Community Finance

Our Team Members

James Palmer,

Chief Executive – BA LLB

James, a highly experienced commercial lawyer, is also Chief Executive of Christian Savings – New Zealand’s fourth largest non-bank deposit taker. Since his appointment to this role in 2015, James’ strategic vision has overseen a restructure, re-brand and led to exponential growth – an almost 100% increase in lending to charities and community groups over the last five years.

The vision for Community Finance grew from James’ recognition of the ‘pockets of excellence’ operating disparately in the community housing sector, in need of strategic linkages. The opportunity to match church land with housing needs, using a ‘finance for good, not for profit’ model led to his formation of Community Finance. James brings huge energy and passion to Community Finance, building on the already strong relationships with Churches, CHPs and government agencies to accelerate the supply of community housing to those areas most in need.

Paul Gilberd,

General Manager – BA MBA

Paul is a business development specialist and brings a solid background in the community housing sector, most recently as GM Strategy and Development at the New Zealand Housing Foundation. Paul is a serving member on the Anglican Social Justice Commission.  He has extensive work experience across the public and private sector with reference to strategy, governance and change management.

Paul thrives on building relationships and trust and strongly believes in the power of collective impact and collaboration. He is a passionate advocate for impact investment and community action. He describes Community Finance as a communal asset much like a village wine press “It is a shared asset designed to serve the needs of those who want to improve their communities, their wellbeing, their social and environmental resilience.”

Community Finance

Founding Capital Partners

Established in 2019 by Brendan and Jo Lindsay to support Kiwis and organisations who aspire to make a positive difference in New Zealand.

Founded by Ian and Wendy Kuperus in 2008, the Wilberforce Foundation supports organisations making a difference in the lives of New Zealanders and the communities they live in.


Established in the Bay of Plenty in 2009, the Matua Foundation is focusing its attention on housing and poverty relief and providing working Kiwi families, who are struggling to make ends meet, with a hand up.

Founded in 1962, Christian Savings is a non-bank deposit taker partnering with churches and charities throughout New Zealand to expand their community buildings, develop new facilities, support social housing and the care of the elderly.  Community Finance is a natural extension of this work.

A private philanthropic family foundation working throughout Aotearoa New Zealand to build a stronger, sustainable nation so family, communities and the environment thrive now and in the future.

Community Finance


Major Campbell

Major Campbell Roberts,


As the founding Director of The Salvation Army’s Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit, Major Campbell Roberts has made social justice his life’s work. His broad contribution in this area includes extensive experience in the management, governance and delivery of Community and Social Services within The Salvation Army and other community organisations.

He is a trusted national spokesperson and commentator in many forums on issues of housing, poverty, welfare and employment and a former President of the New Zealand Council of Social Services, Chairman of the New Zealand Housing Network, member of the Board of the New Zealand Housing Foundation and sits on the Justice Reform forum: ‘Rethinking Crime and Punishment’. In 2019, Campbell was awarded the CNZM in recognition of his services to the community.

Shamubeel Eaqub

Shamubeel Eaqub,


An experienced economist with over a decade’s industry experience, Shamubeel is also an author, media commentator and a thought leading public speaker who makes economics accessible. Shamubeel provides economic consultancy on a wide range of business and policy topics.

He sits on several boards of charities and commercial firms and prides himself on providing a voice for those who are unheard.

Jo Glen

Jo Glen

Jo brings over 30 years of stockbroking and investment banking operations, and experience of financial services gained across both global and local companies, including 20 years with ABN AMRO. Specialising in risk and compliance over the last decade, she played a key role in a project to amalgamate four financial institutions, culminating in the successful issue of a banking licence for Heartland Bank.

Jo provides strong governance and regulatory oversight to the Community Finance Board. A keen social conscience and a desire to contribute has seen Jo serve on boards, community groups and associations. This community involvement and her specialised skillset means she is a valuable addition to the Community Finance Board.

Steven Moe

Steven Moe,

LB(hons), BA

Steven has 19 years’ experience practising law around the world. He is currently a Partner at Parry Field Lawyers in Christchurch where his focus areas include start-up companies, tech companies, investors and social enterprises.

Passionate about empowering impact, Steven published the book “Social Enterprises in New Zealand: A Legal Handbook” in 2017, designed to raise awareness of the work of social enterprises while offering information to social entrepreneurs and providing legal information to assist in structuring new social enterprises.

This mix of passion and experience lends itself well to his role as Chair of the Community Finance Board.

Rob Robson

Rod Robson,

LLB BAppTheol (Carey)

Rod was previously the chief legal advisor for Work and Income and is the current Pastor of Opawa Baptist Church in South East Christchurch. He has been a pastor and a youth pastor for the last 20 years. Rod assists on compliance and regulatory issues. A Director of Christian Savings, Rod is keen to see better finance options for community housing and the wider voluntary sector. He is married with four grown up children and two dogs.