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Board Profiles

Helen van Orton

Board Chair / Independent Director

Based in Auckland, Helen has 15+ years executive leadership experience with a focus on customer operations, customer experience, digital transformation and marketing, gained while working for brands such Vodafone, Air New Zealand, Lotto and Westpac. Helen is a current board director of the Co-operative Bank, Centrix Group Ltd and Zeal (Not for profit youth organisation). 

Denise Hartley-Wilkins, CFHRNZ

National President

Denise is the Director of Shine People Consulting Ltd., a people and organisation development consultancy.  With over  30 years HR and OD experience in a diverse range of organisations and sectors in the UK, Canada and New Zealand she brings a broad skillset spanning strategy, operations and governance.  She has held a range of senior leadership roles where she has led large, complex, transformational programs.    With extensive executive and coalface experience, she is known for her deep professional knowledge along with her ability to translate strategy into action.  Denise subscribes to the belief that 'you don't have great organisations, you have great workplaces’.  She is passionate about partnering with leaders, teams and people to realise their potential.  Denise is a Chartered Fellow of HRNZ, a Chartered Member with the CIPD UK and an ICF Credentialled Executive coach.  A lifelong learner, she is currently studying with the Global Team Coaching Institute.  She writes for Employment Today, People Management and Management journals and has presented at conferences and symposiums. 

Lisa Oakley, CFHRNZ

National Vice President

Lisa the Director of Love Your Work NZ an HR Services Consultancy business.  Lisa has over 15 years experience as a generalist people and performance leader in Human Resources and Health, Safety and Environment in large scale service environments in a range of industry sectors.  Lisa is motivated by making a significant contribution to the HR profession in New Zealand, is passionate about the future of HR and professional development for HRNZ members.  Lisa is a regular contributor to the HRNZ magazine, Chartered Fellow of HRNZ, and Chartered Member of AHRI. 

Elena Calvert, CMHRNZ

Elena brings a valuable mix of experiences across public, private and not for profit sectors, combining HR consulting, generalist and specialist HR functions.   Currently she is the Recruitment Manager at the University of Otago, after time with Deloitte NZ and Mitre 10 MEGA Dunedin.

 Elena is a long-term member of the HRNZ Otago Branch committee and is passionate about delivering value to HRNZ members no matter what part of the country they are based in.  She has also been a strong advocate of continually investing into our engagement with students.

Kavita Khanna, CMHRNZ

Kavita Khanna has over two decades experience in leadership roles, having worked in professional services, construction and technology sectors in New Zealand and in India. In her current role as Executive Leader, People + Workplace in Tonkin & Taylor, she is responsible for shaping the people strategy, looking after a range of functions including Technology, HR and HSW and leading complex, transformational projects for the business. She has a broad skill set and expertise covering governance, leadership, strategic planning, managing a consulting business and people and culture. She managed her own consulting business and has been a board intern on the Regional Facilities Auckland Board.  She is a Chartered member of HRNZ.

Jo Martell, CMHRNZ

In an HR career spanning over 25 years in New Zealand and the UK, Jo has led both business partnering and specialist portfolios within global organisations. 
Her recent experience includes leadership positions within Fonterra, Air New Zealand and Fletcher Distribution as well as Marsell Holdings Limited, as a Company Director.
Jo is passionate about how organisations empower people to fulfil their potential by creating learning opportunities; supporting career development; encouraging diversity of thought and voice; and building the confidence of people to be well prepared for the future of work.  
While at Fonterra, Jo has been particularly instrumental in helping people across the co-operative build their careers through initiatives such as Women @ Work, The Millennial Council and the Finance Talent Forum. Jo has recently been appointed as a Board Director of the HRNZ.

Maeve Neilson, CMHRNZ

Maeve is currently GM Health, Safety and Security for the Ministry of Justice in Wellington.  Maeve is a unique leader with a broad range of experiences across public, private and non government organisations.Maeve’s breadth of experience across these diverse sectors and functions enables her to deliver commercially sustainable outcomes whilst lifting productivity and engagement. As an experienced people leader, Maeve has led organisations through several challenges from workplace fatalities, to significant transformations, to the planning and management of national and international sporting events. Her ability to successfully communicate organisational vision, priorities and objectives across multiple levels sees Maeve often  translate the "complex" into a language all can connect and engage with, transforming both leadership behaviours and organisational cultures. A Chartered HRNZ Professional, Maeve holds a Masters in Arts (Psychology), and subsequent qualifications in Dispute Resolution and Health and Safety. Maeve is currently the General Manager, Health, Safety and Security at Ministry of Justice.

Karli Te Aotonga, CMHRNZ

Karli has iwi affiliations to Ngāti Awa, Te Arawa, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Tūwharetoa ki Kawerau, Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāti Ruanui, Ngā Rauru and Ngāti Koata. She has over 12 years’ experience in strategic OD, HR and customer service-centered design and delivery. Karli is a Chartered Member of HRNZ (CMHRNZ), holds a Bachelor’s Degree in HRM, a master’s degree in arts (Māori and indigenous leadership) and has commenced a PhD in Māori Studies, focused on transforming HR through Māori knowledge and practices. Karli is committed to the kaupapa of transformational change and culture within all workplaces of Aotearoa that directly enhances the quality of life and wellbeing for people and place. She is māmā to two boys, Cobey and Wiremu Te Awarua, her life’s inspiration.

Marcus Waters, CMHRNZ

Marcus is an experienced Human Resources professional and previously the General Manager of People, Culture and Communication at PowerNet.  He is passionate about influencing and shaping the way NZ businesses and organisations think about and manage their people, now and into the future.  He is currently the General Manger of Commercial and Partnerships at the Antarctic Heritage Trust. 

Amanda Cribb

Independent Director

Amanda has extensive experience in the technology sector including more than 15 years in executive leadership roles. She has expertise in finance, transformation, strategy, and has a proven track record as a change agent in high growth companies.   She is a current board director of Straker Translations.

Amanda is a Chartered Accountant and a Chartered member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors. 

Baubre Murray, FCA

Independent Director

Baubre is a Chartered Accountant and an independent director.  She worked as a director in public practice for more than 15 years and as an elected representative for a member based organisation for 15 years. She is a Fellow Chartered Accountant and a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors.  Baubre is a trustee of Nuku Ora and of the LifeBlood Trust and the Oceania representative on IFAC’s Small and Medium Practices Committee.