Our leaders are making a difference.

New Zealand Institute of Economic Research

Chief Executive

Ichor is extremely happy to announce the appointment of Jason Shoebridge to lead the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER). He has just started in his new role, effective September 2021. Jason will replace the outgoing CE of seven years, Laurence Kubiak, who is leaving to pursue his own governance interests.

Jason is a former Chief Executive and highly experienced and versatile leader. Most recently, he was Chief Executive of Kantar Insight New Zealand, one of the country’s largest insights and analytics businesses. Kantar, which includes Colmar Brunton, has clients in all sectors of the New Zealand economy, and has some of New Zealand’s largest and most important corporate and public sector organisations in its portfolio.

Qualified with an MBA and a Bachelor of Commerce, Jason majored in Economics and Finance from the University of Auckland. He is a Chartered Accountant and a member of the Institute of Directors.

We wish Jason all the very best in his new role.

Te Uru Rākau - New Zealand Forest Service

Deputy Director-General

It is with great pleasure Ichor Leadership Search announce the appointment of Jason Wilson to the position of Deputy Director-General – Te Uru Rākau (New Zealand Forest Service) at the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). 

As the current Director – Sector Investments within Te Uru Rākau, Jason leads the development of the Industry Transformation Plan for the forestry and wood processing sector, partnering with multiple Government agencies and stakeholders.

Prior to joining MPI, Jason spent over twenty-seven years in the commercial sector, holding various leadership roles in the forest and wood products industries largely in Australia. This included nine years in the leadership team of Carter Holt Harvey’s Australian business, where he led the corporate strategy for a cultural change programme across 2,500 employees.

Jason then held three General Manager roles across a range of Australian commercial entities with larger scale and complexity, with the most notable being the ASX-listed company Brickworks, a building products manufacturer.

Before making the decision to return to New Zealand in 2019, Jason was the Chief Operating Officer of Timberlink Australia, a forestry company that was part of a $5 billion investment fund, focussed on environmentally sustainable investments in the Asia-Pacific region and the USA.

Jason’s broad-based networks and commercial exposure, particularly across the Trans-Tasman forestry environment, will be invaluable for Te Uru Rākau’s next phase of development.

We congratulate Jason on his appointment.

Royal Society Te Apārangi

Chief Executive

Ichor Leadership Search is delighted to share the news of Paul Atkins’ appointment as the Chief Executive of the Royal Society Te Apārangi. Paul takes over the role from Dame Cindy Kiro (also appointed by Ichor), who has recently been announced as New Zealand’s next Governor-General.

The Royal Society Te Apārangi is the pre-eminent membership body for individuals across the science, technology and humanities disciplines, with an emphasis on promoting research and scholarly activity, and the pursuit of knowledge. Key areas of focus include public outreach, education and supporting the research community.

Paul is currently the Chief Executive of ZEALANDIA, a role he has held for the past six years, leading the organisation through a period of transformation, building its reputation, reach and impact, from local to global.

Prior to ZEALANDIA, Paul was Chief Executive of the National Energy Research Institute and has earlier held General Manager roles with the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, Creative New Zealand, and the Arts Council of New Zealand. He has also chaired the Board of the MacDiarmid Institute over the past four years and is a Chartered Scientist, Chartered Physicist, and Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute.

Currently, Paul is also the Chair of The Hillary Institute of International Leadership and The Edmund Hillary Fellowship.

He will start in the role effective Monday 29 November, until which time an Acting Chief Executive will remain in charge.

Congratulations on your appointment, Paul!

New Zealand King Salmon

Chief Financial Officer

Dual NZX and ASX listed company New Zealand King Salmon (NZKS) recently announced the appointment of Ben Rodgers as Chief Financial Officer, following an executive search conducted by Ichor Leadership Search.

As the country’s largest salmon farmer and the world’s largest producer of king salmon, NZKS has a 30-year history of farming this unique species. Over 7,000 tonnes of king salmon are harvested and processed annually, which are marketed through a variety of products, brands and channels, on and offshore.

Currently Ben is Deputy Chief Financial Officer at Kiwibank. He chairs the Bank’s Pricing Committee and is the management representative on Kiwibank’s Audit and Risk Committee.

He previously held the role of Deputy Chief Financial Officer at Z Energy. Ben led the financial and tax due diligence for the acquisition of Chevron New Zealand, which created over $1bn of shareholder value, and he subsequently led the finance integration into the Z Group.

Prior to this, Ben was Commercial Controller for Telefonica UK, and has earlier worked at Contact Energy, PwC and KPMG. Ben is a Chartered Accountant and graduate of Massey University.

Ben’s commercial acumen will no doubt support the successful realisation of the company’s Blue Endeavour plans for open ocean aquaculture.

He takes on his new role in September 2021. Congratulations on your appointment Ben!

Racing Integrity Board

Chief Executive

Ichor Leadership Search is thrilled to announce the appointment of Mike Clement to the role of Chief Executive of the Racing Integrity Board.

Mike has been appointed the inaugural Chief Executive of the new independent Racing Integrity Board which will oversee the racing industry from 1 July 2021.

The Racing Integrity Board takes over the functions of the Racing Integrity Unit and the Judicial Control Authority for Racing, both of which will be disestablished as of 30 June 2021, with all employees transferring to the new Board.

Prior to his appointment, Mike served as Deputy Commissioner with the New Zealand Police, an organisation he served for 42 years until his retirement last year. Previously, Mike also served as the District Commander – Auckland City.

“The Board is delighted to have been able to secure a leader of Mike’s standing, experience and impeccable integrity,” says Sir Bruce Robertson, Chair of the Racing Integrity Board.

Mike will be based in Auckland and take on this role effective 1 July 2021.

We congratulate Mike on his appointment and wish him all the best in this inaugural role.

Bragato Research Institute

Chief Executive

Ichor Leadership Search is excited to share the appointment of Jeffrey Clarke to the role of Chief Executive of Bragato Research Institute (BRI).

Jeffrey has been appointed to Chief Executive of BRI, having earlier undertaken the role on an interim basis in April, following the resignation of the previous Chief Executive.

BRI is the first Regional Research Institute for viticulture and oenology in New Zealand. It is wholly owned by New Zealand Winegrowers (NZW), the national organisation for the grape and wine sector with over 1,400 winery and grower members.

Prior to his appointment, Jeffrey was General Manager – Advocacy & General Counsel of BRI’s parent body NZW, since 2014. His work has included the original contracts to establish BRI, as well as ongoing advocacy and legal support for the research organisation. Jeffrey has also represented the New Zealand wine industry globally at international wine bodies such as the International Organisation of Vine and Wine and the World Wine Trade Group.

“I am delighted to confirm Jeffrey’s appointment. The Board believes this appointment will carry BRI forward in terms of meeting our strategic imperatives, continue the development of the great staff we have, and most importantly delivering science outcomes applicable to the vineyard and other aspects of wine making,” says Mark Gilbert, Chair of the BRI Board.

Jeffrey will divide his time between the BRI office in Blenheim and his home in Wellington, with travel to BRI’s other research sites. He starts in the role in June 2021.

Congratulations Jeffrey!

Transport Accident Investigation Commission

Chief Executive

Ichor Leadership Search is delighted to announce the appointment of Martin Sawyers to the role of Chief Executive of the Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC).

Martin has held a range of senior leadership roles, most recently within two regulatory organisations in different sectors – as Chief Executive of the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board for six years and previously, as Legal Counsel of the Real Estate Authority for five years.

In addition to leading major transformations that have been modelled on international regulatory best practices, Martin is a qualified lawyer who offers extensive legal expertise from across the commercial and public sectors. Over a three-year period, he also served as Buller District Council’s Mayor.

Martin’s broad-based judicial and regulatory exposure will be invaluable for TAIC’s future.

Congratulations on your appointment Martin!

Maritime New Zealand

Chief Executive

It is with great pleasure that Ichor Leadership Search announces the appointment of Kirstie Hewlett to the role of Chief Executive of Maritime New Zealand.

Kirstie has held a range of senior leadership roles aimed at improving regulatory frameworks and systems across the public sector.

As the Deputy Chief Executive – System and Regulatory Design at the Ministry of Transport, she developed strategic initiatives aimed at achieving key transport outcomes across environmental sustainability, economic prosperity, resilience and security. Kirstie also led the response to Covid-19 at a systemic level across the transport system.

Prior to this, Kirstie was the General Manager – Strategy and Performance at WorkSafe New Zealand, following an extensive career at the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment where she led policy, research and evaluation functions in financial sector reform, telecommunications strategy and infrastructure, industry and regional development, and health and safety.

Kirstie’s broad-based networks and regulatory exposure particularly within the New Zealand transport sector will be invaluable for Maritime New Zealand’s next phase of development.

Congratulations Kirstie!

Cawthron Institute

Chief Executive

Ichor Leadership Search is excited to announce the appointment of Volker Kuntzsch to the role of Chief Executive of Cawthron Institute.

Volker has built a prominent international career within the seafood sector spanning 25 years. He was most recently the Chief Executive of New Zealand’s oldest and largest seafood company, Sanford, where he developed organisational capability, grew revenue and increased employee engagement.

Before he was drawn to Aotearoa, Volker spent five years with the Japanese marine products company, Nippon Suisan Kaisha, in various senior leadership roles, including Global Marketing Director and President of their North American business. His earlier career included leading a Namibian seafood company and working for multinational brands, such as Unilever, across Europe in a range of procurement and production leadership roles.

With proven strategic and commercial capabilities, complemented by strong people leadership credentials honed across multiple geographies, we wish Volker all the best as he leads Cawthron into its next phase of growth and development.

Congratulations on your appointment, Volker!

Inland Revenue

Chief Tax Counsel

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Michelle Redington to the position of Chief Tax Counsel at Inland Revenue (IR).

Michelle has a breadth of experience across both professional services and large corporate environments. Originally trained as a lawyer, she began her career at Minter Ellison Rudd Watts, before joining PwC and embarking on a 14-year career that saw her advise clients on both sides of the Tasman. Appointed as a Partner in 2012, Michelle took on the role of Co-Leader of PwC’s International Tax Practice. During this period, her roster of international clients included Apple, Google and other large multinational corporations.

Joining Air New Zealand in 2014 as Head of Taxation and Insurance, Michelle spent the past six-and-a-half years serving our national airline. In 2018, she was promoted to her last role within the organisation as General Manager – Group Shared Services and Taxation, working directly to the Chief Financial Officer and advising the Chief Executive.

As a proven strategic leader who understands client-oriented environments coupled with credibility across tax law, Michelle will play a significant role in leading IR’s Tax Counsel Office as well as addressing complex tax issues and their relevance for the New Zealand economy.

Congratulations Michelle!



It is with great pleasure that Ichor Leadership Search announces the appointment of Steve Turnock as the new Director of DCM.

Formerly known as the Downtown Community Ministry, DCM primarily works with and supports Wellington’s most marginalised people through their journey towards sustainable housing and wellbeing.

Of Ngāi Tahu descent, Steve has worked within the social sector for both government and NGOs for the past 20 years within Christchurch, Porirua and Wellington.

As the current General Manager – Operations of the Porirua Whānau Centre (one of six Family Social Service Centres in New Zealand), Steve oversees social workers, counsellors, early childhood centre staff, a youth team and a family violence prevention group. In addition, he manages the social housing portfolio providing sustainable housing for whānau in the Porirua region.

Having led projects such as the Whānau Ora Education Initiative and the Porirua Tiaki Tangata Violence Prevention Collective, Steve has also successfully cultivated numerous partnerships with local Iwi, community service providers and public sector organisations.

We congratulate Steve on this appointment and wish him all the best, as he leads DCM into its next phase of growth and development.

Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO)

Chief Executive

Ichor Leadership Search is thrilled to share the news of Toby Beaglehole’s appointment as the new Chief Executive of BCITO.

In his current role as Chief Executive of Connexis, Toby has been instrumental in managing the Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE) for the organisation. Earlier in his corporate career, Toby led New Zealand Oil Services, a joint venture between BP and Z Energy. Prior to this, he held General Manager roles at New Zealand Post with accountability for (amongst other areas) postal deliveries, during a period of significant decrease in mail volumes and organisational restructuring.

Previously, Toby led the corporate development and risk & compliance portfolios within a large infrastructure investment fund, where he grew the port, energy and transport infrastructure assets. With a broad leadership background that spans the infrastructure, oil and gas, public and the industry training sectors, we congratulate Toby as he commences his new role.

New Zealand Police

Director - Office of the Commissioner

Ichor Leadership Search is delighted to announce the appointment of Maria Rawiri to the role of Director – Office of the Commissioner at New Zealand Police.

Maria brings extensive knowledge of the justice sector, having previously held General Manager and Sector Manager roles at the Ministry of Justice and the Office of the Auditor-General respectively. Developing a bird’s eye view of the public sector throughout her career, Maria’s previous third-tier role at Oranga Tamariki focussed on the establishment of the organisation’s assurance and governance functions.

With a wide range of experience that complements her new role, Maria will work closely with the Commissioner and the Executive Leadership Team to provide high-level advice to enable critical decision making. This will allow New Zealand Police to continue to nurture well-rounded relationships with key stakeholders across government.

Congratulations on your appointment, Maria.

WorkSafe New Zealand

General Manager - Operations

WorkSafe New Zealand welcomes Pelin Fantham as General Manager – Operations, following the executive search by Ichor Leadership Search.

Pelin offers a deep and credible leadership background at Maritime New Zealand (MNZ). With expertise across safety, regulation and compliance areas, Pelin has been instrumental in leading MNZ’s frontline operations, stakeholder relationships, change initiatives and modern regulatory evolvement over the 12-year period she has spent within the organisation.

As part of a two-year secondment, Pelin most recently held the role of Deputy Director – Compliance Systems Delivery, reporting directly to MNZ’s Chief Executive as a member of the Senior Leadership Team. In this capacity, Pelin led over eighty frontline staff across the country with responsibility for delivering improved safety outcomes for the broader maritime sector.

We congratulate Pelin on her new role.

Sport New Zealand

Chief Executive

Ichor Leadership Search is extremely excited to announce the appointment of Raelene Castle to the role of Chief Executive at Sport New Zealand.

As the first female leader appointed to head this national sporting body, Raelene will play a key role in protecting the strength and integrity of New Zealand’s sporting sector.

Having previously been the Chief Executive of Rugby Australia and Netball New Zealand, Raelene offers considerable leadership experience in sports administration, both in New Zealand and Australia. Earlier, she enjoyed a fifteen-year commercial career, holding various leadership roles for some of New Zealand’s leading banking and telecommunications organisations.

Raelene’s well-known drive for supporting diversity and engagement across multiple sectors will prove invaluable in driving Sport New Zealand onwards and upwards.

We congratulate Raelene as she commences her new role effective December 2020.

Royal Society Te Apārangi

Chief Executive

Ichor Leadership Search is very pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Cynthia (Cindy) Kiro as the new Chief Executive of Royal Society Te Apārangi.

Cindy is currently the Pro-Vice Chancellor – Māori at the University of Auckland. Of Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Kahu and Ngāti Hine descent, she has been instrumental in nurturing a positive Māori profile within the university, developing and leading programmes working closely with the Vice-Chancellor, Māori staff, students and the wider community.

Previously, Cindy was Chair of Kia Piki Ake Welfare Expert Advisory Group and was New Zealand’s fourth Children’s Commissioner. During her time in this role, she established the Taskforce for Action on Family Violence – the largest ever response to family violence. Earlier, Cindy was Head of the School of Public Health at Massey University and a former head of Te Kura Māori at Victoria University of Wellington.

We congratulate Cindy on this appointment. She is set to start her new role in March 2021.

Engineering New Zealand

Chief Executive

Ichor Leadership Search is delighted to announce the appointment of Richard Templer to the role of Chief Executive at Engineering New Zealand.

Richard will lead a membership organisation that will continue to advance the engineering profession and deliver greater value, credibility, and recognition for its 22,000-plus members.

As the current Chief Executive of Manawatū District Council, Richard has led significant cultural, strategic and operational change initiatives that have lifted engagement and elevated the organisation across many levels.

Richard’s earlier professional grounding is in the engineering industry, with subsequent experience within the science and innovation sector. His earlier career spans both central and local government, along with industry body leadership roles.

We congratulate Richard on his appointment. He will commence this new role in November 2020.

New Zealand Infrastructure Commission

Chief Executive

It is with great pleasure that Ichor Leadership Search announces the appointment of Ross Copland as the new Chief Executive of the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission – Te Waihanga.

Ross offers a career spanning design, procurement, financing, and infrastructure delivery portfolios. Commencing as an engineer, he progressed through various asset management roles and led in Chief Executive positions across property and facilities, real estate and construction sectors.

With proven strategic leadership capability, coupled with credibility across the infrastructure industry, Ross will play a key role in developing solutions to inspire New Zealand’s infrastructure landscape.

Congratulations on your appointment, Ross.

Local Government New Zealand

Chief Executive

Ichor Leadership Search is excited to announce the appointment of Susan Freeman-Greene as the new Chief Executive of Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ).

Susan is currently the Chief Executive of Engineering New Zealand, where she has been effective in lifting the relevance and credibility of the 22,000-member peak industry body.

Prior to this, Susan was Chief Executive of the Broadcasting Standards Authority. Earlier, she held executive roles with the Human Rights Commission and the former Department of Labour. Susan offers experience across legal, compliance, relationship and advocacy arenas, coupled with a strong engagement style.

We congratulate Susan on this appointment. She commences her new role in September 2020.

Real Estate Authority

Chief Executive

The Real Estate Authority (REA) welcomes new Chief Executive Belinda Moffat, following the executive search by Ichor Leadership Search.

As the former Chief Executive of Broadcasting Standards Authority, Belinda brings strong regulatory leadership with diverse sector experience across media, arts and culture, and the banking and finance industries.

Belinda is also a qualified lawyer with broad legal expertise from her career in private and public sector roles in New Zealand and overseas.

She will commence her new role in September 2020.

Congratulations Belinda.

WorkSafe New Zealand

General Manager - Business Performance and Finance

Ichor Leadership Search is pleased to announce the recent appointment of Allan Frost to General Manager – Business Performance and Finance with WorkSafe New Zealand. 

With over 20 years’ experience in both private and public sector leadership and executive roles, Allan has led a range of functions, including legal, risk & assurance, programme delivery, ICT, planning and performance, and finance.

Prior to joining WorkSafe, Allan held executive roles at a range of organisations, including GNS Science, the New Zealand Transport Agency, Ministry of Agriculture and Audit New Zealand.

Congratulations Allan on your new role.


General Manager – Consultancy Services

We are pleased to announce the recent appointment of Mike Evans to the role of General Manager – Consultancy Services at BRANZ.

Mike will lead a specialist team focused on building value for the organisation’s clients and the wider industry.

He has held various senior leadership positions across the local government, construction and manufacturing sectors. Mike offers considerable commercial experience coupled with direct exposure to leading consultancy services and technical teams of various dimensions.

As the former General Manager – City Infrastructure at Porirua City Council, Mike led the Water and Waste, Transport, Property and Operation Support portfolios. His earlier career comprised of leadership roles encompassing business development, communications and project management.

Congratulations on your appointment, Mike.

WorkSafe New Zealand


Ichor Leadership Search is delighted to announce the appointment of Phil Parkes to the role of Chief Executive of WorkSafe New Zealand.

As the current Chief Operating Officer, Phil leads WorkSafe’s Operations Group of over 300 staff, including High Hazards, Energy and Public Safety, Health and Safety Innovation, Operational Excellence, General Inspectorate, Specialist Interventions, and Health and Technical Services.

Phil also brings extensive regulatory and leadership experience from previous roles in local and central government in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Prior to joining WorkSafe, Phil was General Manager – Policy and Legal with the Environmental Protection Authority, where he led the implementation of a new regulatory framework.

The Chair of WorkSafe New Zealand, Ross Wilson, said, “Phil has provided excellent operational leadership within the organisation and the Board is confident he has the knowledge, vision and skills to lead WorkSafe as Chief Executive.”

Phil will replace Nicole Rosie who is taking on the role of Chief Executive at the New Zealand Transport Agency.

He takes on his new role in January 2020.

Glen Dimplex


Ichor Leadership Search is thrilled to announce the appointment of Mike Daish to the role of Managing Director – New Zealand for Glen Dimplex.

Mike brings deep international experience from his sixteen years with Dyson Appliances. He progressed steadily to the Executive Leadership team level working with the Chief Executive, Owner, and Board, eventually becoming a Global Manager– Business to Business for Dyson Global. Earlier, his career traversed five and then eight years respectively with Monaco Corporation and then Robinson Industries across wholesale, consumer, retail and specifier channels.

Returning to New Zealand in 2016, Mike has been involved with independent mentoring and consulting activities across various growth companies. Mike’s career accomplishments in achieving profitable business growth, expanding portfolios and developing strategic decisions around category management will be valuable in his new journey leading Glen Dimplex New Zealand.

Please join us in congratulating Mike on his new role.

Police Credit Union


Joe Bishop has been appointed Chief Executive of the Police Credit Union following an executive search conducted by Ichor Leadership Search.

Currently the Chief Customer Officer at Kiwi Wealth, this new role will see Joe leave the business following an eight-year stint with the government-owned investment firm.

Starting out as Head of Wealth Products, Joe joined the-then Kiwibank operation in 2012 just before the government-owned institution bought the Gareth Morgan KiwiSaver and investment business (GMI). When Kiwibank spun the GMI business into a new separate entity, Kiwi Wealth, Joe took on the role of Head of Retail Wealth and Marketing at Kiwi Wealth.

He subsequently held various titles within the Kiwi Wealth hierarchy, culminating in his current role.

Prior to joining Kiwibank, Joe served for almost three years as Head of Smartshares – emigrating from the United Kingdom for the job.

At the Police Credit Union, he will be in charge of a savings and lending business with assets of about $130 million.

Joe will start his new role in April 2020.

WorkSafe New Zealand


Ichor Leadership Search is proud to announce the appointment of Kevin Lampen-Smith as General Manager – External Strategy and Engagement of WorkSafe New Zealand.

Kevin is currently the Chief Executive of the Real Estate Authority (REA), the independent government agency that regulates the New Zealand real estate industry. During his time at the REA, Kevin has developed a new customer-focused strategy for the Authority including the introduction of a new consumer website and developing anti-money laundering practices by working closely with the Department of Internal Affairs.

Prior to this role, which he has held for over eight years, Kevin worked with the Electricity Authority in a range of senior leadership positions, initially as Chief Financial Officer and then as General Manager – Corporate Services.

As a qualified chartered accountant, Kevin has worked across the regulatory and consumer roles for many years, and prior to the Electricity Authority, was a part of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.

Kevin takes on his new role in May 2020.

WorkSafe New Zealand


Ichor Leadership Search is pleased to announce the appointment of Glenda Harvey as General Manager People, Culture and Safety for WorkSafe New Zealand.

Glenda has over 25 years senior management experience in human resources, organisational culture/capability development, health and safety, and governance roles within the manufacturing, construction and health sectors.

Her prior experience involved a longstanding career at Holcim where she worked in New Zealand and Australia across a wide range of leadership roles. As a previous New Zealand Country Manager, Glenda was engaged in modernising Holcim’s approach to health and safety and supported the business as it moved into a significant growth phase.

Please join us in welcoming Glenda to her new role.

Civil Aviation Authority


We are delighted to announce the appointment of Dean Winter to the role of Deputy Chief Executive – Performance and Monitoring.

In his current role, Dean’s mandate and focus has been to significantly lift the Tertiary Education Commission’s monitoring and compliance function, across a range of tertiary organisations, including universities, Wananga, industry training organisations and polytechnics, which receive over $3 billion of Crown funding each year.

Most recently, he has been involved in the development of a framework to create oversight of the Reform of Vocational Education programme, one of the largest pan-sector transformation programmes seen in New Zealand.

Previously, Dean spent over three years improving the transparency and oversight of the public prosecution service at Crown Law. His earlier career spans senior regulatory roles across both public and private sectors, as well as almost a decade spent working with the New Zealand Police.

Dean starts his new role in February 2020.

Civil Aviation Authority


Mahanga Maru has been appointed to the role of Deputy Chief Executive – Stakeholder and Sector Engagement, following the search by Ichor Leadership Search.

Mahanga has previously held senior leadership roles at board, chief executive and senior management level across the public and private sectors. He has consulted widely on Maori strategy and specialises in developing stakeholder relationships, while also providing cultural training, policy advice and coaching to a range of clients including Ministries, Crown entities, regional councils, private energy companies and iwi organisations. Mahanga has also been called on as an expert witness on infrastructure projects.

He starts his new role in February 2020.

Civil Aviation Authority


It is with pleasure that Ichor Leadership Search announce the appointment of Shelley Turner to the role of Deputy Chief Executive – Organisational Development and Support.

Previously at the Security Intelligence Service (SIS), Shelley led an organisational transformation programme as a member of the senior leadership team. She has also managed the agency’s Corporate Services area previously. Shelley’s earlier career as a public servant includes time spent at the State Services Commission and leading the Human Resources area at the Civil Aviation Authority.

Shelley starts in her new role effective February 2020.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade


Ichor Leadership Search is thrilled to announce the appointment of Deborah Geels to the role of Deputy Chief Executive – Multilateral and Legal Affairs for Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Deborah is a career diplomat and ‘foreign service generalist’ who joined MFAT in 1986. Since then her career has progressed within the Ministry through a number of positions focusing on multilateral work, the Pacific Islands, Asia and development assistance.

Her exposure to working strategically on a range of multilateral issues is considerable, having been the Permanent Representative to the United Nations while in Vienna for four years from 2013, in parallel to being Ambassador to Austria, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia as well as senior level exposure to several critical FTA negotiations.

Please join us in congratulating Deborah on her new role.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade


Following an executive search by Ichor Leadership Search, we are pleased to announce the appointment of Audrey Sonerson to the role of Deputy Chief Executive – People and Operations for Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Audrey has been with MFAT since July 2018. Her professional background blends policy, strategy and operational leadership experience. As a previous Deputy Commissioner at New Zealand Police, Audrey led approximately 1,000 staff across most of the organisation’s corporate functions. This included oversight of the Royal New Zealand Police College, Risk and Assurance, Information and Communications Technology Service Centre, Legal Services and other portfolios. 

Her experience also offers exposure to pan sector and whole-of-system leadership having worked at the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Treasury and operated at second tier for Ministry of Justice.

Please join us in congratulating Audrey on her new role.

Tertiary Education Commission


Mathew Pawley has been appointed to the role of Deputy Chief Executive, Information Directorate for Tertiary Education Commission, following a search by Ichor Leadership Search.

Mathew has relished more than five years contributing in the tertiary sector as Executive Director – Digital Services and Enterprise Projects for Open Polytechnic of New Zealand. With over 450 staff, Mathew led a team that improved the infrastructure, digital services and information management provided for over 32,000 students.

Having earlier worked within other arenas including Health, State Owned Enterprise and large Crown organisations, Mathew has a good understanding of the importance and complexities of the information needs, particularly within New Zealand’s tertiary sector.

He will commence his new role in February 2020. Congratulations Mathew.

Ministry of Defence


Michael Swain has been appointed to the role of Deputy Secretary – Defence Policy and Planning for Ministry of Defence, following conclusion of the search by Ichor Leadership Search.

Michael has had a deep and significant career within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade over the past 25 years with postings to Beijing, New Delhi, Shanghai as Consul-General and Madrid as Ambassador. As a former Deputy Director for the International Security and Disarmament division, Michael worked across defence capability work which had him leading foreign policy engagement on defence policy. He will commence his new journey in leading the Ministry’s Defence Policy and Planning division in February 2020.

Please join us in congratulating Michael on his new role.

Ministry of Justice


Ichor Leadership Search is delighted to announce the appointment of Tim Hampton to Deputy Chief Executive – Sector for Ministry of Justice.

Tim brings senior executive experience in a range of senior economic and social policy leadership roles across Australia and New Zealand. Following an earlier career with Reserve Bank of New Zealand, Reserve Bank of Australia and the New Zealand Treasury, Tim worked at New South Wales Department of Premier and Cabinet, where he was responsible for Health and Education policy and leading negotiations with the Australian Government.

We welcome Tim back home, and congratulate him on his new role at Ministry of Justice.

Ministry of Justice


Ichor Leadership Search is pleased to announce the appointment of Anouk Alexander as Deputy Secretary – Strategy, Governance and Finance for Ministry of Justice.

Anouk brings an experienced executive background to her new role. Her former roles included General Manager – Strategy for New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, and Deputy Chief Executive – Organisational Governance at the Ministry of Social Development. Anouk also previously spent eight years as a management consultant with PwC.

With a blend of private and public sector exposure in strategic consulting environments and across committed leadership positions, Anouk will now play a key role in shaping the Ministry’s overall strategic direction.

Please join us in congratulating Anouk on her new role.

Ministry of Justice


It is with delight that Ichor Leadership Search announce the appointment of Tina Wakefield to Deputy Secretary – Corporate & Digital Services for Ministry of Justice.

Following her 18 year career within the private sector, Tina became a committed public service leader and developed a strong sense of cross-government co-operation through her time at the Department of Internal Affairs where she led development of the All-Of-Government online strategy and now at the Ministry of Justice.

Tina joined the Ministry in 2014 as a Chief Information Officer. She has led the Government ICT Supply Management Office and was also responsible for IT service management and assurance, security and risk. 

She commences her new role in August 2019. Congratulations Tina.

Kiwi Insurance


It is with pleasure that Ichor Leadership Search announce the appointment of a new Independent Director for Kiwi Insurance, Michelle van Gaalen.

Michelle has worked locally and internationally across a range of service-based industries. She has operated at the Chief Executive level and has previously led teams with of over 2,000 staff.

Michelle also has a deep governance background in parallel with her executive career, with more than one-and-a-half decades spent in a variety of governance roles which span across banking, consumer finance and funds management arenas.

Michelle will commence as an Independent Director in November 2019.

Smarte Carte


Ichor Leadership Search is thrilled to announce the appointment of Louise Hayes as the new General Manager of Smarte Carte New Zealand.

Louise was previously the North Island Operations Manager for Thrifty Car Rental. Prior to taking up that role, Louise held senior leadership roles with a major car rental company. Earlier, she spent several years in Australia managing national accounts for a range of organisations across the automotive industry.

Please join us in congratulating Louise on her new role which she commences in August 2019.

Find out more about how we can help you with your next leadership search.