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Meet the principals at Tuia Innovation

Alan Groves, MBA

Ngai Tahu me Kati Mamoe ki Rakiura


Alan has over 18 years of experience in the innovation sphere, and has worked along the continuum of new venture creation from idea conceptualisation to start-up. He was an award-winning investment manager in the public sector, where he championed Māori innovation, before leading a number of highly innovative new product development programmes. He took a lead role in an R&D project that was the first in the world to produce an algae-derived bio-fuel, and managed a project that formulated a nutraceutical from fish processing waste that outperformed the world’s leading natural product-based anti-inflammatories. He has co-authored patents, developed trademarks (Mārino & ikōra), led market engagement programmes into Asia, and worked extensively in New Zealand’s innovation system and incubator network.

Alan has had a career-long focus on bringing innovation to bear on Māori assets and natural resource holdings, stemming from his involvement with an Ahu Whenua Trust which won $10m compensation from the Crown in exchange for property rights.


Tuia Innovation director Alan Groves



Tuia Innovation principal Guy Royal

Guy Royal, LLB/BA

Ngāti Raukawa, Parehauraki, Ngāti Hine, Ngāpuhi


Guy has over 20 years of experience as a commercial corporate lawyer advising businesses in New Zealand, Hong Kong, Vietnam and the United Kingdom specialising in private equity. He has practiced as a private equity lawyer and previously worked with CDC Capital plc in London UK specialising in equity and debt investments, joint venture arrangements and mergers and acquisitions. He holds and has held several directorship roles, including KiwiRail (NZ’s freight, passenger rail and InterIslander transport business), Toitu Te Waonui Forestry Fund, NZ Fast Forward Fund Limited and Crown Forestry Rental Trust. He has also been on the Film and Literature Review Board.

Guy advises many commercial investment entities in the Māori sector and speaks at forums and conferences on the topics of governance, the Māori sector, and innovation.


Nick Gerritsen, LLB


Nick Gerritsen is a New Zealand based thinker, visionary catalyst, and impact entrepreneur. During his legal career, he advised leading corporates on intellectual property and later enjoyed a string of successful business ventures, most notably in radio, life sciences, and software sectors. He has been a consultant to New Zealand On Air, Radio New Zealand, Te Māngai Pāho (the Māori Broadcasting Funding Agency), Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and Government Chief Digital Office.

Nick loves BIG ideas that are going to lead to global structural change, is committed to the culture of innovation, and unafraid of operating beyond existing boundaries. He specialises in developing technology propositions from the ground up, and has been one of the leaders promoting New Zealand’s contribution to emerging megatrends such as Clean Technology, the Internet of Things, and GovTech.


Tuia Innovation principal Nick Gerritsen



Tuia Innovation principal Toko Kapea

Toko Kapea LLB


Toko is a founding director of Tuia Group, a commercial law and business consulting firm that works primarily in the Māori economic development space. His career has largely been in the banking and energy sectors in New Zealand. He is a director of Television New Zealand, Chair of Bathurst Resources Ltd and Duke Exploration Pty Ltd, has held governance roles on the Federation of Māori Authorities, Paraninihi ki Waitotara, and Ngāti Apa Developments Ltd, and was also an independent committee member of the Banjima Direct Benefits Trust (Perth).

Toko descends from the Taranaki, Whanganui and Rangitikei regions. He currently spends his spare time coaching his son’s high school basketball team, which he often finds more challenging than his other roles (managing teenage boys).


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