Panel Members


The funding panel meet each month to:

  • make recommendations on the disbursement of the funding across the financial year,
  • consider Ethnic Communities Development Fund policy, the Ministries’ strategic priorities and the purpose and outcomes sought through distribution of the fund; and
  • ensure ethical decision making and conflicts of interest in relation to funding allocation decisions are managed appropriately.

The current members are:

Cashias Gumbo

Cashias Gumbo is the current treasurer of the Zimbabwean Canterbury New Zealand Society, and co-founder of Gumbo & Good Wines in North Canterbury. Before establishing his own businesses, Cashias was a resident sommelier at various private hotels in both South Africa and New Zealand, where he was responsible for the beverage programmes, including the acquisition and end to end management of hospitality outlets. Cashias also founded and headed the New Zealand Wine Tasting Team leading them to the 2017 World Championship where they gained 4th place in the World Challenge.

Cashias continues to play a key developmental role in the strategic vision for African Business Operators in New Zealand (AfBONZ), a business information hub which he serves as the Chairperson. His passion for charity work extends beyond borders to Africa where he is a volunteer board member of EcoCARE Africa and volunteer Director of EcoCARE Pacific Trust, a New Zealand registered charity, responsible for human development project design. EcoCARE Africa & Pacific is a non-profit organisation working to build sustainable development through capability building in the areas of education, health and the environment.

Cashias is a Wine Graduate from the School of Business (University of Cape Town), Wine and Spirits Education Trust Global, and member of the Court of Master Sommelier Europe. He holds a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Political Science and International Relations and Media and Communications (University of Canterbury), a Master of Arts in European Union (EU) Studies and Diplomacy and is a Doctoral Candidate at the University of Canterbury. Cashias’ research interests are in Humanitarianism, Political Communication, International Relations, Culture Diplomacy, Sustainable Development Policy, Non-Governmental Organisations, European Union diplomacy, International Political Communications, Media and Social Media analysis, Elite Perceptions, Public Policy, and Multilateral Organisations.

Appointed: July 2021 until 30 June 2024.

Location: Christchurch

Gender: Male

Ethnicity: Zimbabwean

Michelle Huang

Michelle Huang (玫雪.黄) is a 1.5 generation Chinese-New Zealander raised and based in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. She is a diversity and inclusion professional, consultant, app founder and remote educator of left-behind children in rural China. Aside from sitting on the ECDF Panel, Michelle also serves as the chair and interim-GM of Multiethnic Young Leaders NZ, a fast-growing nonprofit organisation in the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion space that aims to build Aotearoa New Zealand’s pipeline of diverse future leaders.

Michelle graduated from NYU-Shanghai where she majored in Global China Studies and Environmental Studies. She is passionate about serving marginalised communities, contributing to a more just and equitable society, and championing diversity in leadership.

Appointed: July 2021 until 30 June 2024.

Location: Auckland

Gender: Female

Ethnicity: Chinese

Luke Qin

Luke Qin is an experience banker and community funding panel member. Luke leads Kiwibank’s International Trade Finance strategy and offering, supporting established exporters and importers with working capital funding and risk management to help make Kiwis better off. Born in Sichuan and now based in Auckland, Luke first arrived in Christchurch as a high school student, representing Linwood College in Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme, National Business Review Business Management Game for Accounting, and First XV Rugby, winning Lincoln University Prize for Commerce, First XV Rugby Blazer Award, and Special Academic Prize - The Most Valuable Contribution by an International Student. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Canterbury, a Master of Applied Finance from Victoria University of Wellington, and has qualifications in Sustainable Finance, Te Reo Māori, Medical Co-Response, Citizen Diplomacy, and Urban Fire & Rescue.

Luke currently serves as an Elected Board Member of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Executive Committee Member of the New Zealand China Council, Executive Committee Member of the New Zealand China Trade Association, National Executive of the New Zealand Chinese Association, Board Advisor for Global Cities New Zealand, Cultural Ambassador for the Hurricanes Super Rugby team, and an Elected Board Director of Transparency International New Zealand, serving as Treasurer, Chair of Affiliations Committee, and Deputy Chair of Audit & Risk. He is a member of the Institute of Directors, Asia New Zealand Foundation Leadership Network, and Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum Emerging Leaders Programme.

Luke has extensive experience contributing to Chinese and English language media, and is a freelance writer for Asia Media Centre New Zealand. He is also an experienced community advocate, serving as a Rotarian, White Ribbon Ambassador, ESOL Home Tutor for refugee families, Wellington City Ambassador, Volunteer Community Patroller, Chair of Wellington Chinese Association, Chair of Hutt City Council Community Funding Panel, and Panel Member of Ministry for Ethnic Communities Development Fund. He became a Life Member of the New Zealand China Friendship Society, and a Justice of the Peace for New Zealand. Luke was awarded a Community Service Award by Multicultural New Zealand, a Long Service Medal by Fire and Emergency New Zealand for his service as a Qualified Volunteer Firefighter and successfully completed the Firefighter Sky Tower Stair Challenge to raise funds for charity.

Appointed: July 2021 until 30 June 2024.

Location: Wellington

Gender: Male

Ethnicity: Chinese

Prabhavathi Ravi (QSM, JP)

Prabha is a very experienced art practitioner and administrator. She has over 20 years of experience running her own Indian classical dance school, Natraj School of Dance, in Wellington. She is also the General Manager of Arohanui Strings-Sistema Hutt Valley. Prabha is an independent director, facilitator, coach, mentor, assessor, presenter, panel speaker and an experienced governor. She is currently also an assessor for the Creative New Zealand Creative Communities Scheme and sits on the Community Panel for central ward at Hutt City Council.

Prabha sits on various not-for-profit boards to bring much-needed ethnic diversity and thinking to the boards. She is also a management consultant and helps businesses and organisations with governance, strategy, business planning & growth, business processes, projects and work programmes. Prabha’s work and contribution to dance and the ethnic communities has been well recognised in New Zealand through several national, regional and community awards during the past decade including a Queen’s Service Medal and Hutt City Mayoral Civic Honour Awards. She was also a Finalist for Wellingtonian of the Year Award in 2016 for Education. In June 2018, she was one of the judges for the TV3 Great NZ Dance Masala competition, a first of its kind on national Television in New Zealand.

Appointed: July 2021 until 30 June 2024.

Location: Wellington

Gender:  Female

Ethnicity: Indian

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