Ā mātou tāngata Our people

Mō Mātou | About

Leadership team

Director – Financial Capability

Nick Thomson

Nick leads the financial capability portfolio which develops and delivers financial education for schools, communities and workplaces. Nick is an experienced senior executive who has held a variety of senior leadership positions in education. Prior to joining Te Ara Ahunga Ora, he was the General Manager of Industry Training, General of Learning Design and General Manager of Product Development & Quality Assurance at Competenz – one of New Zealand’s largest industry training organisations.

Director – Marketing

Lyndsey Francis

Lyndsey leads the marketing and digital function at Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission. Responsible for marketing, brand and digital strategy across the Sorted portfolio of products and the visual identity of the corporate brand. Prior to joining the Te Ara Ahunga Ora, she led the Content Solutions team at TVNZ, developing a range of award-winning innovative brand solutions for New Zealand advertisers. Lyndsey is an experienced marketing leader having spent many years in communications and media strategy roles in agencies working with brands in both the United Kingdom and New Zealand.

Director – Corporate Services

Nisha Keetels (Ngāti Raukawa, Tūhoe)

Nisha leads Te Ara Ahunga Ora’s Corporate Service team, who are responsible for both strategic and day-to-day operations of our finance, people, compliance, technology, project and administrative functions. Nisha is an experienced operations professional who has worked across a range of industries, both in New Zealand and Australia. She was most recently the General Manager at Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation in Western Australia, having had significant experience in leading operations within culturally sensitive and politically complex environments.


Director – Policy

Dr Suzy Morrissey

Suzy leads a team that supports the Retirement Commissioner to shape the Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission’s policy and research work and activities. She 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. Suzy is a Chartered Accountant and spent eight years working for global accounting firms in Australia and New Zealand. She was made a Fellow Chartered Accountant in 2018. Since 2012 she has worked in the public sector and brings experience from Treasury and MBIE to her role at Te Ara Ahunga Ora. Her PhD in Taxation examined policy and gender.

Kaihautū | Director Māori Development

Dr Kathie Irwin (Ngāti Porou, Rakaipaaka, Ngāti Kahungunu)

Kathie helps drive improvement in retirement outcomes for Māori by connecting and aligning the Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission’s work with related state sector policy streams. Her background as a Māori academic in tertiary education, and in senior management and governance for iwi and public sector organisations, enables Kathie to imbue Te Ara Ahunga Ora and its work with te ao Māori so that we champion the Treaty of Waitangi, support diversity and inclusion, and implement Māori strategies to create positive change. As an educationist she specialised in Māori education, research and development, for nearly 30 years. She then moved into senior management and governance, across the NGO, Iwi and public sectors.


Director – Stakeholder Relations

Anika Forsman

Anika leads the team helping to share the stories about the ways Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission is empowering the people of Aotearoa on their journeys to better retirement. They are communications and stakeholder specialists with a grounding in personal finance knowledge, tasked with stripping away the jargon to create an easier pathway for understanding how to achieve long-term financial wellbeing. 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.


Retired Persons Lead
Dr Michelle Reyers

Research Lead
Dr Jo Gamble

Financial Capability

Learning Development Lead
Tista Lythe

Learning Designer – EME
Su Min Ahn

Kaitakawaenga/Learning Designer MME
Marina Kawe-Peautolu (Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāi Tahu)

Learning Development Specialist
Tania Vercoelen

Learning Development Administrator
Natalie Palmer

Project Specialist – Pacific
Liline Hewett

Learning Delivery Lead
Marc Harris

Learning Delivery (Programme) Specialist
Paul Nicolini

Learning Specialist - Schools
Jill MacDonald

Kaikōkiri/Learning Specialist – Kura
Erin Thompson (Tainui, Te Arawa, Ngāi Tāmanuhiri)

Relationship Specialist – Communities
Ana Tu'inukuafe


Marketing & Content Lead
Kelly Phillips

Digital Marketing Specialist
Hannah Merceanu

Product Marketing Specialist
Natasha Lavulavu

Graphic Designer
Georgia Lopesi

Digital Assets Lead
Jason Gambitsis

CRM and Analytics Specialist
Mike Coffey

Digital Channels Specialist
Morgan Martin


Personal Finance Lead
Tom Hartmann

National Partnerships Lead
Rachel Beckett

Communications Specialist

Corporate Services

Finance Lead
Gemma Fulton

People Lead
Rosa Armstrong

Business Lead
Nick Beard

Assistant Accountant 
Shristi Singh

Governance Administrator
Rebecca Jenner

Business Administrator
Minna Birch