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Team

Here at Te Waka we are a passionate team of business professionals, we love Waikato and thrive on our role in driving the Waikato economy forward.

 

  • Business Advisory Team

    • Peter Davey

      Business Advisor

      Peter Davey

      Business Advisor

      Peter has a diverse range of senior management experience in manufacturing and process initially in Zimbabwe and also in New Zealand. An initial qualification in Forest Management in 1975 led to a range of Senior Management roles in Forestry, Tea Industry, Wood Processing, Food manufacture and Analytical Laboratory management.

    • Novell Gopal

      Business Advisor

      Novell Gopal

      Business Advisor

      Novell has a diverse range of academic and industry background including tertiary level teaching, research, technical support (medical diagnostic equipment), sales and marketing, management (product and people), consulting and  governance (not-for-profit). He has experience in working with commercial entities and government organisations at a strategic and management level in Malaysia and NZ in the areas of technology transfer, procurement, contract negotiations and project management. 

    • Hayley Smith

      Business Advisor

      Hayley Smith

      Business Advisor

      Hayley has an extremely diverse skillset with over 10 years of management experience in New Zealand and Australia. She brings a practical approach to business advising and has particular expertise is the retail, hospitality and equine sectors. She has an outstanding reputation within the hospitality and event industry having been involved in the operations and growth of over 20 eateries as well as managing hundreds of regional and nationally significant events. 

    • Tammee Wilson

      Business Advisor

      Tammee Wilson

      Business Advisor

      Tammee’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Fashion from AUT and she was a finalist in The World of Wearable Art Awards. Her experience of work includes coordination for regional projects and initiatives, events, social media and marketing administration, styling consultant and formerly a fashion agent. 

    • Colleen Litchfield

      Business Advisor

      Colleen Litchfield

      Business Advisor

      With a background in economic development programe management, sales management, new business development and export fields, Colleen is a new addition to the team. Highlights of her career have been working with the Tourism Infrastructure Fund and Provincial Growth fund teams, leading a successful Sales Team in the packaging sector and  working with business in the Aquaculture arena to grow bi-product industries. 

    • Tony Kane

      Waikato Mentor Manager

      Tony Kane

      Waikato Mentor Manager

      Tony is the Waikato Business Mentors Coordinator matching mentees and mentors within the NZ Business Mentor scheme. He has 27 years’ experience as an independent business advisor in the public and private sectors, especially working with SME’s.

      He is involved in advising private companies on business strategy, planning, capital raising, system design and implementation. Tony has had a number of governance and advisory roles on private sector and trust boards. 

    • Craig Purcell

      Business Growth Manager

      Craig Purcell

      Business Growth Manager
      Craig has had extensive experience across government, corporate and SME level of business.  He was established a Consultancy business through the 2009 Global financial Crisis. During that time he supported over 50 businesses in pursuit of high performance  Over the past 2 years he has supported 100+ businesses to unlock support funding for significant innovation projects along with simple business improvement tactics to reduce costs, get the best out of staff and find new opportunities
    • Ashleigh Turner

      Māori Economic Development Manager

      Ashleigh Turner

      Māori Economic Development Manager

      Ko Waikato-Maniapoto, ko Ngati Awa ngā iwi.
      Ko Ngaati Apakura, ko Ngaati Mahuta, ko Pahipoto, ko Te Warahoe, ngaa hapuu.

      Ashleigh is the Business Growth and Maaori Economic Development Manager at Te Waka. She has 12+ years’ experience providing business and policy advice, advocacy and support to senior executives and business owners.

  • Leadership

    • Michael Bassett-Foss

      CEO

      Michael Bassett-Foss

      CEO

      Michael grew up in Hamilton and went on to spend many years in senior executive roles in New Zealand and abroad.

      Prior to joining Te Waka Michael was the project director of the multimillion dollar Water Wairarapa project, and is the former chair of Economic Development Associations of New Zealand (EDANZ) and was manager of economic development at Hawke’s Bay Regional Council where he led the development of Hawke’s Bay’s Regional Economic Development Strategy.

    • Michelle Hollands

      Strategic Partnerships and Projects Manager

      Michelle Hollands

      Strategic Partnerships and Projects Manager

      Prior to joining Te Waka Michelle was the General Manager Regional Leadership at Sport Waikato and is a former self-employed strategy and business performance consultant whose 15 year career as a consultant had seen her deliver strategic projects in the commercial and not-for-profit sectors across a variety of industries in New Zealand, the United Kingdom, United States and European markets.

      Michelle is a Chartered Member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors and is the current Board Chair of Northern Districts Cricket, former Board Chair of Badminton New Zealand and an existing Board Member with the Go Waipa Trust.

    • Amy van Garderen 2

      Amy van Garderen

      Marketing and Communications Manager
      Amy van Garderen 2

      Amy van Garderen

      Marketing and Communications Manager

      Born in the UK and raised in Hamilton since the age of four Amy is proud to call the Waikato home.

      Amy has spent over twenty years in the creative industry in Hamilton including advertising agency, consultancy and in-house senior communications and marketing roles for a variety of Hamilton-based organisations.

      Prior to joining Te Waka, Amy was Marketing Manager at H3 Group for five years, H3 Group manages Hamilton City venues including Claudelands, FMG Stadium Waikato and Seddon Park, this was followed by a role as Marketing Manager for Ebbett Volkswagen and Audi.

      Amy is also a business mentor working with business owners needing guidance in the areas of marketing and event development.

    • Craig Purcell

      Business Growth Manager

      Craig Purcell

      Business Growth Manager
      Craig has had extensive experience across government, corporate and SME level of business.  He was established a Consultancy business through the 2009 Global financial Crisis. During that time he supported over 50 businesses in pursuit of high performance  Over the past 2 years he has supported 100+ businesses to unlock support funding for significant innovation projects along with simple business improvement tactics to reduce costs, get the best out of staff and find new opportunities
    • Ashleigh Turner

      Māori Economic Development Manager

      Ashleigh Turner

      Māori Economic Development Manager

      Ko Waikato-Maniapoto, ko Ngati Awa ngā iwi.
      Ko Ngaati Apakura, ko Ngaati Mahuta, ko Pahipoto, ko Te Warahoe, ngaa hapuu.

      Ashleigh is the Business Growth and Maaori Economic Development Manager at Te Waka. She has 12+ years’ experience providing business and policy advice, advocacy and support to senior executives and business owners.

  • Te Waka Board

    • Hamish Bell

      Acting Chair

      Hamish Bell

      Acting Chair

      Hamish is an experienced Director and Commercial Advisor, with a wealth of experience in both the private and listed company space, gained over a 30-year career across New Zealand and Asia. 

      He has significant economic development experience amongst other things including serving as Chairman of the New Zealand Private Equity & Venture Capital Association and as Chair of the Singapore New Zealand Business Council.

    • Kiri Goulter

      Deputy Chair

      Kiri Goulter

      Deputy Chair

      Kiri Goulter is a highly accomplished tourism, economic development and governance professional. From 2009-2016 Kiri was Chief Executive of Hamilton & Waikato Tourism, and has held management roles with Tourism New Zealand and Enterprise Northland. Kiri has worked extensively across the public and private sectors and is currently assisting central government in destination management and planning for tourism and economic development. 

    • Kim Hill

      Board Member

      Kim Hill

      Board Member

      Kim Hill is a top-level business strategist, mentor and consultant who is widely sought after throughout New Zealand for her expertise and skills in all areas of running a business. A successful entrepreneur and business woman herself, Kim facilitates, mentors, delivers conference addresses, and provides a sounding board to help people define and achieve their goals, whether they be individuals or corporate businesses. 

    • Les Roa

      Board Member

      Les Roa

      Board Member

      Director of Longveld Ltd, Longveld specialises in stainless steel fabrication and manufactures processing systems for air, water, steam and food for companies such as Fonterra, Genesis, GEA Group and Associated British Foods. Les was the managing director from 1992-2013 and during this time led the company’s growth in becoming a significant New Zealand enterprise. 

    • Chris Joblin

      Board Member

      Chris Joblin

      Board Member

      Chris Joblin joined Tainui Group Holdings, the intergenerational investment arm of Waikato-Tainui in 2009, and has been CEO since mid-2015. He is passionate about delivering sustainable long-term returns and employment outcomes for the 76,000 members of the iwi and for the Waikato region. 

    • Craig Barrett

      Board Member

      Craig Barrett

      Board Member

      Craig is a Director at Baker Tilly Staples Rodway and has extensive audit, assurance and consulting experience which has allowed him to provide business value and advice to different types of entities. In particular he works with a number of large corporates and high profile Iwi groups.

      He has gained international experience through spending time with Baker Tilly International affiliates in New York.  In early 2009 Craig worked in the Financial Services Division of Eisner LLP, a Baker Tilly member firm situated in New York, gaining experience in auditing of large-scale investment groups under the US auditing requirements.

    • Blair Bowcott

      Advisory Board Member

      Blair Bowcott

      Advisory Board Member

      A senior executive with 20 years’ experience at Hamilton City Council, including the last 12 years in General Manager, Acting Chief Executive and Executive Director roles. Accustomed to rapidly changing environments, the demands of a high growth region and a Council focused on delivering tangible outcomes for the City.

    • Rob Williams

      Advisory Board Member

      Rob Williams

      Advisory Board Member

      Rob Williams has been a Local Government Chief Executive since 2007 serving both Taupo District and Thames-Coromandel District during that time. As a Chartered Engineer of the Institution of Civil Engineers, UK, Rob has over 30 years of professional management experience including the successful completion of a wide range of infrastructure projects in both the private and public sector. 

    • Kaumātua Tame Pokaia

      Advisory Board Member

      Kaumātua Tame Pokaia

      Advisory Board Member

      Tame Pokaia is from Waikato’s Ngati Mahuta and Ngati Hikairo hapu from Kawhia. He grew up on Turangawaewae marae. He credits the marae as one of his special places of learning and has developed a deep understanding of culture, te reo Māori, and King movement. The experiences and memories gained have been invaluable in his life.