Our ministers and governance

As a Crown entity, our governance and management are separate. Governance responsibilities are overseen by a board with the chairman reporting to ministers.

On this page:

Our ministers

Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) comes under the Government’s transport portfolio. The Minister of Transport is Hon Simon Bridges. The Associate Minister is Hon David Bennett.

Learn more about our ministers

As we are a Crown entity, Hon Simon Bridges’s primary relationship is with our Board (usually the Board Chair) rather than our Director.

Briefing to the incoming Associate Minister 2017[PDF: 1.34MB, 24 pages]

Our governance board

We are governed by a five-member board, appointed by the Minister of Transport under the Maritime Transport Act 1994.

Our Board determines the overall organisation’ strategy and appoints our Director – who is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations.

Blair O’Keeffe
Blair O’Keeffe
Maritime New Zealand ©2017

Blair O’Keeffe

Chair

Blair is a trained and experienced Board Chair, Board Director and Chief Executive. Sector experience includes port, transport, warehousing, oil and gas.

Key roles held include Chief Executive of CentrePort, one of New Zealand's largest port companies and 16 years in the oil and energy sector in senior international leadership roles, including Vice President at BP plc.

With key skills in leadership, general management, marketing and distribution, his experience covers the breadth of the supply chain from production to customer in New Zealand, Australia, Europe and North America.

He is a strong advocate for health and safety, and is also a member of the steering committee for the national Business Leaders Health and Safety Forum.

Blair was appointed Chair in October 2016.

Kylie van Heerden
Kylie van Heerden
Sharp Tudhope ©2017

Kylie van Heerden

Kylie is a Partner at Tauranga law firm Sharp Tudhope. She has more than 12 years’ experience dealing with entities across a range of sectors, with particular expertise in the manufacturing, exporting, logistics and horticulture industries. She advises on a range of corporate and commercial matters, including commercial contracts, company compliance, financing, entity structures, capital raising and sales and acquisitions.

Kylie is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors and a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Freight.

Other governance roles include directorships with Craigs Investment Partners Superannuation Management Limited, Custodial Services Limited and Priority One – Western Bay of Plenty Incorporated. She also sits on the Executive Committee of Export NZ Bay of Plenty.

Kylie was appointed to the Maritime NZ Authority in January 2017.

Peter Cowper
Peter Cowper
Maritime New Zealand ©2017

Peter Cowper

Peter is COO at Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec), Owner/Director at Quorum Group Ltd and The BDH Group Ltd. Peter has extensive management experience, including CEO at Digital Porirua Trust, General Manager, Science and Engineering Services at BRANZ and General Manager, Network Delivery at Telecom.

Prior to these roles Peter held a variety of management, technical and leadership roles within Telecom. Peter specialises in management consultancy and mentoring senior managers and executives. He became a member of the Authority in May 2011.

Janice Fredric
Janice Fredric
Maritime New Zealand ©2017

Janice Fredric

Janice is a professional director with a broad portfolio of current and past directorships, extensive executive experience and a chartered accountant.

Janice has worked in a wide range of industry sectors and sizes, both in New Zealand and internationally.

She is a member of the Institute of Directors, a Fellow of the NZ Institute of Management South and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Belinda Vernon
Belinda Vernon
Maritime New Zealand ©2017

Belinda Vernon

Belinda is an Auckland-based consultant with a background in accounting, shipping and conservation. She has worked in senior accounting and management roles in the shipping industry in New Zealand for Tasman Express Line Ltd and McKay Shipping Ltd. Her initial shipping experience was gained with Ellerman City Liners in London.

Belinda was a Member of Parliament from 1996-2002 and is a director of the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences Ltd (GNS Science) and a trustee of the Auckland Philharmonia Foundation. She recently completed a 10-year term as a trustee of the Motutapu Restoration Trust.

Meet our Director

Related information:

Annual reports

The annual report provides an overview of MNZ’s organisational performance.
Read more

Statement of Intent

The Statement of Intent outlines MNZ’s strategic goals and work it will undertake.
Read more
Statement of Performance Expectations

The Statement of Performance Expectations sets out the programme of work for MNZ during the current financial year.

Read more