Executive Leadership Team

DIA's executive leadership team

Karen Hope-Cross - Director, Office of the Chief Executive

  • Karen Hope-Cross

    Karen Hope-Cross

Karen Hope-Cross is Director, Office of the Chief Executive. She supports the Chief Executive to lead the Department and undertake his leadership responsibilities across the public sector. This includes supporting the performance of the Department as a member of the Executive Leadership Team and facilitating effective relationships with other stakeholders and agencies. The Director also provides strategic advice to the Chief Executive, may lead special projects, and acts as the Chief Executive’s delegate when required.

Karen joined the Department in 2008 and has previously held roles in the Digital Public Service, Toi Hiranga, Local Government, and Service Delivery and Operations branches. Prior to her time with Te Tari Taiwhenua, Karen worked at TelstraClear. Karen holds a Bachelor of Business (Management).

The following people work alongside Karen in the Office of the Chief Executive:


Rebecca Tane

Principal Advisor

Elaine Loon

Executive Services Officer to the Chief Executive

Julia Boraston

Senior Communications Advisor


Michael Lovett - Deputy Chief Executive Ue te Hīnātore - Local Government

  • Michael Lovett

    Michael Lovett

Michael is Deputy Chief Executive for the Local Government branch - Ue te Hīnātore.

Michael provides capability and network intelligence to support a range of activities across central government agencies that interface with local government. His role covers the central North Island with portfolios covering digital local government, funding and financing of local government and community resilience.

Michael has worked in a variety of senior management roles in operational and policy agencies across the New Zealand public sector including the Ministry of Social Development, Ministry for the Environment and Department of Corrections. He started his career as a forensic psychologist and holds a Bachelor of Science and an Executive Master of Public Administration.

Michael has responsibility for the following portfolios: Digital Local Government Partnership; Inquiry into Funding of Local Government; Community Resilience; Partnership Director, LGNZ Zone 3: Central North Island.

As Deputy Chief Executive Local Government - Ue te Hīnātore, Michael has the following people reporting to him:


Hamiora Bowkett

Executive Director
Portfolios: Three Waters reform programme

Heather Shotter 

Executive Director
Portfolios: Three Waters National Transition Unit

Janine Dowding

Executive Director
Portfolios: Future for Local Government Review

Justine Smith

Partnership Director, LGNZ Zone 1
Portfolios: Local Government & iwi/Māori relationship, Community Wellbeing, Caring for Communities

Maria Nepia

Acting Executive Director
Portfolios: Three Waters Iwi/Māori

Martyn Pinckard

Partnership Director, LGNZ Zone 3 and 4
Portfolios: Systems Stewardship

Paul Barker

Partnership Director, LGNZ Zone 5
Portfolios: Community resilience (including natural hazards and climate change adaptation), Tourism

Warren Ulusele

Partnership Director, LGNZ Zone 6
Portfolios: COVID-19 Recovery, Housing and Urban Development; Urban Growth Agenda

Richard Ward

General Manager Policy and Operations

Mark Batt

Manager Branch Strategy and Performance


Amy Allison – Deputy Chief Executive He Pou Aronui - Organisational Strategy and Performance

  • Amy Allison

    Amy Allison

Amy Allison is the Deputy Chief Executive of the Department’s Organisational Strategy and Performance Branch – Te Urungi.

A proud public servant, Amy is currently on secondment from her role as Director, Agricultural and Investment Services Strategy and Governance at Ministry of Primary Industries. A career that began 25 years ago in community development under Parekura Horomia, she brings a community perspective to central government and a strong commitment to service.

Most recently holding senior roles at MPI, the Treasury and the State Services Commission specialising in governance, public sector financial management and strategy, she has also led work on open government and is a diversity and inclusion champion.

Amy is a Public Service Leadership Centre Fellow and she holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science from Otago and an MBA from Victoria.

As Deputy Chief Executive Organisational Strategy and Performance - Te Urungi, Amy has the following people reporting to her:


Jo Tuapawa

Director, Strategy and Performance

Andrea Speir

Chief Legal Advisor

Nick Athea

Chief Portfolio Officer

Cathrine Austin

Manager Governance Risk and Assurance

Andrew Phillips

Manager Branch Development and Support

Julie Black

Director Te Aka Taiwhenua and Māori Crown Relationships


Ann-Marie Cavanagh - Deputy Chief Executive Te Kōtui Whitiwhiti - Digital Public Service,
Deputy Government Chief Digital Officer 

  • Anne-Marie Cavanagh

    Ann-Marie Cavanagh

Ann-Marie is Deputy Government Chief Digital Officer and Deputy Chief Executive Digital Public Service - Te Kōtui Whitiwhiti.

Her most recent role was leading the development of the New Zealand Digital Government Strategy as Director, Digital Government Strategy.

Previous roles have included Chief Technology and Digital Services Officer at the Ministry of Health. Prior to moving to New Zealand in 2016 she was Head Digital Strategy at Novartis Pharma AG for the Medical Affairs function based in Switzerland.

She has held a number of positions in ranging from small start-up agencies, to leading global teams in implementing digital innovation. Originally from the UK and a Clinical Pharmacologist by training, Ann-Marie is based in Wellington New Zealand.

As Deputy Chief Executive Digital Public Service - Te Kōtui Whitiwhiti, Ann-Marie has the following people reporting to her:


Colin Holden

General Manager System Strategy and Initiatives

Alan Bell 

General Manager Agency Partnerships and Capability

Jane Kennedy

General Manager All-of-Government Services Delivery

Christine Casserly

Director Planning, Performance and Support

Robert Te Moana

Director Te Pou Matihiko

Tony Eyles

Executive Director Cloud Programme

Mike West

Chief Advisor to the Deputy Chief Executive

Philip Weir

Establishment Director - Digital Investment Office


Hoani Lambert - Hautū - Deputy Chief Executive Te Haumi - Enterprise Partnerships

  • Hoani Lambert

    Hoani Lambert

Hoani Lambert (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Porou) is Hautū - Deputy Chief Executive for Enterprise Partnerships - Te Haumi. In this role, Hoani oversees a number of important functions and entities, including the National Library, Archives New Zealand and Ministerial and Secretariat Services. He also is responsible for delivering major transformation projects and programmes including Tāhuhu – the programme that includes the upgrade and construction of new purpose-built archives facilities.

Prior to joining DIA, Hoani was Tamariki Advocate, Deputy Chief Executuive voices of Children at Oranga Tamariki – Ministry for Children, a role in which he was responsible for advocating for children and young people’s interests across the government system, ensuring their voices are at the centre of government policy, service design and delivery. He was also responsible for overseeing the Ministry’s implementation of new legislative duties in relation to the Treaty of Waitangi.

Although a specialist in communications, public relations and social marketing, Hoani has had a diverse range of professional roles. He has worked in parliament, directed biosecurity border operations and worked as a diplomat with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Hoani holds an Executive Master in Public Administration (EMPA) through the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG).

As Deputy Chief Executive Enterprise Partnerships - Te Haumi, Hoani has the following people reporting to him:


Epi Lima

Executive Assistant

Rachel Esson

National Librarian Te Pouhuaki, General Manager of National Library of New Zealand

Stephen Clarke 

Chief Archivist Kaipupuri Matua, General Manager of Archives New Zealand

Morag Ingram

Director Te Tari o te Hautū Office of the Deputy Chief Executive

Duncan Boennic

General Manager Te Ara Tahi

Briget Ridden

General Manager Ministerial Services

Hugh Karena

Director Māori Relationships and Strategy

Blair Cairncross

Executive Director Gambling Commission


Marilyn Little - Deputy Chief Executive Toi Hiranga - Regulation and Policy

  • Marilyn Little

    Marilyn Little

Marilyn joined the Department in 2006.  She was appointed Deputy Chief Executive of Policy, Regulation and Communities in October 2017.  Marilyn has held a number of roles in the Department, including Chief Archivist/General Manager of Archives NZ for three and a half years.  She was previously General Manager of the Policy Group, and Director Local Government and Community Policy. Prior to her work with Internal Affairs, Marilyn held senior roles in the Office of the Auditor-General and the Department of Labour.

Marilyn has completed the Leadership Development Centre’s Advanced Leadership Programme, and holds a Master of Public Policy and a BA Honours in History.

As Deputy Chief Executive Regulation and Policy - Toi Hiranga, Marilyn has the following people reporting to her:


Dr Suzanne Doig

General Manager Policy

Anita Balakrishnan

Director Ministerial, Monitoring and Capability

Caroline BridglandHill

General Manager Regulatory Services

Penny Langley

Manager Local Government Commission

Gina Smith

Director Inquiries

Trina Lowry

Manager Branch Strategy and Performance

Andrew Fieldsend

Chief Advisor, Regulatory Assurance and Stewardship


 Maria Robertson - Deputy Chief Executive Kāwai ki te Iwi - Service Delivery and Operations

  • Maria Robertson

    Maria Robertson

Maria Robertson has held the role of Deputy Chief Executive, Service Delivery and Operations - Kāwai ki te Iwi, since February 2013.

She leads a team of 900 staff in the passports, citizenship, births, deaths and marriages, community operations, charities and igovt areas.

Before this, Maria was the DCE for Service Delivery at Building and Housing where she was the deputy Chief Executive Organisational Development and Strategy.

Prior to that, Maria was the General Manager Advanced Dynamics (NZ) Ltd and Manager Performance Improvement Woodproducts at Carter Holt Harvey.  She has also held senior roles in Telecom Comalco and Rio Tinto.

As Deputy Chief Executive Service Delivery and Operations - Kāwai ki te Iwi, Maria has the following people reporting to her:


Jeff Montgomery

General Manager Te Ara Manaaki, and Registrar General for Births, Deaths and Marriages

Natasha Weight

General Manager Operations

Tiffany Scott

Manager Branch Development and Support

Leonie Matoe

Acting General Manager Community Operations

Mike Stone

General Manager Charities Services

Justin Rowlands

General Manager Te Pou Manawa

Lynette Tyrrell

Director Pou Ārahi

Julia Wootton

General Manager Services and Access


Clare Toufexis - Deputy Chief Executive He Pou Aronui - Organisational Capability and Services Branch

  • Clare Toufexis

    Clare Toufexis

Clare Toufexis has been acting in the Deputy Chief Executive Organisational Capability and Services - He Pou Aronui since July 2022. Clare’s substantive role is General Manager Hāpai Hapori (Community Operations) here at Te Tari Taiwhenua.

Clare has worked at Te Tari Taiwhenua since 2016, joining from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. Clare has worked in a variety of leadership roles across the public sector since 2003 and prior to that worked in the private sector in banking and recruitment.


As Deputy Chief Executive Organisational Capability and Services - He Pou Aronui, Clare has the following people reporting to her:


Melanie Carpinter

General Manager Communications

Simon George

General Manager Human Resources

Murray Davey

General Manager Technology Services and Solutions, Chief Information Officer

Sharyn Mitchell

Chief Financial Officer 

Kate Maxwell

Manager Branch Development and Support

Karlene Symonds

General Manager Information and Safety, Chief Security Officer 

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