Meet our team

Our Taituarā team is made up of some pretty amazing people with great skills, keen to help promote innovation and excellence in local government management enabling local government to better serve their local communities.

Suzanne Boyd

    Chief Executive

Suzanne joined Taituarā in November 2023 as Chief Executive. She was previously the Chief Executive of Student Job Search (SJS).

During her time at SJS, Suzanne led the transformation of the member organisation into a more commercially minded, successful organisation, well on its Te Tiriti journey, and providing greater outcomes for students, employers, and stakeholders.

Suzanne has a background in learning and development, and experience in the commercial sector. Following nine years in the banking sector she managed a multinational 10 office recruitment organisation that specialised in the finance, accounting and banking sectors.

Suzanne is energised by working in the not-for-profit sector where there is a real sense of purpose in giving back to the community.

Outside of work, Suzanne enjoys the ups and downs of golf, walking her miniature schnauzer and venturing into the Wellington harbour on her stand-up paddleboard.

Fiona Calverley

    Executive Assistant

Fiona joined the Taituarā team in July 2023. She brings more than 15 years of valuable professional expertise to her role as Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive. Throughout her career Fiona has demonstrated a steady commitment to enhancing operational performance across diverse roles.

In previous roles, Fiona has excelled in project management, HR operations, strategic planning, and fostering a safe work environment. Her contributions included streamlining operations, ensuring compliance with regulations, and optimising productivity while overseeing day-to-day business requirements.

Fiona's educational background includes certifications in Business & Administration, Customer Service, Children's Personal Care & Development and IOSH Managing Safely complementing her extensive practical expertise with formal qualifications.

Fiona embraces life by exploring travel opportunities, socialising with friends, and engaging with diverse cultures.

Raymond Horan

    Chief Advisor

Raymond re-joined Taituarā in June 2014 as Sector Improvement Manager, before commencing his current role as Chief Advisor at Taituarā. He has spent most of the last 20 years in local government related roles, most recently with the Department of Internal Affairs.

He describes his job as two-thirds providing assistance to the local government sector and one-third providing advice to central government on local government matters. His ambition is to help develop a Local Government Act that doesn’t require changes every 18 months. He asks that you wish him well with this task.

Rebecca Moore

    General Manager, Corporate Services

Bex is our General Manager, Corporate Services and brings with her over 12 years of experience working in similar financial and administrative roles.

Her background is in the implementation of financial accounting systems, the development of business processes, and establishing quality business analytics and monthly reporting.

Bex has a passion for facts and figures and enjoys to providing seamless financial support to the Taituarā team.

Ann Thomson

    Manager, Communications and Engagement

Ann oversees Taituarā communications, marketing and partnership activities, as well as our major events, the annual conference and gala dinner.

Ann is a communications, event management and stakeholder engagement professional with broad experience across sectors including tertiary education and the public sector.

In her spare time Ann enjoys spending time with family and friends, good food, films, music, travel and reading.

Susan Haniel

    Senior Advisor, Sector Performance

Susan is a Senior Advisor with nine years’ experience in local government. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration from Victoria University of Wellington, and her expertise lies in democracy, governance, and regulation which she has honed through working at Taituarā and Hutt City Council.

Susan is known for being open to new ideas which she uses to provide high quality analysis and advice on issues affecting local communities and local authorities. Currently, she is working in Sector Performance, where she is dedicated to improving elections, democracy, and regulatory matters by providing best practice advice and advocacy to support local government staff.

Susan worked as a Registered Nurse in her previous career which shaped her professional journey for collaborative problem-solving and the ability to draw on a range of expertise to achieve shared goals.

In her free time, Susan enjoys biking and playing her guitar which she finds fun, plus they have the added bonuses of keeping her fitness up and being creative.

Sheryl Bryant

    Manager, Workforce Leadership

Sheryl joined Taituarā at the start of 2023 bringing over 30 years of experience in local government, with over 18 of those years in as a senior manager leading human resources, governance, planning, policy & strategy, strategic relations, marketing & communications, events, legal, and business assurance.

Sheryl has a strong commitment to local government having been involved in Taituarā over a number of years serving on the executive board, chairing the recruitment & retention working party, and more recently chairing the corporate planning reference group.

Sheryl holds a Bachelor of Education and post-graduate qualifications in planning and human resources. She is also certified as a resource management commissioner.

Lauren Hourigan

    Advisor, Membership and Events

Lauren joined Taituarā as the Advisor, Membership and Events when she moved from Greater Wellington Regional Council in November 2020.

Previously she worked for Accor Hotels before going on to gain a bachelor’s degree in Management and Human Resource Management & Employment Relations from Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington. Lauren's passionate about productivity and believes that people are at the heart of everything we do.

Outside of work, Lauren loves travelling with friends and family, reading and spending time with her animals.

Victoria Sidaway

    Advisor, Accounts and Systems

Victoria joined us in November 2020 as our Advisor, Accounts and Systems. She is responsible for administrating the LGJobs vacancy board and the Discussion Groups, as well as being a point of call for general accounts queries and monthly reporting.

Victoria’s background is in providing reception duties and administrative support within the financial services industry. She is passionate about providing superb customer service and seamless support to the sector.

In her spare time she loves spending time with friends and family.

Akiho Ishikawa

    Advisor, Digital Engagement

Aki joined the Taituarā team in December 2023 as the Digital Engagement Advisor. Originating from Japan, she specialises in content creation and social media strategy.

Bringing a unique blend of cultural insight and digital innovation to the team, Aki is a devoted fan of TV shows, a big foodie exploring culinary delights, and an avid dog enthusiast. With a keen eye for digital trends and a commitment to fostering meaningful connections, Aki is excited to contribute her skills and passion for engagement to elevate Taituarā’s digital presence.

Leah Alexander

    Specialist, Resource Management Transition

Leah comes to Taituarā from the Ministry for the Environment where she has worked as a policy analyst for 4.5 years on urban and Resource Management reform policy with most of that time spent in the Māori Policy and Partnering directorate.

Prior to that Leah spent 20 years as an Resource Management planner working for councils in policy and consenting, for an electricity generator and as a consultant and as a project manager in the land development and infrastructure sectors. She has held management and principal roles in New Zealand and Western Australia.

The opportunity with Taituarā attracted Leah as she is keen to follow the reforms through the policy and legislative cycle to implementation with delivery partners. Her role at Taituarā involves aligning implementation initiatives through a trilateral arrangement led by the Local Government Implementation Group hub and building on Taituarā relationships with local government. Leah’s whakapapa is to te Rarawa, Ngati Kahu and Nga Puhi but she was born and raised in Tamaki Makaurau and currently lives in Whau Mt Eden with her husband Kelly and Staffordshire Bull Terrier Winston.

Frances Sullivan

    Manager, Pacific Technical Assistance programme

Frances joined Taituarā in 2023. Previously Frances worked for LGNZ where she managed the PacificTA programme and held a policy role specialising in building regulation, natural hazards, solid waste, biosecurity, biodiversity, and climate change. In 2016, Frances was a member of the Ministerial Technical Working Group on climate change adaptation.

Downtime is spent outdoors.

Sarah Flavall

    Senior Asset Management Advisor, Pacific Technical Assistance programme

Sarah joined Taituarā in late 2023 bringing over 20 years of experience in local government, consulting and contracting roles. She has worked in Vanuatu for the SANMA Provincial Council as an Environmental Advisor, at Downer NZ on the MCA Road Construction, in Western Australia with DownerMouchel in Project Management, Planning and Safety, Quality and Environmental Management, in New Zealand at Northland Regional Council on coastal planning and monitoring roles, Opus Consultants, South Waikato District Council in Strategic Project and Asset Programme Management, and at Downer NZ as a Senior Bid Manager, Contract Manager, Maintenance Manager, and Programme and Risk Manager in the Central Waikato NOC, and Hamilton City Council road maintenance contracts.

Sarah holds a Master of Science in Physical Geography (Coastal) and an Honours in Resource and Environmental Planning from Massey University.

She has a passion for upskilling people and is a member of the MBIE Skills Leadership Group in the Waikato. In her spare time, Sarah supports her husband sharemilking 270 jersey cows on the family dairy farm in Tokoroa and enjoys spending time with family and friends exploring the natural attractions of the South Waikato and beyond. She is also actively involved with the Melanesian and Vanuatu community in New Zealand.

Tia Murphy

    Project Administrator, Pacific Technical Assistance programme

Tia joined Taituarā as the PacificTA Project Administrator in October 2023, after moving to New Zealand from the UK.

Tia has a varied career background, from student recruitment to product management within the UK Civil Service. This has provided Tia with a wealth of transferable skills which she is bringing to Taituarā to help run the PacificTA programme.

In her free time, Tia enjoys walking, running, climbing in the outdoors and exploring new places.