Our people and structure

We have over 330 staff across New Zealand. Get a snapshot of our people, the work we do and our organisation’s structure.

Our staff are located in our 10 regional offices, our Wellington head office, at our Marine Pollution Response Centre in Auckland and our Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand in Lower Hutt.

Maritime New Zealand
See some of our people around the regions at work and play.

Our Director and Chief Executive Officer

a woman in an office standing in front of a model waka
Maritime New Zealand
Kirstie Hewlett, Chief Executive and Director of Maritime New Zealand.

Kirstie Hewlett

Kirstie Hewlett has the dual role of Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). She is accountable to the Board of Directors.

As CEO, Kirstie is also the senior manager responsible for the day-to-day running of Maritime New Zealand.

Kirstie joined Maritime New Zealand in May 2021.

Learn more


Executive Leadership Team

The Deputy Chief Executives report to Chief Executive Kirstie Hewlett and have specific responsibilities.


Sharyn Forsyth

Deputy Chief Executive - Partnerships

The Partnerships group fosters connection and partnerships across the organisation and across sectors, delivering evidence based programmes of work to ensure that Maritime NZ is maximising our impact to achieve a achieve a safe, secure and cleaner maritime domain. Core functions include communications, guidance and education, ministerial services, and harm prevention and engagement.


Peter Brunt

Deputy Chief Executive - Regulatory Frameworks

The Regulatory Frameworks group shapes the Maritime regulatory framework at the international and domestic level, provides operational policy and end-to-end development of the regulatory framework, provides advice on legal matters, and influences the wider policy framework that impacts on Maritime issues.


Deb Despard

Deputy Chief Executive – Regulatory Operations

The Regulatory Operations group aims to improve maritime safety and security and encourages the protection and preservation of our marine environment by promoting and ensuring compliance with maritime safety, international labour, and environmental rules and requirements, and workplace health and safety law as it relates to the maritime sector. Core functions include licensing, engaging and educating through audits and inspections and other compliance activity, and investigation and enforcement.


Graham MacLean

Deputy Chief Executive – Response, Security and Safety Services

The Response, Security and Safety Services group is responsible for ensuring that Maritime NZ and our partners are ready to respond to major maritime incidents as effectively and efficiently as possible. This Group is also responsible for the day-to-day delivery of search and rescue coordination services through our Rescue Coordination Centre (RCCNZ), providing the national Marine Pollution Response Service, looking after Aids to Navigation and the national maritime distress and safety communications services, supporting the delivery of maritime security at our commercial ports, and running the NZ Aid-funded Pacific Maritime Safety Programme.


Andrew Saunderson

Deputy Chief Executive - Organisational Strategy and Systems

The Organisational Strategy and Systems group provides organisational, strategic and systems leadership and support across key corporate and strategic functions including organisational strategy, finance property and procurement, planning performance and risk, information technology and systems, and research analysis and intelligence.


Kenny Crawford

Deputy Chief Executive - Technical Advice and Support

The Technical Advice and Support group provides high quality technical advice and support to key internal stakeholders and external delegated and authorised persons regarding international, domestic, maritime, environmental, and port and flag state control matters.


Esther Livingston

Deputy Chief Executive - CE Office, People and Culture

The CE Office, People and Culture group provides a key advice role to the Chief Executive, supporting critical relationships, as well as the Board and governance. The Group supports the delivery of the organisation’s strategy Te Korowai o Kaitiakitanga. We also support staff connection and engagement, deliver an effective internal health and safety strategy, and further the vision of being a diverse and inclusive organisation that delivers on Te Tiriti o Waitangi obligations and Te Ao Māori aspirations. We also leads the development of our Environmental Sustainability Strategy and emissions reduction.

Related information:

About us

What does MNZ do?

Find out what we do and who we work with.

About Maritime NZ

Careers centre

View our current vacancies, find out what it is like to work for MNZ and the diverse roles of those who work for us.

Read more