Our Team

Susan Sawbridge (Sooz) - Manager

susan sawbridge

Sooz joined NZ Major Events in 2017, following 10 years in different elements of the events sector, as well as tourism, international education and business events.

Susan is a founding member and current Chair of the International Association of Event Hosts.

 

Lisa Gibson - Senior Advisor

lisa gibson

Lisa's role has a focus on the Major Events Fund, and 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 - Senior Advisor

drew naika

Drew focusses on prospecting new events across sport, arts and culture and is the lead on our Creative and Cultural Events Incubator.

With over 20 years in the events industry, Drew has mainly worked in the tertiary education sector and for local government delivering events of all types and sizes.

 

Deborah Pathak - Senior Advisor

deborah pathak

Deborah's primary focuses in the Major Events team are to provide all-of-government coordination, and manage the Major Events Management Act.

Deborah joined the team in September 2017, coming from several years in events and fundraising in the creative and cultural sector, in particular working on Māori arts events.

 

Hannah Keat - Special Projects Lead: the 36th America's Cup

hannah keat

Hannah leads the Crown's interests and responsibilities in the 36th America's Cup, including the Crown’s investment in infrastructure and the Event, strategic relationships with key partners across Crown and Council, and all-of-government coordination for the Event.

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.

Fiona Dally - Special Projects Advisor: the 36th America's Cup

fiona dally

Fiona's role involves leading the Leverage and Legacy programme for the 36th America's Cup on behalf of the Crown.

Fiona came to us from Scotland’s National Events Agency in 2018 with over 15 years’ experience. Fiona was part of the management team for Team Scotland at recent Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth Youth Games.

 

Libby Crysell - Advisor

libby crysell

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

Libby, joined the Major Events team in 2019, she has background in Government and the Arts and Cultural sector, and has delivered national and international digital and event marketing campaigns.

On the weekends you can find her on the netball court, where she is a passionate player, coach and supporter.

Hollie Ellis - Advisor

hollie ellis

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

Hollie has worked in major events delivery, destination management, and major event government agency space. Prior to moving to New Zealand from Australia, Hollie delivered two world’s best IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 events as a Race Director.

 

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