National Industry Advisory Groups first appointees announced

The NIAGs hold a unique position ensuring that industry voice guides and influences Hanga-Aro-Rau operations and priorities. Each NIAG will be a sounding board to test our thinking of new concepts and initiatives for their industries and help validate workstreams.

Chief Executive of Hanga-Aro-Rau, Phil Alexander-Crawford, said the high calibre of applicants across all sectors showed the Workforce Development Council’s vital role for industry.

“We received over 350 applications through our expressions of interest process, where we went out to all industries in our extensive database and beyond.
It was a rigorous process, and the number and quality of the applicants speak to the high regard held for the mahi of Hanga-Aro-Rau. It is also a clear demonstration that industry wants to walk alongside us in the journey to ensure the vocational education system is fit for purpose today and in the future.” 

Reni Wereta-Gargiulo, the owner of Kiwi Kai – makers of Atutahi Natives – and the 2022 winner of the Māori Businesswoman Award, was appointed to the food and beverage NIAG.

“I felt really privileged to be part of the NIAG and to have my voice heard, especially as the owner of a Māori business.” As a smaller beverage manufacturer, Reni said she was unsure how she would fit in with the larger players, but that it was good to be welcomed to the table.

“I would like to see a lot more education put into beverages, including the functional benefits of the native ingredients of Aotearoa” Reni said.

“Being part of the NIAG and working with Hanga-Aro-Rau will make sure that the right skills are being taught. I am excited to be part of the NIAG going forward, it’s been a great opportunity as well as a chance to connect with others in the industry.”

Phil also noted how heartened he is by the diverse makeup of the NIAGs, with 20 per cent of membership being Māori across the eight groups.

“This is yet another way we are ensuring those who have been traditionally underserved in vocational education, particularly Māori, Pacific peoples and women, are at our table, influencing our strategic direction and helping us address challenges within the manufacturing, engineering and logistics sectors,” he said.

One of the 20 per cent who have a seat at the table is Kelly Potter (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine) from WineWorks in Marlborough. Ms Potter said she was “really, really impressed with the way that the Hanga-Aro-Rau tīma seamlessly melded tikanga Māori into the entire day” at the first meeting of the Food and Beverage NIAG recently.

“I still feel really energised from seeing such genuine but relaxed inclusion of the Māori culture into a workday”, she said, “it was authentic and really showed how simple and effective it can be to incorporate”.

Under their terms of reference, each of the eight NIAGs may have up to 15 members and have two Co-chairs, one of whom must be Maori. Co-chairs are appointed by vote from within each group’s membership.

The foundation NIAGs and their members are:


  • Andrew Geddes – Machine Craft Ltd
  • Byron Pieter Konia – Stantec
  • Chris Doel – Culham Engineering
  • Craig Burnett – McCain Fine Foods
  • Dr James Neale – Maintenance Engineering Soc NZ
  • George Hollinsworth – E tū
  • Les Roa – Longveld
  • Melinda Deller – TIDA Group
  • Mike Begg – Begg Locksmiths
  • Miles Fruean – Mulcahy Engineering
  • Peter Rameka – Wintec
  • Richard Templer – Engineering NZ
  • Sarah Ramsay – United Machinists
  • Stephen Ridder – AON
  • Storm Harpham – Simx
  • Tama Dunn – Patton Engineering
  • Tane Te Kawa – No8 Fire Ltd


  • Allanah Toko-Mikahere – Winstone Aggregates
  • Fiona Bartier – Bathurst Resources Ltd
  • John Preston – ACT Safety Ltd
  • Justin Wallace – First Union
  • Keri Harrison – Tui Creek
  • Mike Higgins – AQA/Minex/ J Swap Contractors Ltd
  • Peter O’Sullivan – TPP & Minerals Member West Coast
  • Ray Haley – Comet Training
  • Sam Woodford – NZ Drillers Federation
  • Tim Kennedy – Fulton Hogan
  • Wayne Scott – MinEx and Aggregate and Quarry Association


  • Adrian Greig – Juken New Zealand Ltd
  • Brett Francis – Window & Glass Association
  • Dieter Adam – MAKE NZ
  • Dion Orbell – Buckley Systems Ltd
  • Kristen Nash – Tumu Timbers Ltd
  •  Lucy Buxton
  • Matewai Roberts – Sistema Plastics
  • Rachel Barker – Plastics New Zealand Inc
  • Rebecca Phillips – New Zealand Comfort Group Limited
  • Rik Tauroa – Essity
  • Rose Powell – Vitaco Health (NZ) Ltd
  • Ruth Cobb – Printing Industries NZ Inc
  • Shantanu Verma – New Zealand’s Aluminum Smelter (NZAS)
  • Simon Williams-Fry – Genia


  • Aaron Amyes – Lyttelton Port Company
  • Craig Harrison – Maritime Union on NZ
  • Mark Foster – SSA New Zealand
  • Melanie Dyer – Port of Tauranga
  • Natasha Bennett – ISO
  • Paul White – Ports of Auckland
  • Sonny Ali – Maritime New Zealand
  • Tahu Stirling – Lyttelton Port Company
  • Te Roimata Rangi (Roi) – C3 Limited
  • Zharn Abraham – Wallace Investments Ltd

Food and Beverage

  • Huzaifa Mohsinally – Goodman Fielder
  • Kerri Johnstone – Alliance Group Ltd
  • Kevin Gilbert – Gilbert’s Fine Foods
  • Melanie Kees – Brewers Guild of NZ
  • Numia Raea – First Union
  • Rebecca Henderson – Prolife Foods
  • Kelly Potter – WineWorks
  • Reni Wereta-Gargiulo – Kiwi Kai Nelson
  • Tamai Roff – Skills4Work
  • Tatyana Protsenko – Meat Industry Association
  • Thomas Netana Wright – Ao Cacao
  • Tina Yakas – Yashili NZ Dairy Co
  • Vivien Welland – Bluebird Foods

Commercial Transport 

  • Billy Clemens – Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand
  • David Jenkins – TR Driver Training
  • David Boyce – NZ Trucking Association
  • Kelsi Ng Lam – KiwiRail Holdings Limited
  • Lance Gush – FIRST Union
  • Mark Rothwell – Maritime NZ
  • Michael Doeg – Sime Darby Motors NZ
  • Milo Coldren – Marine Transport Association
  • Murray Young – NZ Express Transport
  • Neil Carr – Waste Management NZ
  • Peter Sheppard – NZ Institute of Driver Educators
  • Peter Kara – Coastguard NZ/NZ Water Safety Board


  • Glenn Campbell – Composites Association of New Zealand
  • Joe Daw – MAST Academy
  • Lachlan Trembath – Ovlov Marine Ltd
  • Leon Avenant – Babcock International
  • Paris Mitchell – Icon Marine Manufacturing Ltd
  • Peter Busfield – NZ Marine Industry Association
  • Susan Lake – Composites Association of New Zealand
  • Tracey Stevenson – Lloyd Stevenson Boatbuilders
  • Vineeth Babu – Composites Association of New Zealand


  • Andrew Trumper – Repairhub NZ
  • Charlie Wikaira – Charlie’s Honest Automotive Services
  • Craig Martin – Rutherford & Bond Toyota
  • Darren O’Connor – Cableprice (NZ) Ltd
  • Douglas Blair – Giltrap Group
  • Dylan Cairns – Terra Cat
  • Len Richards – Norwood
  • Lionel Rowe – NZAE Group
  • Loretta Thompson – MTA
  • Matt Greene – Dunedin City Motors
  • Neil Pritchard – I-CAR New Zealand
  • Rodney Grant – Hire Industry Association of New Zealand Inc.
  • Warren Flowerday – Collision Repair Association

Note: A ninth NIAG, for the supply chain sector, is in formation now
 with an expression of interest process to open in mid-August 2023. 

Hanga-Aro-Rau extends our deep thanks to all applicants and warm congratulations to those appointed.