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 – 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

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

Erin leads engagement with Māori to understand financial capability and retirement from a Māori perspective. She helps drive improvement in retirement outcomes for Māori by connecting and aligning the Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission’s work with related industry and government workstreams. 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 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.

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 build 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 Lead
Dr Michelle Reyers

Research Lead
Dr Jo Gamble

Retirement Villages Specialist
Tristan Fluerty

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
Lexia Hansen

Project Specialist – Pacific
Liline Hewett

Learning Delivery Lead
Donna Robinson

Learning Delivery (Programme) Specialist
Natalie Palmer

Learning Specialist - Schools
Claire Bailey

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

Relationship Specialist – Communities
Josh Nicholson


Marketing & Content Lead
Kelly Phillips

Digital Marketing Specialist
Hannah Merceanu

Product Marketing Specialist
Vanya Piacun

Graphic Designer
Georgia Lopesi

Digital Platforms Lead
Jason Gambitsis

CRM & Analytics Specialist
Mike Coffey

Digital Channels Specialist
Morgan Martin

Marketing Administrator
Devon Connolly


Personal Finance Lead
Tom Hartmann

National Partnerships Lead
Rachel Beckett

Communications Specialist
Elizabeth O'Halloran

Communications Specialist
Georgette Dawbin

Corporate Services

Finance Lead
Gemma Fulton

People Lead
Rosa Armstrong

Business Lead
Nick Beard

Assistant Accountant 
Shristi Singh

Performance Accountability Specialist
Rebecca Jenner

Business Administrator
Ciaran Lymer