About me, Richard Westlake, and this site

I’ve been lucky enough to chair boards and work with some fabulous people – making mistakes as I’ve gone – for over 25 years. So I’ve decided to share some of my experiences, my lessons and scars, and perhaps a few random thoughts along the way.

I hope you’ll join me and enjoy our journey together, and also that in here you may find something that helps you in chairing your own board.


I’ve trained more directors than probably anyone else in New Zealand, mostly here, also in Australia, South and East Asia, and many other places.

I run my corporate governance business Westlake Governance Ltd, providing a full range of advisory services to boards and chairs – board training, reviews, evaluations, as well as those governance challenges that the other consultancies can’t help you with, because they don’t have our years of first hand experience, working inside the boardroom, seeing it from the inside.

Please get in touch if you think we may be able to help – office@westlakegovernance.com

Outside that,

  • I’ve trained as a fighter pilot in Britain (and I have a lifelong passion for aviation of all types);
  • I’ve been a merchant banker and senior executive in New Zealand and Australia; and
  • I’ve spent more than the last 25 years in a broad range of governance roles.

The common theme of all of these has been learning to identify, assess and manage Risk.

Recently, I’ve seen how hard it is for experienced directors and board chairs to find useful, practical reference material, so I decided to write about some of my own experiences, conclusions and lessons. Here they are.

This site is chairingtheboard.com and I call my blog informally ‘CHAFTROU – chairing, for the rest of us.’ I hope it’ll become a useful reference tool for chairs and experienced board members of all those thousands of organisations, of all sizes, for which we share the privilege and challenge of providing governance leadership, control and oversight.

I don’t expect everyone to agree with everything I say, but if I’ve started you thinking, then I think I’ve done my job.

I look forward to our further conversations.


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