Who we are

Tourism New Zealand is a crown entity governed by Board members who are appointed by the Minister of Tourism. Tourism New Zealand's leadership team is responsible for the organisation's business operations.

For contact details, please visit the contact us page.

Tourism New Zealand Board

Jamie Tuuta - Chair

Award winning Māori business leader, Jamie Tuuta chairs Te Ohu Kaimoana, the body set up to oversee Māori fisheries assets throughout New Zealand, conservation project Taranaki Mounga and Māori Television.

Jamie was the Māori Trustee and Chief Executive of Te Tumu Paeroa, an organisation responsible for managing nearly 100,000 hectares of land and more than $100m worth of assets and investments.

Jamie has held a range of governance positions in iwi development, agribusiness, fishing, investment, health, Māori development, tourism and education. He is currently a director of Moana New Zealand an export fishing company and Taranaki Whānui Ltd an iwi investment entity.

In 2015 Jamie received the Young Māori Business Leader Award at the Aotearoa NZ Māori Business Leaders Awards, and was awarded the Sir Peter Blake Emerging Leadership Award in 2010.

Jamie was first appointed to the New Zealand Tourism Board on 7 March 2013 and was appointed Board Chair commencing 1 May 2019 for a term ending on 30 April 2022.

Roger Sharp - Deputy Chair

Roger has over 30 years’ experience in travel, technology and capital markets, and chairs global digital travel business, Webjet. 


Roger built and sold his first tech company in the 80’s. He became an aviation banker in the 90's, advising on flagship transactions including the privatisations of Air New Zealand and Qantas.


After working for one of the world’s largest financial institutions, he founded a technology investment banking firm in 2003. Since then he has invested in and chaired several stock exchange listed companies including ASX-listed online travel agent travel.com.au Limited, which was sold to Wotif.com in 2008. 


Roger was officially appointed to the board on 1 December 2018 and was appointed Deputy Chair on 1 May 2019 for a term ending 30 April 2022.

Colleen Neville

Colleen is currently the CEO of Te Arawa Group Holdings Limited, the commercial arm of Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa Trust. Colleen has held this position for approximately four years and, prior to this appointment, was the CFO for four years.

Colleen (Ngati Maniapoto, Waikato-Tainui) has 16 years experience as a Chartered Accountant in diverse sectors including tourism, forestry, agribusiness and health services. She also has extensive expertise in Māori post-settlement governance entities (PSGEs), Māori incorporations and Māori land trusts.

Colleen’s previous roles have included Finance Manager for NZMACI (Te Puia) and Business Advisory Services for professional accountancy and management firms.

Colleen has governance experience as a director of Scion (NZ Forest Research Institute Limited), Poutama Trust (business development services to Māori), Te Ohu Kaimoana (independent Audit and Risk member and Director of Portfolio Management Services), Te Kakano Whakatipu Ltd (Forestry), Te Arawa Agribusiness Ltd and Te Matai Pacific Iwi Collective (Kiwifruti).
Kauahi Ngapora

Kauahi is General Manager of Whale Watch Kaikoura Ltd and has 25 years of experience in the Māori tourism sector.

His governance experience includes directorships at Tourism Industry Aotearoa and Whale Watch Australia.

Mr Ngapora has also been Chair of Destination Kaikoura and is a member of the Tourism Infrastructure Fund panel.

Kauahi was awarded the Outstanding Māori Business Leader Award at the 2018 University of Auckland’s Aotearoa Māori Business Leaders Awards.

Jan Hunt

Jan is a director at Skyline Enterprises and Jumping New Zealand.

Previously she was a Board member of the Queenstown Chamber of Commerce and worked as a General Manager at Millbrook Resort, Sky City Hotel & Convention Centre, and Millennium Queenstown.

Jan was appointed to the New Zealand Tourism Board in June 2017 until June 2021.


John Thorburn

John is Chief Executive of InterCity Group and was previously the Chief Executive of Ngai Tahu Tourism. John is also Director of Intercity Group Australia Pty Limited.

He has held senior positions in a range of industries, including manufacturing, marketing and telecommunications.

John has also held previous board positions with the New Zealand Tourism Industry Aotearoa and the New Zealand Conservation Authority.

John was appointed to the New Zealand Tourism Board on August 2015 for a three-year term which has been extended until 30 September 2021.

Leah McDonald

Leah McDonald is Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive and Board Secretary.

Email Leah in the first instance to get in touch with any of Tourism New Zealand's Board members.


Executive Team

René de Monchy, Chief Executive

René de Monchy joined Tourism New Zealand in August 2015 bringing 20 years' global experience in consumer-led businesses including local and international marketing roles for Fonterra and Heineken and Asia Pacific Breweries in Singapore.

René was appointed Chief Executive of Tourism New Zealand in April 2021, prior to this he was Tourism New Zealand's Interim Chief Executive for four months. Before this, René was Tourism New Zealand's Director Commercial. In this role René led a team across 15 offices in 14 countries responsible for identifying key markets and audiences to target for travel to New Zealand. René also led the development of Tourism New Zealand's Aviation Strategy to guide partnerships with international airlines including establishing Memorandum of Understandings with major airlines including Air New Zealand.

René is passionate about the tourism sector and active in tourism industry engagement, undertaking regular speaking engagements and panel discussions.

René is a member of the following boards and panels:

  • Tourism Industry Aotearoa
  • New Zealand Screen Production Grant Significant Economic Benefits Verification Panel
  • New Zealand Story Board
  • New Zealand China Council
  • Qualmark New Zealand Limited

Bjoern Spreitzer, General Manager New Zealand and Business Events

Bjoern Spreitzer has been with Tourism New Zealand for the past 14 years, currently as recently as General Manager New Zealand and Business Events. Prior to this he was General Manager Domestic, Global Manager Planning and Partnerships and General Manager Americas & Western Europe.

The General Manager New Zealand and Business Events is responsible for domestic marketing activity, Business Events, Qualmark and industry partnerships.

Gregg Wafelbakker, General Manager International (Acting)

Gregg Wafelbakker joined Tourism New Zealand in July 2017 as General Manager Asia.  Gregg brings 20 years’ of international experience in Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Consumer (B2C) from the food and beverage sector, with roles based in New Zealand, USA, Singapore, Thailand, Germany and China.  Prior to joining Tourism New Zealand, Gregg was General Manager China for Westland Milk Products.

The General Manager International is responsible for delivery of marketing in offshore markets and aviation partnerships. 

Brendan Downey-Parish, General Manager Insights, Performance and Technology

Brendan joined Tourism New Zealand in January 2016 and in 2022 was appointed to the role of General Manager Insights, Performance and Technology.

Brendan is responsible for insights, digital analytics, performance analytics, business planning, platform development and delivery.

Brendan has significant marketing & innovation expertise gained across the beverage, food, and consumer goods sectors in New Zealand and internationally, including 7 years with Fonterra in the Middle East.

Photo of Brodie Reid, Director Marketing.

Brodie McLeish, General Manager Marketing

 With over 15 years’ experience in brand storytelling and marketing communications, Brodie's responsibilities as Tourism New Zealand’s General Manager Marketing includes global brand strategy, marketing content, trade, social and digital experience, marketing planning and global partnerships. 

Brodie comes from a background in the brand, creative and advertising sector formally working as the Tourism New Zealand Brand and Content Manager, and prior to that at multiple advertising agencies both here and in London. She has worked with global brands such as Heineken, Toyota, Air New Zealand, Coca-Cola, Westpac and Nestle.

Natalie Haines, General Manager, People and Corporate Affairs

Natalie is responsible for leading Tourism New Zealand’s People, Government Relations and Corporate Communications functions.

Natalie brings more than 16 years of people and culture experience, and joins Tourism New Zealand from senior HR roles at Oranga Tamariki - Ministry for Children and Contact Energy. She brings a strong background in organisational change and capability and culture development.

Leah McDonald, Executive Assistant to Chief Executive

Leah joined Tourism New Zealand in 2008 and in 2012 was appointed to the role of Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive and Board Secretariat.

Before joining Tourism New Zealand, Leah lived offshore from 1995 to 2008 (Florida, London and Sydney) supporting Senior Executives across various sectors, including Australia’s leading medical defence organisation and medical indemnity insurance provider and the largest housing association in the United Kingdom.



New Zealand media team

If you are a New Zealand based journalist and have a media query please contact one of the communications team below. 

Candice Johanson, Communications Manager 021 220 8031 or email candice.johanson@tnz.govt.nz

Jess Harkins, Senior Communications Advisor 021 631 845 or email jess.harkins@tnz.govt.nz

If you have an OIA request please email: oia@tnz.govt.nz