Ā mātou tāngata Our people

Mō Mātou | About

Leadership team

Chief Operating Officer

Nick Thomson

Nick leads the Finance, People & Culture, Technology, and Business Support functions at Te Ara Ahunga Ora. He also supports the Retirement Commissioner to ensure the organisation operates efficiently and effectively with high quality strategic, operational, and finance leadership. Prior to taking on the COO position, Nick was the Director of Financial Capability and the Director of Learning at Te Ara Ahunga Ora. He is an experienced senior executive who has held a variety of senior leadership positions in education and operations.


Director – Policy & Research

Dr Patrick Nolan

Patrick leads a team that supports the Retirement Commissioner to shape our policy and research work and activities. He oversees our research programme, the statutory three-yearly Review of Retirement Income Policies and the statutory role to monitor the effects of the Retirement Villages Act, the Regulations and Code of Practice. He has had roles in organisations including the New Zealand Treasury, Productivity Commission, NZIER and in a London-based think tank. His PhD examined the labour supply effects of the Working for Families Tax Credits.

Kaihautū | Director - Māori & Learning

Erin Thompson (Ngāti Rangiwewehi, Ngāi Tāmanuhiri, Ngaati Tiipa)

Erin leads the Māori and Learning teams which supports implementation of the rautaki Māori, organisation-wide cultural capability and drives stronger outcomes for Māori across our focus areas and programmes, particularly schools and kura.

Previously the Kaikōkiri for the Te whai hua – kia ora, Sorted in Schools programme, Erin comes from a teaching background. She is a strong advocate for kaupapa Māori, te reo Māori, and mātauranga Māori, and has a wealth of experience in iwi and community planning and development, and iwi governance.


Director – Stakeholder & Communications

Anika Forsman
Anika leads the team responsible for the communications and stakeholder engagement activity for Te Ara Ahunga Ora, including the management and delivery of key government partnerships. Prior to joining Te Ara Ahunga Ora, Anika spent six years working for Auckland Unlimited, most recently leading the communications and marketing requirements for the Auckland Council group and Crown partners for the 36th America’s Cup. Her previous roles included working in communications at Fonterra and as a journalist in Queenstown and Auckland.


Director – Marketing

Vanessa Morris

Vanessa leads the Marketing team and is responsible for the Sorted master brand and sub brands, as well as the consumer experience. Vanessa has spent the last 20 years building brands people love and trust, as well as engagement programmes that leverage data and insights to drive behaviour across social, digital and 1:1 channels.


Policy & Research

Policy Lead
Dr Michelle Reyers

Policy Specialist
Dr Jordan King

Retirement Villages Specialist
Tristan Fluerty

Research Lead
Dr Jo Gamble

Finance Research Specialist
Ben King



Māori and Learning

Māori Lead
Donna Robinson

Kaitakawaenga/Māori Specialist
Marina Kawe-Peautolu (Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāi Tahu)

Kaikōkiri/Māori Specialist – Kura
Kimiorangi Thompson (Ngāi Tāmanuhiri, Ngāti Rangiwewehi)

Learning and Māori Administrator
Lexia Hansen

Learning Lead
Yasmin Frazer

Learning Specialist
Su Min Ahn

Learning Specialist 
Claire Bailey





Product & Marketing Lead
Penny Lockwood

Marketing Specialist
Natasha Lavulavu

Digital Marketing Specialist
Katie Houlihan

Graphic Designer
Mike Crozier

Digital Platforms Lead
Jason Gambitsis

CRM & Analytics Specialist
Dikshi Bhutani

Digital Channels Specialist
Laura Bradbury

Marketing Administrator
Devon Connolly

Stakeholder & Communications

Stakeholder Lead
Rachel Beckett

Stakeholder Specialist
Natalie Palmer

Stakeholder Specialist
Ana Tu'inukuafe


Personal Finance Lead
Tom Hartmann

Communications Lead
Elizabeth O'Halloran

Communications Specialist
Georgette Hart

Corporate Services

Finance Lead
Gemma Fulton

People Lead

Business Lead
Nick Beard

Assistant Accountant 
Shristi Singh

Performance Accountability Specialist
Rebecca Jenner

Business Administrator
Ciaran Lymer