Chief Executive appointed to The Backhouse

The Board of The Backhouse Trust is pleased to announce the appointment of Rodd Eddy as the Chief Executive of The Backhouse.

Eddy comes to The Backhouse with extensive New Zealand and international experience, having lived and worked across the South Pacific, Asia, Europe, and Africa for large multinational companies, multilateral development organisations, and his own consulting practice.

Trustee Gaelle Deighton said The Backhouse Trust was looking forward to leveraging Eddy’s wealth of experience.

“We know Rodd is motivated to see innovation thrive in Whanganui and I am confident he will find unlimited opportunities to use his skillset nurturing ambition, creativity and entrepreneurship through The Backhouse,” Deighton said.

Deighton said Eddy’s appointment reflected the Trust’s intention to elevate The Backhouse’s potential at every opportunity.

“Securing such a capable Chief Executive enables us to establish a strong leadership structure and gives us confidence the Trust’s vision for The Backhouse will be met at an operational level through every consideration undertaken by Rodd.”

Eddy has built business and organisational capability with immersive learning experiences in innovation methodologies such as co-design and design thinking, and advised, coached, consulted, and mentored company management and staff from start-ups to medium enterprises and large multi-national corporations in the fields of sustainability, governance and structure, consolidation and growth, replication and scale, and business modelling.

He has been engaged across the governance, commercial, tertiary education, and innovation sectors within New Zealand supporting sustainable practice and structuring, development and delivery, and change and restructure.

“It’s an exciting time to move into this vibrant region and have the opportunity to realise the vision that Whanganui & Partners and UCOL had to establish an innovation mélange. A place that brings together culture, business, education, and innovation under one roof.

“I am looking forward to working closely with The Backhouse Trust, iwi, partners, and stakeholders to create our kaupapa. A place that not only attracts innovation and entrepreneurial spirit, but builds capability, resilience, and sustainable pathways for growth within Whanganui,” Eddy said.

Eddy holds a master’s degree in Professional Practice with Distinction (Business Management), and a bachelor’s degree in Applied Management (Sustainability, and Strategic Management).

Whanganui & Partners Chief Executive Hannah Middleton said she was pleased The Backhouse Trust had been able to bring Eddy to Whanganui for the CE role.

“Whanganui’s strength as a centre for business development and entrepreneurial thinking is well established and The Backhouse has the opportunity to now raise that profile even more. Whanganui & Partners is pleased to see Rodd and The Backhouse Trust working with us towards that aim.”

Middleton said that with the appointment of Eddy, Whanganui & Partners had confidence The Backhouse was continuing its intent to establish strong foundations and a kaupapa for growth.

“Whanganui & Partners is proud to be behind The Backhouse initiative, along with UCOL and our iwi partners Tupoho, Ngā Wairiki Ngāti Apa and Ngā Rauru – who are all represented on The Backhouse Trust.

“In order for this project to realise its potential, we have always maintained The Backhouse Trust must operate independently of the foundational partners and the appointment of Rodd ensures this can be the case.”

Middleton said Whanganui & Partners would continue to make use of the excellent facilities at The Backhouse for programmes and events it regularly delivers. “It’s great to be able to build our agency’s relationship with Rodd and to be able to rely on his excellent experience to help make sure The Backhouse continues to support Whanganui’s innovative strengths.”

Eddy said he hoped for The Backhouse to hold an official launch in November, to coincide with Whanganui’s UNESCO City of Design launch.

“Whanganui has a bright future ahead in the innovation space and it will be exciting to be part of this celebration recognising the city’s significant design legacy and huge potential. The Backhouse finds itself in the ideal time and place to help realise that potential and it’s great to have a role to play in our region’s success.”


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