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.

 

Roz Kennedy - Senior Advisor

Roz Kennedy at MBIE office

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

Roz joined the team in November 2020, coming from policy roles in both MBIE and HUD. Prior to government she spent many years in the private sector overseeing key account portfolios and facilitating stakeholder and supplier relationships at senior level.

 

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.

Jackie Hay - Special Projects Lead: the 36th America's Cup

Jackie Hay at MBIE office

Jackie joins the team to cover Hannah Keat while she is on parental leave. Jackie leads the Crown's interests and responsibilities and relationships with key partners for the 36th America's Cup (AC36) and the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.

Jackie joined the Major Events team in October 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.

Rebecca Reed - Special Projects Advisor: FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023

Rebecca Reed at the MBIE office

Rebecca manages the Crown’s investment in the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.

With over 15 years’ experience in the tourism and events industry in NZ and Scotland, this is Rebecca’s second stint in the Major Events team and brings with her a deep understanding of how government and major events can work together to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.


Hannah Keat - Special Projects Lead: the 36th America's Cup (currently on parental leave)

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.

Libby Crysell - Advisor (currently on secondment)

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.

 

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

Last updated: 26 November 2020