Darren Evans has joined the ŌCHT board.
He and fellow new trustee Dr Sina Cotter Tait have attended their first meeting of the Trust board.
Darren is chief executive of Calder Stewart, a nationwide leader in developing property and building solutions for New Zealand’s industrial and commercial markets.
Darren’s background coupled with a passion for sustainable housing and tenancies attracted him to the ŌCHT board.
“The ability to share my knowledge with an organisation that has a great purpose, building community housing for the betterment of people in Canterbury, is important to me,” says Darren.
“The trust has achieved some fantastic things and is leading the way in community housing in New Zealand.
It’s truly purpose driven around helping the tenant. Putting the tenant at the heart of it, not just providing shelter like a traditional landlord, is a real point of difference.
Darren also has a personal affinity with ŌCHT and its work as a community housing provider, as his father grew up in a state house in Wharenui Road.
“My family had a start in life through community and social housing so to be involved with ŌCHT’s work has significance for me,” said Darren.
“Being able to contribute back is important, particularly since the demand and need for community housing is only going up.”
Darren’s strategic commercial advice will prove invaluable to ŌCHT’s growth plans.
Darren joined Calder Stewart in 2012 after many years working in chartered accounting, first for KPMG then as a partner at BDO. His accounting career took him to London and Hong Kong before he returned to New Zealand with his young family. He joined Calder Stewart as General Manager of Operational Support, before accepting a role as Chief Operating Officer then Chief Executive Officer in 2019.
One of the many benefits Darren brings from his construction and property background is how to make the right decisions for the long-term to drive focus and outcomes that are sustainable.
“Sustainability is more than our carbon footprint. It’s about how we set up communities to be successful and how we design built environments that enable tenants to thrive.”
Calder Stewart’s motto is “building a strong future”, which closely ties with the trust’s mission of building a future for tenants that’s holistic in its approach.
“What sets a great organisation apart is one that looks holistically.
“There’s not that many organisations that reach out as the trust does to help people grow and be great.
“Providing advice on additional services and support gives people a hand up and enables them to grow and lead a fulfilling life.
“Seeing our tenants, the people who work for the trust and the trust itself grow so that it can do more of this good work is my measure of success.”
Welcome to the ŌCHT board Darren.