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.

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.

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.

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.

Wayne Marr

Business Partner – Export | EMA

Kerri Gorrett

Business Partner – Waikato

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 | Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce

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 the Chamber of Commerce in 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.

Sheena McKechnie

Personal Assistant | Team Administrator