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, New Zealand Police – Nga Pirihimana o Aotearoa

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

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

Tofilau Iris Webster, Te Kawa Mataaho – Public Service Commission

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

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

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

Coyla Cameron, Ministry of Justice – Te Tāhū o te Ture

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

Lyn Meredith, Inland Revenue – Te Tari Taake

Zoe Ogilvie Burns, Taumata Arowai

Isabella Sanchez-Bolivar, Ministry for Women – Manatū Wāhine

Rachael Bayliss, Ministry of Health – Manatū Hauora

Emma Saunders, Ministry of Health – Manatū Hauora

Della Averina, The Treasury – Te Tai Ōhanga

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