Meet the Team

Meet the Senior Leadership Team

Andrea Tonner

Andrea Tonner

Operations Director / Assistant to Chief Executive

Catherine Beard

Catherine Beard

Director, Advocacy BusinessNZ

Dane Ambler

Dane Ambler

Executive Director, Buy NZ Made

Kirk Hope

Kirk Hope

Chief Executive

Mike Burrell

Mike Burrell

Executive Director, Sustainable Business Council

Phil Love

Phil Love

Deputy CEO and General Manager

Tina Schirr

Tina Schirr

Executive Director Energy and Climate Change, BusinessNZ Energy Council

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Andrea Tonner

Operations Director / Assistant to Chief Executive

Andrea joined BusinessNZ in May 2016 as Manager Executive Office. She brings with her 16 years of experience from her previous role as Executive Manager at the New Zealand Bankers’ Association.

Andrea works closely with the Chief Executive and the Board. She manages the Chief Executive’s diary and appointments, provides office management services and is responsible for the professional leadership of the Support Hub Team, management of support functions for BusinessNZ events, and for health and safety matters.

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Catherine Beard

Director, Advocacy BusinessNZ

Catherine Beard is Director of Advocacy for BusinessNZ, New Zealand’s largest business advocacy network, representing thousands of businesses of all sizes.

The BusinessNZ network includes four large regional business associations, EMA, Business Central, Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and Business South. It also includes the Major Companies Group, ExportNZ, more than 70 affiliated industry associations and Buy NZ Made.

The group’s goal is New Zealand’s prosperity through successful business.

Catherine works with government and other key decision makers on issues of concern to New Zealand business.

Catherine has spent the last 30 years as a lobbyist and advocate for a wide range of industries on a wide range of issues, including climate change issues for the energy intensive sector, the insurance sector and the agricultural sector (dairy focus). Catherine has participated in Prime Minister led trade missions to Indonesia and China and represents BusinessNZ at various international meetings.

Catherine was also a co-founder of a start-up business designing and manufacturing children’s nursery furniture, for which two products won national design awards.

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Dane Ambler

Executive Director, Buy NZ Made

Dane is the Executive Director of Buy NZ Made.

He has worked for several businesses and organisations across Asia. He was a business journalist at the National Business Review in Auckland. Most recently, Dane launched and managed the ShopKiwi campaign, which sits at more than 2000 members.

Dane holds a master’s degree in journalism, a degree in communication studies and a minor degree in environmental studies. He also holds a level 5 certificate in financial services.

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Kirk Hope

Chief Executive

 

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Mike Burrell

Executive Director, Sustainable Business Council

Mike joined SBC in January 2020. His previous role was New Zealand’s High Commissioner to South Africa. Before that he was Director for Sustainable Economic Development at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the founding CEO of Aquaculture New Zealand.

He holds degrees from the London School of Economics and the University of Canterbury.

Mike is based in Wellington.

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Phil Love

Deputy CEO and General Manager

Phil has responsibility for commercial partnerships, member retention and development and policy forums including the Major Companies Group’s CEO Forum.

He is BusinessNZ’s representative on the Regional Entrepreneurial Advanced Programme with MIT Boston and the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum.

Previously Phil worked in shareholder and media relations at Telecom (now known as Spark) following positions as business editor and sports journalist in print media.

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Tina Schirr

Executive Director Energy and Climate Change, BusinessNZ Energy Council

Tina is the Executive Director of the BusinessNZ Energy Council (the New Zealand member committee of the World Energy Council). She is responsible for the development of policy on matters relating to energy, transport and innovation. Her work includes the management of BEC’s cross-sector energy scenarios and the World Energy Council’s tools such as the Energy Trilemma Index, Energy Issue Maps and other energy innovation projects. Previous projects include the programme development of the Asia-Pacific Energy Leaders’ Summit in 2016 and 2018.

Tina is a member of Transpower’s Consumer Advisory Panel, part of the Start-Up Energy Transition Jury and the advisor to New Zealand’s Young Energy Professional Network. Due to her passion for entrepreneurism, she is always looking out for the next game-changer in the energy sector.

Prior to her role as Executive Director, she worked as the Senior Policy Advisor for Energy and Innovation at the BusinessNZ Energy Council. She also worked for enviaM in Germany, a subsidiary of RWE AG, where she was responsible for trading energy commodities. From 2012-2013, she worked for the STI Solar Technology International GmbH, Germany. While there, she was responsible for rolling out new solar products across Europe.

Tina holds a Master of Science (M.Sc.) Value Chain Management from the University of Technology, Chemnitz in Germany and a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Management of Energy Utilities from the University of Applied Sciences, Zwickau in Germany, including a semester at the University of Borås in Sweden studying International Marketing and Strategic Marketing. Her fields of specialisation include the energy industry, energy technology, energy policy and marketing.

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Meet the Business NZ Team

Alana Douglas

Alana Douglas

Events Manager

Anna Heyward

Anna Heyward

Marketing Co-ordinator, Buy NZ Made

Barbara Burton

Barbara Burton

Legal Adviser

Christine Johnston

Christine Johnston

BusinessNZ Network General Manager

Cal Roberts

Cal Roberts

Communications Advisor

Dane Ambler

Dane Ambler

Executive Director, Buy NZ Made

Grace Lison

Grace Lison

Executive Assistant, BusinessNZ & Major Companies Group

Joshua Tan

Joshua Tan

Senior Policy Advisor, ExportNZ & BusinessNZ

John Pask

John Pask

Economist

Kate Wilson Butler

Kate Wilson Butler

Head of Climate Action

Kathryn Asare

Kathryn Asare

Manager Communications

Katharine McGhie

Katharine McGhie

Business Development & Events Manager

Lauren James

Lauren James

Network Sustainability Lead

Levi Gibbs

Levi Gibbs

Energy Policy Advisor

Malissa Allman

Malissa Allman

Graphic Designer BusinessNZ

Paul Mackay

Paul Mackay

Manager - Employment Relations Policy

Pravin Sawmy

Pravin Sawmy

Membership Manager, Sustainable Business Council

Rachel Simpson

Rachel Simpson

Manager - Education, Skills and Immigration

Rebecca Lowe

Rebecca Lowe

Communications Manager, Sustainable Business Council

Robert Perry

Robert Perry

Manager - Sustainable Leadership, Sustainable Business Council

Sally Betts

Sally Betts

Executive Assistant, Sustainable Business Council

Stephen Summers

Stephen Summers

Economist

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Alana Douglas

Events Managerr

Alana joined SBC in November 2021.

Alana has spent a number of years working across the public and private sector, leading events. She has experience with events of varying sizes, from large scale conferences to community-led events and workshops.

Prior to joining SBC, Alana spent a number of years working for Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities. She was responsible for establishing their events processes and guidelines and managing internal and external projects, campaigns and events including visits and announcements with Ministers of the Crown and Government Officials.

Alana is based in Auckland.

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Kate Wilson Butler

Marketing Co-ordinator, Buy NZ Made

Anna is the Marketing Co-ordinator at the Buy New Zealand Made Campaign, working with manufacturers, producers, growers and exporters to gain market origin advantage for their products through the application of the globally recognised ‘New Zealand Made’ Kiwi trademark.

Anna is a recent graduate of Victoria University of Wellington, with a B.Com in Marketing and International Business.

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Barbara Burton

Legal Adviser

Barbara works in the areas of employment law, contracts, human rights and diversity.

A published author on employment-related matters and employer representative on the former Labour Court, she contributes to international bodies representing business, including the International Labour Organisation, International Organisation of Employers and the Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) of the OECD.

Barbara represents BusinessNZ on the Workbridge Council, the National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women and BIAC’s Employment, Labour and Social Affairs Committee.

Barbara has an LLB and an MA (Hons).

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Christine Johnston

BusinessNZ Network General Manager

Christine joined BusinessNZ in 2021 as General Manager of the newly formed BusinessNZ Network, which is made up of BusinessNZ and the regional organisations EMA, Business Central, Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and Business South: Otago Chamber and Southern Employers.

In her role, Christine focuses on leveraging and developing shared opportunities across all organisations, building a culture of collaboration, along with a national voice for the Network.

Christine, with a commercial background across retail, sales, membership organisations, governance and the construction sectors, fully understands the issues and opportunities businesses in NZ face.

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Cal Roberts

Communications Advisor, BusinessNZ

Cal is BusinessNZ’s Communications Advisor, working across the Division Brands to highlight advocacy and ensure we’re adding value to the conversation.

Like many people in Comms, Cal started out as a reporter – working for a small but mighty daily regional paper. He has since worked across Government agencies tailoring social media content and establishing thriving online communications channels.

Cal has a Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism Studies and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Relations.

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Deb Bougen

Executive Assistant, BusinessNZ & BusinessNZ Energy Council

Deb joined BusinessNZ in July 2016 after 15 years working within the Education Sector.

Deb’s role as Executive Assistant to Tina Schirr, Executive Director of the BusinessNZ Energy Council and Catherine Beard, Director Advocacy, includes executive administrative support, diary management, and brand event coordination.

Deb also supports the ExportNZ brand and board, and is a member of the Health & Safety Committee.

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Grace Lison

Executive Assistant, BusinessNZ & Major Companies Group

Grace joined BusinessNZ in April 2021 after five years working in the Hospitality, Travel and Tourism industry.

As part of the Support Hub Team, her role as Executive Assistant to Andrea Tonner (Manager Executive Office) and Phil Love (General Manager, Major Companies Group (MCG) and Business Development) includes executive administrative support, diary and travel management, and event support for the MCG brand.

Grace also provides back-up support to the Chief Executive.

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Joshua Tan

Senior Policy Advisor, ExportNZ & BusinessNZ

Josh is the Senior Policy Advisor for ExportNZ and works closely with the ExportNZ National Advisory Board to ensure the export community is well represented in Wellington.

Before joining BusinessNZ, Josh was the Senior Policy and International Relations Advisor for the Wellington Chamber of Commerce and Business Central. He was also previously the Executive Secretary for the New Zealand Taiwan Business Council.

Josh holds a Bachelor of Arts (International Relations, Asian Studies) and a Bachelor of Commerce (International Business) from Victoria University of Wellington, having graduated in 2017.

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John Pask

Economist

Over the last 25 years John has been closely involved with a number of NZ’s economic reforms, including introducing contestability in the provision of workplace accident insurance and advancing the reform of water management practices.

John has previously held positions at the Economic Development Commission, the Ministry of Commerce, the Employers’ Federation and Federated Farmers.

In his current role he has prime responsibility for monetary policy issues, local government, insurance issues and water and waste. He is a member of the Waste Advisory Board.

John has a B.Com and Post-graduate Diploma in Commerce (Economics).

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Kate Wilson Butler

Head of Climate Action

Kate is SBC’s Head of Climate Action, responsible for driving implementation of our strategy to accelerate the transition to a zero carbon future.

Before she joined SBC, Kate spent nine years at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, where she focused principally on trade and economic and environment/climate change issues, including during a posting to Berlin. Her roles included negotiating for New Zealand at the UN climate talks, and as Private Secretary in the office of the Minister of Climate Change. Prior to that, Kate was a lawyer at a major New Zealand law firm.

Kate is based in Wellington.

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Kathryn Asare

Manager Communications

Writer and journalist Kathryn Asare manages BusinessNZ communications, including stakeholder communications business commentary and publications.

Kathryn has a Master of Business Studies from Massey University.

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Katharine McGhie

Business Development & Events Manager

Katharine McGhie is the Business Development and Events Manager for BusinessNZ Major Companies Group, Gold Group and Affiliated Industries Group.

Katharine works closely with the General Manager, Major Companies Group to focus on members policy needs and activity, forums and growth and retention. The Major Companies Group includes many of New Zealand’s top 100 companies.

Previously Katharine has spent more than nine years in marketing and event management roles with New Zealand’s leading law firms.

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Lauren James

Network Sustainability Lead

Lauren is our Network Sustainability Lead and has 12 years experience in a hybrid of commercial, and sustainability experience. The diverse portfolio of global experience she brings spreads across multiple industries. Beyond NZ, she has worked in Australia, China and South-East Asia, the UK and Mexico City. Recent focuses of climate risk disclosure reporting and consulting (External Reporting Board/ PWC); sustainable procurement and supplier diversity at Westpac and for Ports of Auckland, combined with sustainability, innovation and commercialisation for global dairy industry (Fonterra) have cultivated a strong sustainability lens applied practically to a commercial context and a desire for leadership to create change and impact. Lauren’s key strength is being a change agent, developing and executing strategy and educating for sustainable change to help businesses succeed in a dynamic landscape. The backbone of her experience are post-graduate qualifications in sustainability and environmental science from world leading universities including a Masters from Imperial College, London.

Aside from a strong corporate background, Lauren has worked with SMEs, social enterprises, owned multiple businesses and has volunteered for an NGO working on social innovation in Mexico City. She was also a crew member of the Eat Less Plastic journey in the Pacific undertaking ocean microplastic research, beach clean-ups, community education and as part of this voyage, was the lead interviewer of NGOs in Suva for a documentary.

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Levi Gibbs

Energy Policy Advisor

Levi is the Energy Policy Advisor for Business NZ Energy Council and works closely with Tina on policy matters relating to energy, transport, and climate change.

Before joining Business NZ, Levi worked as a Researcher at the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union.

Levi holds a Bachelor of Arts (double major in Politics and Philosophy) and a Bachelor of Commerce (major in Public Policy).

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Malissa Allman

Graphic Designer BusinessNZ

Malissa is the In-House Graphic Designer at BusinessNZ, working across all division brands to provide print, digital, marketing and communication design.

Malissa is a recent graduate of Victoria University of Wellington, with a Bachelor of Design Innovation, majoring in Communication Design.

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Paul Mackay

Manager – Employment Relations Policy

Paul has worked in employment relations in the private and public sectors.

He was extensively involved in the post-1980 reforms in education, the environmental sector and the public service.

Previous work included a range of roles in the energy sector, change management at Ernst & Young and General Manager Employment Relations at Carter Holt Harvey.

Paul has been elected Employer Deputy Member of the Governing Body of the International Labour Organisation and Employer member of the ILO Standards Review Mechanism Group.

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Pravin Sawmy

Membership Manager, Sustainable Business Council

Pravin manages member engagement, supporting members to connect with SBC services and programmes.

Prior to joining SBC in November 2019, he worked at Fairtrade ANZ for 12 years in a variety of roles supporting commercial partners in developing and promoting sustainable supply chains in the food and fashion sectors.

Pravin holds a BSc in International Management Science from the University of Wales, Swansea.

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Rachel Simpson

Manager – Education, Skills and Immigration

Rachel is the Manager for Education, Skills and Immigration at BusinessNZ.

Rachel works on issues relating to labour market demand for skilled workers.

Prior to joining BusinessNZ, Rachel has held a variety of senior management and advisory roles in Government education agencies, Parliament and the education sector, working in New Zealand and overseas in the areas of industry training, tertiary education policy and investment, international education and education systems and strategy.

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Rebecca Lowe

Communications Manager, Sustainable Business Council

Rebecca is SBC’s Communications Manager, joining the team in September 2021.

Prior to joining SBC, Rebecca spent two and a half years working for the Commerce Commission, primarily responsible for managing communications across its competition, consumer credit and fair trading functions.

Before that she worked as a Senior Communications Adviser for the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, following almost a decade working across TVNZ’s news platforms as a broadcast journalist.

Rebecca is based in Wellington. For all communication queries, including the weekly Pānui newsletter, please contact sbccomms@businessnz.org.nz.

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Robert Perry

Manager – Sustainable Leadership, Sustainable Business Council

Robert manages SBC’s Sustainable Leadership programme. This growing programme includes initiatives on mainstreaming sustainable business practices throughout NZ, business leadership and reframing business with a societal purpose to deliver lasting value for people, profit and prosperity.

As a strategist, policy practitioner and auditor Robert brings to SBC over 20 years’ experience providing strategic leadership on sustainability issues and their solutions in business, consultancy and public sector organisations in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

Robert has worked on a wide range of sustainability initiatives and was the driving force behind the co-design, governance and citywide delivery of Low Carbon Auckland – a 30 year strategy and action plan to drive Auckland’s low carbon economic transformation.

Originally from Liverpool, Robert is a passionate Liverpool FC fan, muso and fitness fanatic.

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Sally Betts

Executive Assistant, Sustainable Business Council

Sally has joined the SBC team as Executive Assistant, managing administration and scheduling for our team of nine, as well as SBC’s Advisory Board.

Sally’s previous role was EA to the CEO at the Real Estate Authority.

She is based in Wellington.

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Stephen Summers

Economist

Steve Summers has responsibility for tax policy, regulatory frameworks, SME issues, compliance costs, telecommunications and capital markets, in which areas he contributes to a number of Government advisory committees.

Steve has overall responsibility for BusinessNZ surveys and data analysis relevant to the business community, including the Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI) and the Performance of Services Index (PSI). He also assists with the running of both the private and public sector Wellington Seminars.

His background includes labour market and income analysis for Statistics NZ.

Steve has a Master’s Degree in Economics from Massey University.

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