Our People

Meet the ExportNZ Team

Our team is our greatest asset. Every member of our team has the right knowledge, skills and motivation to achieve quality, efficient and professional outcomes for our exporter members.

Kirk Hope

Chief Executive

Kirk Hope is Chief Executive of BusinessNZ, New Zealand’s leading business advocacy group, representing thousands of businesses of all sizes.

Mr Hope and his Wellington-based team work with companies, organisations and political and other decision makers, advocating for New Zealand’s success through sustainable economic growth.

Before joining BusinessNZ, Kirk was CEO of the New Zealand Bankers’ Association. Prior to that he was Executive Director of the Financial Services Federation, the industry body representing the non-bank sector. He has previously held a range of senior positions at Westpac, including Head of Government Relations and Regulatory Affairs.

A qualified barrister and solicitor, Kirk holds a Master’s degree in law, focused on regulation of financial services, and a Bachelor and Post-Graduate Honours degree in political science. For five years he was a member of the Commercial and Business Law Committee of the New Zealand Law Society.

Joshua Tan

Executive Director – ExportNZ | BusinessNZ – Wellington

Josh is the Executive Director for ExportNZ and works closely with the ExportNZ National Advisory Board to ensure the export community is well represented in Wellington.

Before joining BusinessNZ, Josh was the Senior Policy and International Relations Advisor for the Wellington Chamber of Commerce and Business Central. He was also previously the Executive Secretary for the New Zealand Taiwan Business Council.

Josh holds a Bachelor of Arts (International Relations, Asian Studies) and a Bachelor of Commerce (International Business) from Victoria University of Wellington, having graduated in 2017.

Sheena McKechnie

Personal Assistant | Team Administrator| ExportNZ | BusinessNZ – Wellington

With a background in Support Work and Service Advisory roles, Sheena brings her strong organisational and interpersonal skills to the Support Hub Team at BusinessNZ, under the management of Andrea Tonner, Operations Director. In her role as Team Administrator, Database Administrator and Personal Assistant to Catherine Beard, Director of Advocacy, Sheena is responsible for travel arrangements, calendar and diary management, and providing support to the Policy Team. Additionally, she plays a key role in organising and assisting with BusinessNZ and related brand events.

Sheena serves as the Team Administrator for ExportNZ and ManufacturingNZ, providing support to their respective boards. In her database management role, she oversees the processing, implementation and storage of BusinessNZ’s data. This involves close collaboration with MCG, MCG Gold, and AIG, as well as the maintenance of the ExportNZ website.

Beyond her professional responsibilities, Sheena is passionate about Mental Health awareness in the workplace. She holds certifications as a Mental Health First Aider, First Aider and is a Stage 1 Health & Safety Representative.

Amanda Liddle

Regional Manager, Hawkes Bay and Wellington

Amanda has been involved with Hawke’s Bay exporters for the past 18 years and has a wide range of experience in helping businesses grow through strong local and national networks. Before joining ExportNZ in 2012 Amanda had 6 years with the Hawke’s Bay Economic Development Agency which included Callaghan Innovation and worked with various government organisations. Prior to this she worked for several years in corporate finance roles in the advertising and banking sectors in London.

Kelli Simpson

Member Partner BOP – Large / Corporate – Bay of Plenty

Kelli is the face for ExportNZ and EMA across the Bay of Plenty and having held senior roles through a long sales career, Kelli is passionate about people, establishing longstanding relationships and providing excellent service to deliver great outcomes for ExportNZ members.

Kelli has worked across various sectors as a Senior Business Development Manager and Sales Staff Manager both here and in Australia and has been with ExportNZ now for 18mths forging solid relationships within the local Bay Of Plenty Export community.

Aaron McLeigh

Senior Relationship Manager | Wellington and Central

Aaron has been working with exporting businesses for nearly 15 years, including with the local Regional Economic Development Agency. Having strong networks in manufacturing around the lower half of the north Island Aaron has a wealth of knowledge on Lean Manufacturing, Industry 4.0, Regional Business Partners, NZTE and Callaghan Funding.

Daniel Thomson

Business & International Trade Advisor | Business Canterbury

Daniel has almost a decade of experience as a Business owner with products retailed in many major retailers across Australasia including Woolworths, Briscoes Group, Myer and Decathlon.

He has a great working knowledge of Freight, Logistics, Manufacturing, IP and generating sales both domestically offshore.

Based at Business Canterbury, Daniel is the ExportNZ Canterbury Executive and enjoys helping businesses to grow their Exports by leveraging his connections, experience and expertise.

In his spare time he loves to spend time with his family, run around with his dog Baxter and play a range of different sports.

Ruth Boyes

Area Manager – Auckland | EMA 

Over the past 20 years prior to joining the EMA Ruth has worked in various business sectors in senior sales roles building businesses, and as General Manager for a natural health brand manufacturing and exporting – and in the waste and recycling industry.

Ruth manages the membership team for the EMA and Export NZ in the Auckland region and has holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Business Studies from Nottingham Trent University in the UK.