Sponsor and champions

Renee Graham, GWN Sponsor, Chief Executive - Social Wellbeing Agency

Peter Mersi, GWN Sponsor, Commissioner and Chief Executive Inland Revenue Department

Peter Mersi is also Chief Executive co-lead with Gaye Searancke for Papa Pounamu which sets the diversity and inclusion work programme for the wider public service.

GWN also receives valuable support from CEs and senior leaders as a leadership group and individually through their agencies.

Steering Committee

Nicola Johns, Chair, Nga Pirihimana o Aotearoa – New Zealand Police

Nina Russell, Co Chair, Te Tauaarangi o Aotearoa – New Zealand Defence Force 

Jessie Johnson-Smith, Secretariat, Taumata Arowai

Karyn Thompson, Te Tauaarangi o Aotearoa – New Zealand Defence Force 

Tofilau Iris Webster, Te Kawa Mataaho – Public Service Commission

Briar Wyatt, Manatū Mō Te Taiao – Ministry for the Environment 

Sio Kihe La’a Talakai-Alatini, Te Manatū mō iwi ō te Moana-nui-ā-Kiwa – Ministry of Pacific Peoples 

Heather Guthrie, Manatū Ahu Matua – Ministry of Primary Industries 

Dr Anna Milne-Tavendale,  Manatū Wāhine – Ministry for Women 

Laura Olsen, Nga Pirihimana o Aotearoa – New Zealand Police

Coyla Cameron, Te Tāhū o te Ture   Ministry of Justice

Marie Schmidt, Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga – Ministry of Housing and Urban Development 

Lyn Meredith, Te Tari Taake – Inland Revenue 

Zoe Ogilvie Burns, Taumata Arowai

Isabella Sanchez-Bolivar, Manatū Wāhine – Ministry for Women 

Rachael Bayliss, Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand

Emma Saunders, Ministry of Health – Manatū Hauora

Della Averina, Te Tai Ōhanga – The Treasury  

The GWN Steering Committee also includes the Chairs of the regional networks, Joanna Maskell – Te Aka Wāhine o Tāmaki Auckland GWN and Kirsty Paterson – Te Aka Wāhine o Te Waipounamu Southern GWN.


Te Puna Huihuinga Kaimahi The ELN Team

The ELN Team work to support employee-led networks to thrive by sharing their network experience and amplifying diverse perspectives across the Public Service. The team work with GWN, supporting them to build on progress around their six priorities. Focusing on these priorities will strengthen GWN and women’s networks in the Public Service and ensure positive outcomes for individual women.

The ELN team consists of four staff located in Wellington, and one Regional Advisor based in Hamilton.

Carin Sundstedt, ELN Programme Director

Anna Robinson, ELN Senior Advisor

Penny Downing, ELN Senior Advisor

Virginia Fordham, ELN Regional Advisor

Phoebe Lockett, ELN Coordinator