Our Team

Kylie Hawker-Green - Manager

Kylie Hawker-Green

Kylie joined the New Zealand Major Events team in May 2022. Having previously led a regional economic development agency, worked in both the public and private sector in management, marketing and communications roles, owned a PR company and worked as an event manager for a diverse mix of large-scale events, Kylie holds a wealth of event sector, economic development and commercial acumen.

Alongside her role at MBIE, Kylie is the Chair of Northern District Cricket Association and has held a number of governance positions in a variety of sectors including professional sport, CCOs, arts and events, community organisations, private companies and large financial trusts.

Lisa Gibson - Principal Advisor

Lisa Gibson

Lisa's role has a focus on the Major Events Fund, and she is Team Lead to the Major Events advisors.

Lisa has been with the Major Events team for over a decade, enjoying an evolution of roles over time and engaging with a diverse range of stakeholders across a rapidly maturing events industry.

Drew Naika (New Zealand, Fiji) - Senior Advisor

Drew Naika

Drew joined the team in 2019 and leads prospecting work to secure new major events across sport, arts and culture.
With over 20 years in the events industry, Drew initially worked in the tertiary education sector organising events, then moved to local government roles at Wellington City Council and the Wellington regional economic development agency. He has broad range of experience across event delivery, sponsorship and fund management, prospecting, sport leverage and legacy, arts and culture.

In 2022, Drew was appointed to the Board of the International Association of Event Hosts.

Michael Kelly - Senior Advisor

Michael Kelly

Michael joined the New Zealand Major Events team in June 2022, as Senior Advisor to Major Event Fund. Previously managing host city major event projects with regional governments /destinations both in New Zealand and Internationally, along with Event Director, Event Marketing, strategic development, and operational roles with a range of sports organisations and large-scale international events that have included Football World Cup and Formula 1.

Michael brings a wealth of event sector, sports marketing, and commercial acumen to the team, and is passionate about developing world class events for New Zealand.

Véronique (Vero) Basso - Senior Advisor

Véronique Basso

Vero’s roles in the Major Events team are to provide all-of-government coordination around the delivery of major events in the team’s portfolio, and to manage the Major Events Management Act 2007 (MEMA).

Vero joined the team in September 2021, initially managing event investments and working with stakeholders to deliver Major Events Fund strategic outcomes. Prior to moving to New Zealand, she has worked in Switzerland as an international labour law specialist at the International Labour Organisation and as a member of the human rights team at the French representation to the United Nations in Geneva.

Sophie Parker - Advisor

Sophie Parker

Sophie oversees a portfolio of events, managing event investments over their full lifecycle. She works closely with stakeholders to deliver Major Events Fund strategic outcomes.

Sophie is a recent addition to the Major Events team. She has a background in both government and the play, sport and active recreation sector, and has delivered regional and national community-based campaigns to New Zealanders.

Katie Ayers - Advisor

Katie Ayers

Katie oversees a portfolio of events, managing event investments over their full lifecycle. She works closely with stakeholders to deliver Major Events Fund strategic outcomes.

Katie is a recent addition to the Major Events team and has a background in government and regional engagement to deliver a regional workforce plan, in addition to experience in public relations and communications for a variety of industries and sectors.

Special Projects team - FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 (FWWC23)

The Special Projects team looks after the Crown’s interests and responsibilities in major and mega events that sit outside the Major Events Fund. The Special Projects Team manages the Crown’s investments in infrastructure, the events, strategic relationships with key partners across Crown and Council, and all-of-government coordination for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 (FWWC23).

Hannah Keat - Special Projects Lead

Hannah Keat

Hannah leads the Special Projects Team focusing on FWWC23. After starting out in the events sector as a project coordinator working on the 2011 Rugby World Cup, Hannah has held various roles in event delivery, business development, strategic analysis and programme management. 

Hannah has been with New Zealand Major Events in various roles since 2014.

Jackie Hay - Special Projects Senior Advisor

Jackie Hay

Jackie's role on the Special Projects Team is to lead the Crown’s work on the FWWC23 Outcomes Framework and evaluation work. Jackie also continues to support the Crown's interests, responsibilities and relationships with key partners for the FWWC23.

Jackie joined the Major Events team in 2020 after working on major events such as Tuia – Encounters 250 and Rugby World Cup 2011, with more than a decade working on festivals, events and audience engagement in the arts and cultural sector.

Libby Crysell - Special Projects Senior Advisor

Libby Crysell

Libby has recently re-joined our team after working as the Tourism Private Secretary in the offices of Hon Stuart Nash and Hon Peeni Henare.

Libby previously worked in the team overseeing a portfolio of events, managing Major Events Fund investments over their full lifecycle.                                                                                                                                                                             

Ata Te Kanawa (Ngati Maniapoto) - Special Projects Senior Advisor/ Tangata Whenua Engagement

Ata Te Kanawa

Ata is on secondment from Te Kupenga – the Māori Economic Development Unit at MBIE and joined the Special Projects team to look after Māori Engagement for the FWWC23.

Ata has a robust background in Māori Communication and publishing which has been instrumental in having established networks across both mainstream and Māoridom. She is also a panelist for FIFA’s first ever Cultural Panel for FWWC23, which comprises of three wahine Māori and three First Nation Australians.

Rebecca Reed - Special Projects Advisor

Rebecca Reed

Rebecca manages the Crown’s investment in the FWWC23.

With over 15 years’ experience in the tourism and events industry in New Zealand and Scotland, this is Rebecca’s second stint in the Major Events team.

She brings with her a deep understanding of how government and major events can work together to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.

Mel Winter - Special Projects Advisor

Mel Winter

Mel is a recent addition to the team, and works across the FWWC23 Special Project with specific focus in the Leverage and Legacy space.

She has an extensive background in both events and project management.                                                                                                                                                                                         

Liam Bennett - Project Coordinator

Liam Bennett

Liam is the Project Coordinator for the FWWC23 Special Projects team. He previously worked in the tourism branch at MBIE where he supported delivery of a range of policy initiatives.

Previously Liam spent time overseas working in the tourism and hospitality sector, before returning to Wellington and starting a career in Government.

Contact us

To get in touch with our friendly team, email us at majorevents@mbie.govt.nz

Last updated: 15 February 2022