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

Senior Policy Advisor – ExportNZ | BusinessNZ – Wellington

Josh is the Senior Policy Advisor 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.

Deb Bougen

Executive Assistant

Deb  joined BusinessNZ in July 2016 after 15 years working within the Education Sector.

Deb’s role as Executive Assistant to Tina Schirr, Executive Director of the BusinessNZ Energy Council and Catherine Beard, Director Advocacy, includes executive administrative support, diary management, and brand event coordination.

Deb also supports the ExportNZ brand and board, and is a member of the Health & Safety Committee.

Catherine Lye

Head of Advanced Manufacturing & Export Communities – Auckland

Catherine has 20 years international sales and marketing management experience.

Prior to this role, 7 years was spent principally in overseas locations working for Hotel Dynamics Group (PTY) Ltd managing guest loyalty programmes for my client – InterContinental Hotel Group, and as Telemarketing Manager – South Asia/Pacific for an infomercial programming company, Quantum International (UK) Ltd.

Through these roles, Catherine has gained invaluable experience in negotiating, selling and motivational skills amongst a wide variety of cultures in Australia, London, South East Asia, Japan, Middle East and UAE. Catherine has been involved also in the recruitment, training and management of staff where the achievement of sales budgets has been a priority. Central to herroles has been the PR element – building relationships, reputation and trust.

Christine Hills

Programme Coordinator

Kelli Simpson

Business Partner/Key Account Manager BOP – Bay of Plenty

Sharon Robertson

Regional Manager – Waikato

Luke Fuller

International Trade Officer – Wellington & Central

Amanda Liddle

Executive Officer – Hawke’s Bay

Amanda has been involved with Hawke’s Bay exporters for the past 17 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.

Shirley van Waveren

Business & International Trade Advisor – Canterbury

Shirley is the Canterbury ExportNZ contact working with the Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce in Christchurch. She has a background in exporting having previously worked at NZTE and run her own consulting business. Shirley is the go to person for any export related problems, issues or getting connected to the right person or organisation. Shirley also carries out business assessments for companies looking to improve their business capability, experiencing rapid growth or looking at starting a business. Having previously worked with Recover Canterbury Shirley has broad business experience in all business sectors.