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 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.