Liz MacPherson


Liz was elected the IPANZ President at the 84th IPANZ AGM in 2020. She has had a wealth of experience in the public sector in agencies such StatsNZ and the Ministry of Economic Development, and currently in the Office of the Privacy Commissioner as a Deputy Commissioner. She was also the first woman Government Statistician.

Prior to her presidency, Liz was the Interim President following President Jo Cribb’s resignation.

Liz MacPherson

Clare Toufexis

Vice President

Clare is the Vice President of IPANZ and the General Manager of Hāpai Hapori (Community Operations) at Te Tari Taiwhenua (Department of Internal Affairs). She has been a public servant for 18 years and has had roles in delivering citizen centric services such as with SmartStart (New Zealand’s first integrated digital service based on the birth of a child).

Clare has also had career experience in leadership roles in areas of social housing, weathertight houses and dispute resolution. Clare was also born and raised in Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington) where she lives with her husband and two girls (who keep her busy!).

Clare Toufexis

Joan Smith


Joan is the Treasurer and a long standing Board member of IPANZ. She has vast experience across NGOs and the public sector in senior roles including as a Chief Executive, general manager, chief economist and policy managers in transport, education, forestry and agricultural sectors. She is also a member of the Institute of Directors. Her interests include mentorship and not-for-profit governance. She brings the perspective of New Zealand as a robust, professional and neutral improvements based public sector, all in safeguarding a strong democracy.

Joan was also twice our President and a life member of IPANZ.

John Larkindale

Immediate Past President

John was the IPANZ president from 2013-2017. He is a retired public servant with experience with the (then) Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1972, and has served New Zealand on diplomatic missions in Vienna, Washington, Beijing, London, Moscow and Canberra, the latter two as Head of Mission. John was also the Deputy Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 2002. He also organised the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Auckland in 1995.

John brought perspective of the fundamental principles underpinning our system of government, and the role of the public sector as an under-appreciated taonga which must be promoted and advocated for.

Derek Gill

Board Member

Derek is a Board member of IPANZ and is currently the Principal Economist and Head of Public Good at the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) and a research associate at the Institute of Governance and Policy Studies at Te Herenga Waka, Victoria University of Wellington. He has previously worked in private and public sectors, including as the general manager of the State Services Commission charged with public management systems and other experiences with the OECD, the New Zealand Treasury and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He has also been deputy Chief Executive of Child Youth and Families / the Ministry for Social Development.

Derek also has a wealth of governance experience being the long-standing Board Chair and Treasurer on a number of volunteer organisations including Workbridge and Victoria Bridge club.

Mary Slater

Board Member

Mary is a board member of IPANZ with a wealth of experience with senior roles across the public sector. Her other current governance roles include being the Deputy Chair of the Royal New Zealand Ballet, Executive Chair of the Oranga Tamariki Complaints Advisory Panel, and membership of the Tauranga Moana Restorative Justice Trust. Mary’s public sector work included being an Assistant Commissioner at the States Services Commission, working for both the Treasury and Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and the State Services Authority in Victoria, Australia.

Mary has also worked in the Public Service Association and Nurses Organisation as a lead advocate, researcher and organiser.

Kavya Shrivastava

New Professionals Co-Convenor

Kavya joined the IPANZ New Professionals Leadership team in 2018 and is the current co-convener. She has public sector experience as a Portfolio Manager at Land Information New Zealand where she managed Crown-owned land for best use, including disposal. She has also worked part-time at the Ministry of Justice while studying for her Bachelor of Commerce at Te Herenga Waka, Victoria University of Wellington, majoring in Economics, International Business and Marketing.

Kavya is passionate about fostering a community of new professionals in the public service, and facilitating networks with like-minded people.

Jess Birdsall-Smith

Board Member

Nō Hāmoa, nō Kōtarana ōku tīpuna (My ancestors are from Samoa and Scotland).

I whānau mai au i Ōtautahi, i tipu ake au i Tākiwira (I was born in Christchurch, and grew up in Dargaville).

Jess is a Board member of IPANZ with experience in both the public and private sectors. She began her career as a lawyer at Chapman Tripp before transitioning to policy following her completion of her Master of Laws. She is currently working as a Chief Policy Analyst at the Ministry of Education. Prior to this she worked at DPMC on child poverty reduction policy, and at MBIE on commerce and consumer policy before that.

Deb Te Kawa

Board Member

Ko Pohautea te maunga, Ko Waiapu te awa, Te whānau a Hineauta me Pokai nga hapū. Nō Rangiora ahau.

Deb is a Board member of IPANZ with specialist experience in governance. She is based in Waitaha, providing governance and policy advice to the private and public sectors in Ahitereiria and Aotearoa. She also has rich practical experience with Te Tiriti O Waitangi having joined Te Puni Kōkiri in 1994 where she worked on contemporary Treaty policy. Deb has worked in several Minister’s offices, been a senior advisor at the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, an Operational Manager with the Ministry for Social Development, and a performance advisor at the State Services Commission.

Despite leaving the public service in 2015, Deb continues to offer policy and operational advice by mentoring new managers, helping senior officials negotiate cross-agency issues, and assisting various Crown-related entities. Deb is also a doctoral student at Canterbury University where she is examining free and frank advice.

Deb Te Kawa

Erin Polaczuk

Board Member

Erin is a board member of IPANZ with experience in governance from the Post Primary Teachers’ Association as its Deputy General Secretary. She currently is the National Secretary of the New Zealand Public Service Association. She is passionate about promoting a strong public service especially in areas such as equal pay, women’s rights, and community service.

Erin’s ethnic background is Polish where her family came to New Zealand as refugees following the Second World War.

Rodney Scott

Board Member

Rodney is a Board member with diverse senior experiences across the public service who is currently the Chief Policy Advisor at Te Kawa Mataaho, the Public Service Commission. He has held numerous tertiary roles including as an associate professor of Public Administration at the University of New South Wales, an innovations fellow at Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, and a fellow-in-practice at the Oxford University Blavatnik School of Government. He is also a well published author and researcher on public administration.

Rodney is also the Chair of the Te Herenga Waka, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Government Trust and has previously served on the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) Research Committee and Editorial Board.