Northern Region Football appoints Gina Mills as its new chair

Gina Mills is the new chair of Northern Region Football after taking over from Andrea Nelson who has stood down after serving on the board for seven years.

Simon Hilton has become NRF’s deputy chair.

Main photo: Gina Mills … ‘our responsibility is to make football fun, fair and future-proof.’

“I am sad to be leaving, but it is time for fresh legs,” Andrea Nelson said.

She thanked NRF chief executive Laura Menzies, fellow board members and, in particular, the clubs of Auckland and Northland for their their hard work and support.

“Your passion and commitment is what makes football happen. I can’t wait to see what happens next,” she said.

Incoming chair Gina Mills said:

“Andrea has been a driving force for increasing the diversity of perspectives around our Board table, helping us lead from the top on our equity of access strategic priority.

“Her deep knowledge and networks across the New Zealand sporting sector has also been incredibly valuable.”

Andrea Nelson.

Mills thanked Nelson for her strong leadership through the merger of the Auckland and Northern federations, and building the governance capability of the new board of NRF.

NRF president Bob Patterson was on the Auckland Football Federation board when Nelson began in football governance. He said:

“Andrea was the first woman that we had on our bBoard, ever. To start, she was very reticent to put things forward, but she was a great listener, picked up the nuances, and knew what was going on.

“Andrea was probably the best appointment I ever made of a board member. The way she is, and her understanding of governance brought a whole new dimension to our leadership.

“When Andrea and Aimee Barwick, who was at Northern Football Federation, got together, they did a fantastic job at leading and seeing our merger through to the end.”

NRF’s chief executive Laura Menzies said:

“Andrea has been an excellent chair and led the board and organsation through a significant time of change and opportunity, with the merger, Covid, cyclones and the World Cup.

“I’m grateful for her support and guidance over the last few years. Gina has a strong understanding of our business and the sport, and this is a great opportunity for her to step in the role as chair.”

Gina Mills was appointed to the NFF Board in 2019, and has served as head of the NRF Audit & Risk Committee most recently.

“I love being part of an organisation that’s making a positive impact in our communities,” she said.

“Football is a simple game which brings people together and is accessible for all. Our responsibility is to make it fun, fair and future-proof.

“The best thing about NRF is that we are focussed on different ways to bring football to new groups of participants, whether they are players, coaches, match officials, club administrators or simply fans.

“I’m so excited for the growth of the game in Aotearoa, and particularly in our region, with the spectacular success of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, with so many inspirational players and performances.

“While this is a huge opportunity, I know it’s also a concern for clubs who are already stretched with capacity and resources, so it’s important that NRF is able to support our club network through this, and I’m confident that we’ll work together to grow the game to new heights in the coming years. Bring it on!”

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