Meet Our New Board Members


We are delighted to welcome our three new co-opted board members. You will see what an impressive trio they are, and you can imagine the strength they will bring to IPANZ. 

You will also discern the very strong commitment of IPANZ to extend the diversity of our Board in many ways.

Jess Birdsall-Day - 


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)

I began my career as a corporate lawyer at Chapman Tripp, transitioning into policy after completing my LLM (then back to law, then back to policy). I am currently a Senior Analyst at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, working on child poverty reduction policy. Prior to that I worked at MBIE on intellectual property, competition, and consumer policy.

Deborah James -  

Deborah is Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Auckland Council.

Deborah’s career has allowed her to express her strong personal and professional commitment to public service, diversity, equity and inclusion through roles in the community and public sectors. Originally a nurse and a counsellor, Deborah managed an HIV/sexual health counselling service in London and a large humanitarian aid project for women trauma survivors during the war in the Former Yugoslavia. 

After returning home to Aotearoa, Deborah completed her law degree and began a policy career in local and central government. Deborah was the local government portfolio adviser to the Minister of Local Government during the Auckland governance reforms and the governance division executive officer at Auckland Council. 

As the Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Auckland Council, Deborah has overall responsibility for leading Auckland Council’s comprehensive approach to improving diversity and inclusion outcomes for Auckland Council staff and Auckland’s diverse communities.

Deb Te Kawa - 


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

Deb Te Kawa is a North Canterbury-based consultant who provides governance advice and policy support to the private and public sector in Australia and New Zealand. Originally from Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Deb has lived in Rangiora since 2015.

Deb has an undergraduate degree in English Language and Literature, a post-graduate Diploma in Information Management, and a Master’s in Public Management. Deb won the Prime Minister’s prize in public management in 2013.

She initially worked at Te Rōpū Rangahau Hauora a Eru Pōmare, until she joined Te Puni Kōkiri in 1994 where she worked on contemporary Treaty policy. From there she served in various Minister’s Offices. She was a senior adviser at the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, an operational manager with the Ministry of Social Development, and subsequently a performance advisor with the State Services Commission. Eventually, Deb became the lead advisor on the Performance Improvement Framework.

Deb left the service in March 2015. She continues to dabble in policy advice and operational management, mostly mentoring new managers, helping senor officials to negotiate difficult cross-agency issues and helping Crown entities, Crown research institutes, Crown-owned companies and local authorities make sense of Wellington Inc. Deb is a certified board and company secretary.

Deb continues to progress her doctorate, in between endlessly renovating a cottage with her partner; the couple has a blended family of three children, three cats and any number of chickens.


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