Key Appointments in the Waikato 

If you have a key appointment you would like to announce please contact Rebecca.

Professor Tafaoimalo Tologata Leilani Tuala-Warren

The University of Waikato are pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Tafaoimalo Tologata Leilani Tuala-Warren as the first Pacific Dean of Law.

Tuala-Warren, New Zealand’s first Pacific female Professor of Law and a former Supreme Court Justice from Samoa makes history again as she becomes the country’s first Pacific Dean of Law.

Tuala-Warren said she was humbled by the appointment.

“My family, particularly my late father, have always driven me throughout my law journey. This achievement is not mine alone; I carry with me the essence of my heritage, my family, friends, villages, church community, and judicial colleagues in Samoa,” she said.

Tuala-Warren has been a part of the university since the 1990s after completing a bachelor’s degree, master of laws, and a pre-admission course at the Institute of Professional Legal Studies.

Nic Wetere

Montana Group are thrilled to welcome Nic Wetere as their new Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Nic brings a wealth of experience, expertise, and a proven track record in finance and strategic leadership. With extensive experience as a CEO and CFO in both the UK and New Zealand, Nic's insights will be instrumental in guiding Montana's financial strategy and supporting our continued success. As a qualified NZ Chartered Accountant, she has a deep understanding of the industry, having worked across sectors including dairy and FMCG.

In her new role, Nic will oversee all aspects of our Finance, IT, and Procurement functions, driving business and people growth and supporting innovation through an operational and financial lens. Nic commenced her role in September 2023, and is primarily based in the Claudelands office in Hamilton, with regular travel to Auckland. Her passion for Montana Group's culture, aspirations, and community impact makes her an excellent fit for their team.

Nic's decision to join Montana Group was fuelled by her admiration for the organisation's culture, aspirations, and strong presence in the Waikato community. Since joining, she has enjoyed meeting Montana's teams across various locations and discovering the extensive reach and diversity of their business offerings. Montana are confident that Nic's leadership will bring significant value and help achieve new heights in their financial and operational endeavours.

Maryse Dinan

 The Icehouse is thrilled to announce Maryse Dinan as the Regional Lead for Waikato.

The new role will focus on bringing additional in-region support for local business owners and managers to upskill, while also hosting regular alumni events and strengthening strategic partnerships with stakeholders, including BNZ Partners. The Waikato region has a strong Icehouse alumni base with 200 plus owners and managers benefitting from Icehouse programmes and networks.

A proud Hamiltonian, Maryse has a background in business having worked in organisations across several industries including agriculture, tech, training, and print.

Maryse has delivered results in different capacities for the Icehouse in the past, returning to the organisation after a two-year break and now stepping up to the newly created senior role.

Maryse has successfully introduced Icehouse Programmes into the Waikato including the  Emerging Leaders Programme, for those new to management, and the Financial Skills Workshop, with plans to increase frequency of in-region programmes and workshops in the future.

Maryse is an avid supporter of local sports including volunteering for Hamilton Star University Cricket Club in a governance role and is always keen to celebrate her beloved Chiefs and Northern Brave.

Dr Amy Marfell

Waikato Rugby is thrilled to announce the appointment of Dr Amy Marfell as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Dr Marfell will begin her role on 4 June, bringing a wealth of experience and leadership skills to Waikato Rugby, said Chair of Waikato Rugby, Diane Hallifax.

“Amy was a standout from the beginning of the recruitment process, showcasing why she is an excellent choice to lead rugby in the Waikato into the future,” said Hallifax.

The position was highly sought-after with the board receiving over 40 applications from across New Zealand and Australia. Of those applicants, five highly qualified candidates were interviewed for the position before Dr Marfell was selected as the standout.

Dr Marfell joins Waikato Rugby from her current role as General Manager Regional Leadership at Sport Waikato, where she oversaw the strategic development and delivery of the organisation's goals.

"I am honoured to have been chosen as the new CEO of Waikato Rugby,” said Dr Marfell.

“Rugby holds a special place in the hearts of our community, and I am committed to building upon the rich legacy of the sport in our region.”

A current member of the Waikato Rugby board, Dr Marfell demonstrated her deep understanding of the local rugby landscape and commitment to the sport in the Waikato.

“Together with the dedicated team at Waikato Rugby, I am eager to drive positive change and growth at all levels of the game.”

Hallifax said Dr Marfell’s leadership and strategic expertise will be instrumental in guiding Waikato Rugby through its next phase of growth, fostering a strong connection between grassroots rugby and pathway programs.

Waikato Rugby has expressed their gratitude to outgoing CEO, Mr Carl Moon, who will be moving on to a new role with NZ Rugby in early May.

“We wish Carl all the best in his future endeavours.”

Steph O’Sullivan

An experienced local government professional with a demonstrable track record has today been named as Waipā District Council’s next Chief Executive.

Steph O’Sullivan, who has been the Chief Executive at Whakatāne District Council for the past five-and-a-half-years, will take up the position at the helm of the organisation in late August, following the departure of Garry Dyet who announced his intention to retire in December last year.

Mayor Susan O’Regan said O’Sullivan was chosen after a comprehensive recruitment process, held over two months.  There had been 84 applicants for the role and the rigorous selection process meant the final candidates were subject to four interview rounds, including one with the full council.

O’Sullivan was a definite stand-out from the pool of high-calibre applicants and the council was unanimous in her appointment, O’Regan said.

"Steph is a vision and values driven professional who puts people at the heart of everything she does. Her passion lies in wanting all parties to succeed in building community wealth, not just organisational wealth,” she said. “She is a strong leader with a proven track record and is highly respected within the Local Government sector.”

O’Sullivan said she was very honoured to accept the role.  It was an exciting challenge that would see her return to her Waikato roots, she said.

“I’m a proud daughter of South Waikato farming stock and I look forward to being closer to family and friends here in the Waikato,” she said. 

O’Sullivan said she had deep respect for Dyet, who was a renowned and strategic leader in Local Government.

“I was inspired to apply for the role because of the Waipā brand, the strategic focus of the Council, and of course the beautiful part of the world that it is!”

O’Sullivan’s five-year contract will begin on Monday, August 26.

Harley Raihe

The appointment of Harley Raihe as Fosters Māori Culture Advisor in April 2024 is a notable move by Fosters to meet social and sustainable procurement, as well as a commitment to honouring and upholding the principles of Te Tiriti 0 Waitangi, being partnership, participation, and protection. 

Passionate, collaborative and experienced are three words Harley would like people to associate with him. All these things, he is.

A graduate of te Kōhanga Reo, Kura Kaupapa and Wharekura, he grew up immersed in te ao Māori on his marae at Waahi Pā and amongst his community of Rāhui Pōkeka.

He holds a Bachelor of Teaching, from the University of Waikato, and has 20 years of teaching experience in Māori education.

An active member of the rugby league community, he played for and coached the Taniwharau Rugby League Premier Team. He was chairperson for the club 2016-22, and is currently a Board Delegate for Waikato Rugby League. 

Fosters CEO Nigel Sun is excited to have Harley on the team.

“Harley will play a crucial role in assisting with Māori cultural requirements on several of our current projects, including the Waikato Regional Theatre, the Waikato Regional Renal Centre, and our two residential projects for Kāinga Ora” said Nigel.

“His expertise and insights will enhance our cultural sensitivity and ensure that our projects are respectful and inclusive of Māori traditions and values.

“Harley’s appointment enables us (Fosters) to facilitate meaningful engagement with Māori stakeholders, assist with employment and growth opportunities, and ensure that we meet our project obligations and commitments.”

Harley recently conducted Fosters first ever land blessing ceremony at the Kāinga Ora Hukanui housing development in late April, marking the beginning of Fosters first residential development with strong cultural significance. Also in April, Fosters hosted a gathering of 19 Waikato Tainui tribal member-owned businesses, reflecting their commitment to building collaborative partnerships.

Nick Dinan

S&L Land Specialists are pleased to announce Nick Dinan, to the newly created role of Client Services and Hamilton Branch Manager. 

Nick is well known within the Waikato Business community and brings a range of skills, strategy, and an energetic approach to our multi-talented team.

His career has included business growth roles, and leadership positions in both the property and print industries. His family has a rich history in property development and real estate here in Hamilton. He is a staunch Waikato advocate and ready to share many a story, or collaboration putting people, projects, and teams together.

Steven Farrant, Managing Director of S&L announced the appointment: “This signals our ongoing investment into the Waikato area where we have built an experienced and agile team to respond to the region’s growth. We have a vital and privileged role in supporting and enabling Land Development – which in New Zealand’s fastest growing city, as you will appreciate, is significant.  

Our work covers Planning, Urban Design and Resource Consent Management, Surveying and Land Transfer, Design Engineering/Draughting, Civil & Environmental Engineering MSQA, Land & Property Development Consultancy”.

A strong believer that creating value and win situations for clients, Nick said he’s joined S&L because “it was too good an opportunity; they are a reputable firm, with an impressive 60-Year history, a talented bunch of people who delight in improving people’s assets, they are looking to grow, and I want to be part of that success.”

"We wanted someone who knew the area intimately, has extensive contacts, proven leadership skills, and a growth mindset. Nick’s passion for making a real difference made him the ideal person to lead our business in the Waikato”; Steven concluded.

Contact Nick or the team anytime to investigate options for your property or land development project. Email Nick on or call 021 777 022

Dr Heather Connolly

The Cancer Society Waikato/Bay of Plenty are thrilled to announce the appointment of Dr Heather Connolly as Head of Philanthropy.

Heather is well known to the Waikato business community and brings a range of strategy development and implementation knowledge, as well as relationship building and engagement experience. For the past 20 plus years Heather has taught and researched at the University of Waikato in the area of strategy. During this time she has engaged with hundreds of business leaders through her teaching and leadership roles, including on the Waikato MBA programme. She is also active in the community working in advisory and governance roles for businesses and for-purpose groups. Prior to working at the University, Heather was a strategy consultant in Australia.

Known for finding opportunities that connect to foster business growth, but more importantly growth of people within business, one of Heather's key strengths is her ability to recognise the passion and skills that individuals have, and assist them in nurturing those as part of their individual leadership journey - "If people have the opportunity to thrive, so does the business and society".

Many will also know Heather as part of the judging of the Waikato Chamber of Commerce Business Awards, having been involved for 10 years, and Head Judge for the later part of that time. Through her constant drive to improve the judging process, the business awards provide not only a platform to showcase excellence in the region, but a way for businesses to receive independent feedback that will support continued growth and development.

Heather’s relationship-building skills, her engagement and vibrancy in our community, together with her strategic mindset, are going to be key assets to supporting the strategy of the Cancer Society. We are excited to have her onboard and Heather is always open to a conversation to explore new ideas to better the world we live in.

Tim Greene

Tim Greene been appointed CEO at Caliber Design.

Formerly Caliber’s South Island Regional Manager, Tim has transformed the company’s systems and supercharged their operations. His proven leadership and vision are set to steer Caliber into its next chapter of growth and success.

Tim comes from a background in Machine Design in the food industry, coupled with a solid understanding of Lean Manufacturing. He's skilled in taking projects from the drawing board to reality.

Tim's real strength lies in leading diverse teams to get things done - whether it's tackling a complex project, rolling out a new business system, or launching a new product. He combines a keen sense of business, hands-on engineering know-how, and great people skills.

At Caliber, Tim's role has given him a front-row seat to the varied and vibrant world of New Zealand engineering. He's been involved with a wide range of projects - from small, family-run shops to big names like Silver Fern Farms, Scott Technology, and Fabrum. This variety has given him a broad view and keeps him in tune with what's new and next in engineering.

Tim is taking over the reins from Wayne Le Sueur, who is still working in the business, but in a part time capacity as he moves towards retirement. Jonathan Prince, founding director, is still very much part of the team ... he will mentor the leadership team, support clients in their delivery of world class engineering, and advocate for the industry.

Caliber Design turns 10 in February and is in great hands to deliver on their commitment to enable NZ engineering to deliver the best solutions in the world and to provide NZ engineers with world class experience.

Sacha Coburn

Fosters are excited to announce the recent appointment of Sacha Coburn as Chair of the Foster Group board and trustee of the Foster Group Trust.

A highly successful businesswoman, leader and motivational expert, Sacha brings an exceptional blend of experience, insight and pizazz to our somewhat male-dominated construction industry.

An experienced business owner, speaker and executive coach with a law degree and a masters in education, she’s a great fit for ‘The Fosters’ Way’. COO of Coffee Culture, Sacha has proven her mettle in guiding her family business through challenging landscapes, demonstrating resilience and an ability to thrive under pressure. Also joint owner of The Company You Keep, she’s well-known locally for leadership training and regular speaking engagements at schools, businesses, and events.

It was as a judge for the Waikato Chamber of Commerce Business Awards that she first met Leonard Gardner and Nigel Sun of Fosters.

“I was immediately impressed by both their acumen for business and their enormous passion for the community,” said Sacha. “Understanding the importance of the build environment to the health and prosperity of communities, I’m delighted to serve on the Fosters board.

“What we have at Fosters is a 50-year history of growth and contribution, building with purpose, in service of our clients and the community - to make the Waikato and the Bay of Plenty even greater places to live and work.

“Our job as the board is to ensure Fosters is still here in 50 years’ time, doing what we do best: building sheds, showrooms, homes, high-rise buildings. And great community.”

Jennifer Myers

An inspiring leader whose personal mission it is to make a positive difference to the lives of 1 million individuals, Jennifer Myers doesn’t shrink from a challenge. She has a robust business background – from earning her MBA to launching two coaching and training organisations that have served business owners and their teams all over New Zealand, the US, and the UK for over a decade, to Chairing the Board of Directors of an Auckland-based charity. She has worked alongside hundreds of businesses, supporting them to examine their strategy, leadership skills, and sales processes in order to enhance their results.

Now serving as the Sales Manager for LINK Waikato, Jennifer's action orientation, strategic brain, relationship-building skills and exemplary communication will help her support the team of brokers to deliver outstanding outcomes for their vendors. Her goal for the Waikato office is to foster a culture of service excellence, professionalism and collaboration among the team. Jennifer is also always open to chatting with driven professionals who are interested in learning what it takes to be a successful business broker.

Ray Lewis 

Harkness Henry has recently appointed Ray Lewis as the new Chief Executive Officer.  Ray comes to the firm with a diverse background in a range of commercial activities out of the UK & US, and for more than 20 years here in the Mighty Waikato.

Originally a physicist, Ray moved his career early towards business development and sales & marketing to align with personal strengths and has enjoyed a range of roles at the CEO, GM and Global VP level, in a broad spectrum of industry sectors including agritech, science publishing, medical devices and regional business development.  Most recently he was pivotal to the global commercialisation of a locally invented, innovative water sports product.

Ray developed an interest in law through navigating many commercial contracts throughout the bulk of his career, then more tellingly when his own business consultancy saw him regularly requested to assist a range of local businesses with their own legal challenges. To boost his knowledge base in this area to better serve those requests, he undertook a year of legal-centric studies at The University of Waikato, further enhancing his interest in New Zealand law.

Ray’s first interaction with Harkness Henry was a client almost 20 years ago working with the firm’s commercial team to successfully negotiate a global licensing & manufacturing deal for a new medical device utilising New Zealand ingenuity.  Now Ray joins the leadership team and is excited about what he can bring to the firm.

"Across the past two decades or more, I've enjoyed the opportunity to engage with most of the law firms in the Waikato with the various businesses I've worked in and for, and I'd always found Harkness Henry in particular a delight to work with.  They have a wonderful group of people on board and importantly, it was clear throughout that they had the clients' best interests at heart.  Delivering cost-effectively efficient advice and support of the highest quality really stood out to me, and I've been delighted to see that cemented further since joining the firm."

Harkness Henry has been providing expert legal advice in the Waikato since 1875 with offices in Hamilton, Paeroa and Cambridge.

Erin Anderson

The Dress for Success Board of Trustees are thrilled to annouce Erin Anderson as their Hamilton Executive Manager. 

Erin is well-known in the Waikato network for her communications, stakeholder and public relations and events expertise. Most recently Erin was Director of Communications at Wintec Te Pūkenga and has worked in a variety of public and private organisations, including Waikato Rugby and the Chiefs, over her varied career.

Erin is regarded as a communicator, connector and leader and has a passion and flair for putting on great events and is enthusiastic about reputational enhancement and management for organisations through well thought out communication strategies and engagement.

On a personal level, she is married and Mum to two adult boys plus is Nana to a gorgeous granddaughter. Erin enjoys cycling, cooking (and eating it too!) and travel.

Douw van der Merwe 

Fosters are pleased to introduce Douw van der Merwe, General Manager of our newly launched residential business. 

Douw has 30 years of construction experience across a diverse range of industries internationally, including industrial, commercial, education, health, residential, retail, mining, government, remediation, and fitout.

Adaptable, analytical, and committed, Douw describes himself as a ‘learner’; someone who enjoys solving challenges, developing, and growing. He has an engineering degree and post graduate qualifications in economics, professional management, and leadership.

Fosters CEO Nigel Sun is thrilled with the appointment.

"We wanted someone who has extensive experience in the residential construction industry, with proven leadership skills, and a commitment to doing the right thing. Douw’s vision for making a real difference made him the ideal person to lead this business towards success.

“Bringing with him an in-depth knowledge of the industry and the supply chain, along with his affinity for good processes to optimise efficiency and delivery, makes him a good fit for 'the Fosters way'" said Nigel.

A strong believer that creating value for the wider community is based on good trust-based relationships, Douw said he’s joined Fosters because “they are such a good bunch of people, doing good things in my community. And I want to be part of that.”

Douw moved to New Zealand from the UK in 2010. Prior to joining Fosters he headed up a Hamilton-based residential volume builder for 7 years.

Tracy Hemingway 

Tracy Hemingway has been appointed the Chair of the Waikato Women’s Fund, following the departure of Chantal Baxter who has served as Chair for the past year and as a committee member since the Fund’s foundation. 

Tracy has been a committee member since January 2022, leading some highly successful events. As Chair, Tracy will lead the Fund’s strategy and spearhead the integrity of the committee’s processes, while engaging with like-minded organisations in the region. 

As Tracy notes: “I’m so passionate about helping women and girls to thrive, and am pleased to continue my support for the Waikato Women’s Fund in 2024 as Chair. I look forward to building upon the incredible mahi of our previous Chairs and committee members over the past five years, and further fostering our community of generous women to create even more opportunities for women and girls in the Waikato.” 

In her professional life, Tracy is the director of Debt Free Diva, creating and sharing resources that help the everyday hero achieve financial freedom on their terms. 

Tracy adds: “We have a great committee with a couple of new additions in 2024, and some fantastic events planned includingour next Waahine Toa most likely in May. Watch out for more details soon!” 

Richard Briggs 

iCLAW is thrilled to announce that we have made an investment in our leadership capability with the appointment of Richard Briggs as our new Chief Executive.

Richard is a high-impact globally experienced Chief Executive, bringing over 20 years of strategic leadership across both the private and public sectors to the role. His track record includes executive leadership experience across complex organisations, including multinational companies, local government, and central government.

As an independent consultant over the past two years, Richard focused on strategy development and execution, best practice governance frameworks, corporate structuring, and executive coaching.

Prior to this Richard was the Chief Executive of Hamilton City Council, leading a team of 1,200 plus in a complex multi-stakeholder environment to make a positive, significant, and enduring impact on the Hamilton community. Richard has also worked for Fonterra across several senior commercial roles in New Zealand and globally.

Richard is a big thinker who is passionate about building high-performing and strategically impactful businesses. “I was attracted to iCLAW because of their absolute focus on building high-impact individuals and teams, and their track record of delivering world-class service, advice and insights that unlock strategic value for clients,” says Richard.

Bringing Richard onboard the Chief Executive of iCLAW will propel us toward our ambitions of building a world-class high-impact, high-performing law firm that will ensure our clients, employees and communities prosper well into the future.

Kelvyn Eglington

Craigs Investment Partners have appointed Kelyvn Eglington as their new General Manager.

Kelvyn joined Craigs in January 2023, following 6 years as CEO of the Momentum Waikato Community Foundation, where he led the development of a $50m endowment fund and led a team to fundraise $80m for the Waikato Regional Theatre. Prior to this, Kelvyn spent 12 years in executive roles for the world’s largest mining company, Newmont Mining in Waihi, Perth and Jakarta and across the Asia Pacific. Kelvyn brings a wealth of leadership experience and an extensive network of relationships across the Waikato.

As General Manager, Kelvyn will lead the Waikato team to ensure the effective delivery of services to clients and is establish a regional strategy to significantly grow the Branch's presence across the region and enhance its contribution to Craigs national business.

Kelvyn is a board member of Surf Lifesaving New Zealand and chair of the New Zealand Surf Lifesaving Foundation, a chartered member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors, a member of the Institute of Directors Waikato Committee, and a trustee of the Braemar Charitable Trust.


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