration' in favour of the less sexy 'perspiration' for the very same reason. It is her determination that has ensured Co.OfWomen has developed into not only a world-class offering but a globally unique one also.

"I have absolutely been where so many other women have found themselves on their success journey, fully able and wildly unaware of the vast resources we have to draw on, our very own handbrake. What we know from the extensive work we do, and which I have also been the beneficiary of, is that we each have what it takes to deliver the success we can so clearly see and that Co.OfWomen, through understanding that dilemma and its solution, exists to ensure that."
Tara is the drive, passion and will behind the scenes dedicated to crafting this organisation into a hugely practical and useful resource dedicated to female success. She is responsible for eradicating the word 'inspiration' in favour of the less sexy 'perspiration' for the very same reason. It is her determination that has ensured Co.OfWomen has developed into not only a world-class offering but a globally unique one also.

"I have absolutely been where so many other women have found themselves on their success journey, fully able and wildly unaware of the vast resources we have to draw on, our very own handbrake. What we know from the extensive work we do, and which I have also been the beneficiary of, is that we each have what it takes to deliver the success we can so clearly see and that Co.OfWomen, through understanding that dilemma and its solution, exists to ensure that."
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Ranjna Patel onzm - patron

Ranjna is a founder and director of the The Nirvana Healthcare Group of Companies, a significant network of general medical clinics across Auckland, working with over 185,000 patients. Ranjna holds a range of leadership, advisory and governance roles and is heavily involved in community health promotions with the Ministry of Health and Counties Manukau DHB to enhance and promote health awareness among the local communities in South Auckland. Ranjna was awarded Best Businesswoman of the Year in the Indian Business Awards’ and a finalist in the Business Entrepreneur category of the Women of Influence Awards 2013. Ranjna was inducted into the New Zealand Hall of Fame for Women Entrepreneurs in 2014 and served on Co.OfWomen's board for five years.
Ranjna is a founder and director of the The Nirvana Healthcare Group of Companies, a significant network of general medical clinics across Auckland, working with over 185,000 patients. Ranjna holds a range of leadership, advisory and governance roles and is heavily involved in community health promotions with the Ministry of Health and Counties Manukau DHB to enhance and promote health awareness among the local communities in South Auckland. Ranjna was awarded Best Businesswoman of the Year in the Indian Business Awards’ and a finalist in the Business Entrepreneur category of the Women of Influence Awards 2013. Ranjna was inducted into the New Zealand Hall of Fame for Women Entrepreneurs in 2014 and served on Co.OfWomen's board for five years.
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dr lee mathias onzm - patron

Lee was integral to the development and launch of Co.OfWomen as key mentor to its founder Tara Lorigan and became the founding Chair, a role she held for four years. Together with Tara Lee developed the first board of the organisation with members that included Sharon Hunter, Sarah Paykel MNZM and Wynnis Armour QSM and Rhonda Kite ONZM.
Lee is a serial entrepreneur, investor and highly experienced director. Her significant experience, largely dedicated to the health sector, has seen her receive many accolades including being honoured as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to health and business. She was inducted into the New Zealand Hall of Fame for Women Entrepreneurs in 2016, the selection committee of which she now Chair's annually.
Lee was integral to the development and launch of Co.OfWomen as key mentor to its founder Tara Lorigan and became the founding Chair, a role she held for four years. Together with Tara Lee developed the first board of the organisation with members that included Sharon Hunter, Sarah Paykel MNZM and Wynnis Armour QSM and Rhonda Kite ONZM.
Lee is a serial entrepreneur, investor and highly experienced director. Her significant experience, largely dedicated to the health sector, has seen her receive many accolades including being honoured as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to health and business. She was inducted into the New Zealand Hall of Fame for Women Entrepreneurs in 2016, the selection committee of which she now Chair's annually.
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Sophie Gilmour board chair

It was from a fledgling career in the law that Sophie, together with two others launched Bird on a Wire and left a career in law for good. A fresh food restaurant brand they grew the business to three sites and 65+ staff then sold the business in 2019. Sophie now runs her own consultancy advising restaurants on their growth as well being appointed to a number of board positions. Following 5 years as a member, where she experienced the value proposition first hand, Sophie joined the board in 2019.

"I am really excited to be part of the esteemed board of Co.OfWomen and I feel lucky to be in the company of some of the women I most admire in business. I'm also excited for the challenge of identifying where I can best add value to such an important business that I have always really believed in.
It was from a fledgling career in the law that Sophie, together with two others launched Bird on a Wire and left a career in law for good. A fresh food restaurant brand they grew the business to three sites and 65+ staff then sold the business in 2019. Sophie now runs her own consultancy advising restaurants on their growth as well being appointed to a number of board positions. Following 5 years as a member, where she experienced the value proposition first hand, Sophie joined the board in 2019.

"I am really excited to be part of the esteemed board of Co.OfWomen and I feel lucky to be in the company of some of the women I most admire in business. I'm also excited for the challenge of identifying where I can best add value to such an important business that I have always really believed in.
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Theresa Gattung CNZM - Patron

Theresa is renowned for her strong business acumen having headed up Telecom (now Spark) at the age of 37. Her most recent business ventures include co-founding the multimillion-dollar My Food Bag business and Tend. She is a prolific philanthropist and investor and experienced director.

“I’ve always been a strong advocate for women in business so Co.OfWomen is a natural fit. I see some of the biggest barriers for female entrepreneurs as getting the right support team around them and actually asking for help. Co.OfWomen does just that by surrounding them with relevant, trustworthy champions and programmes that build commercial confidence, minimise business risk and ensure momentum. I’m excited about my new role as Chair and I’m looking forward to helping strengthen our female entrepreneurs.”

Theresa is renowned for her strong business acumen having headed up Telecom (now Spark) at the age of 37. Her most recent business ventures include co-founding the multimillion-dollar My Food Bag business and Tend. She is a prolific philanthropist and investor and experienced director.

“I’ve always been a strong advocate for women in business so Co.OfWomen is a natural fit. I see some of the biggest barriers for female entrepreneurs as getting the right support team around them and actually asking for help. Co.OfWomen does just that by surrounding them with relevant, trustworthy champions and programmes that build commercial confidence, minimise business risk and ensure momentum. I’m excited about my new role as Chair and I’m looking forward to helping strengthen our female entrepreneurs.”

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kaz staples mnzm - board member

Kaz is the founder of the hugely successful Pure Delish brand and business which she started at her kitchen table and sold for an undisclosed amount in a trade sale. Kaz is hugely passionate about the FMCG sector and the category she was a trailblazer in creating. Kaz is an investor, philanthropist and champion of female success. She is a long standing member of Co.OfWomen was appointed to its board in 2020.
Kaz is the founder of the hugely successful Pure Delish brand and business which she started at her kitchen table and sold for an undisclosed amount in a trade sale. Kaz is hugely passionate about the FMCG sector and the category she was a trailblazer in creating. Kaz is an investor, philanthropist and champion of female success. She is a long standing member of Co.OfWomen was appointed to its board in 2020.
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