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

Anita Edwards, Chair, Ministry of Justice – Tāhū o te Ture

Karyn ThompsonDeputy Chair, New Zealand Defence Force – Te Tauaarangi o Aotearoa

Tofilau Iris Webster, Te Kawa Mataaho – Public Service Commission

Lu Avia, Ministry of Health – Manatū Hauora

Melanie Smith, Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga – Ministry of Housing and Urban Development

Monique Esplin, Crown Law – Te Tari Ture o te Karauna

Juliette Hayes, Education Review Office – Te Tari Arotake Mātauranga

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

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

Dr Jacqui Matthews, Te Puni Kōkiri – Ministry of Māori Development

Dr Fathima Iftikar, Ministry for the Environment – Manatū Mō Te Taiao

Heather Guthrie, Ministry of Primary Industries – Manatū Ahu Matua

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

Laura Olsen, New Zealand Police – Nga Pirihimana o Aotearoa

Nicola Johns, New Zealand Police – Nga Pirihimana o Aotearoa

The GWN Steering Committee also includes the Chairs of the regional networks, Sarah Leo Anderson – Te Aka Wāhine o Tāmaki Auckland GWN and Jennifer Leahy – 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 GWN team consists of three full-time staff located in Wellington, and two part-time regional coordinators in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland and Otautahi Christchurch.

Carin Sundstedt, ELN Programme Director

Phoebe Lockett, ELN Coordinator

Anna Robinson, ELN Senior Advisor

Vivian Lyngdoh, ELN Senior Advisor 

Virginia Fordham, Auckland ELN Coordinator

Wendy Thompson, Southern ELN Coordinator