Our senior leadership team

Our senior leadership team works collaboratively to set and guide our strategic direction.

Carolyn Tremain, Chief Executive

Carolyn Tremain, Chief ExecutiveCarolyn has over 30 years' experience leading large, complex service delivery organisations, and substantial change management programmes.

She is currently the Secretary and Chief Executive of the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE).  The Ministry's purpose is to 'Grow New Zealand for all', with its role to create better outcomes for all New Zealanders, particularly by supporting business growth. 

In addition to her MBIE responsibilities, Carolyn is Chair of the Public Sector Auckland Career Board, and is a member of the Victoria University of Wellington Business School Advisory Board.

Prior to joining MBIE, Carolyn held the roles of Chief Executive and Comptroller at the NZ Customs Service; and Deputy Commissioner Service Delivery and Deputy Commissioner People, Capabilities, and Governance at Inland Revenue – where she was responsible for frontline service delivery functions and the integration of new government programmes.

Earlier in her career, Carolyn worked for Air New Zealand where she was head of the Human Resources and Organisational Change for the Air New Zealand Group.

Carolyn holds a Bachelor of Arts from Victoria University, Wellington.

Nic Blakeley, Deputy Secretary, Labour, Science and Enterprise

Nic BlakeleyThe Labour, Science and Enterprise group works with people, businesses, regions, and the science, innovation and education systems to help the country and New Zealanders to be successful.

Nic joined MBIE in July 2023 from the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) where he held Deputy Chief Executive roles since 2013 in Social Policy, Strategy and Insights and most recently Transformation

Nic has also worked at Treasury in a range of policy areas, including a period as economic advisor to the Minister of Finance.

He holds a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering and a Bachelor of Commerce in Economics from the University of Canterbury.

Read more about Labour, Science and Enterprise

Richard Griffiths, Deputy Secretary, Corporate Services, Finance and Enablement

Richard Griffiths, Deputy Secretary, Ngā Pou o te Taumaru

Richard was appointed as General Manager People & Culture for MBIE in June 2018 and became Deputy Secretary for Ngā Pou o te Taumaru (now Corporate Services, Finance and Enablement) in May 2021 after acting for 10 months in the role.

Richard started his career as an Accountant and Financial Analyst before moving into organisational development, leadership and change roles.

Before joining MBIE, Richard spent 8 years at BNZ in a variety of roles and was a member of the Executive team. He has held senior HR roles at ASB, Fonterra and had over 8 years with Air New Zealand in a number of operations roles including Manager NZ Airports.

Richard has a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Auckland.

Read more about Corporate Services, Finance and Enablement

Alison McDonald, Deputy Secretary, Immigration

Alison McDonald, Deputy Secretary, Immigration

Alison leads Immigration New Zealand, which provides stewardship of the immigration system to facilitate and protect New Zealand's interests. It aims to deliver outstanding immigration services, bringing the best people to New Zealand to make it prosper.

Alison brings a wealth of operational leadership experience from public service in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. She arrived in New Zealand in 2013 and spent 3 years at Te Kawa Mataaho (formerly the State Services Commission) where she was the Deputy Commissioner for Performance Improvement. She went on to become Director of the Customs 2020 transformation programme, before taking up the role of Deputy Chief Executive Services for Children and Families (South) at Oranga Tamariki in 2017.

Alison was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2008 for her work with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.

Read more about Immigration New Zealand

Greg Patchell, Deputy Secretary, Digital, Data & Insights

Greg Patchell, Deputy Secretary, Digital, Data and Insights

Greg Patchell leads the Digital, Data & Insights group which is responsible for consolidating and strengthening core data and insights, digital and technology functions.

Greg previously held roles as the Head of Immigration New Zealand, Deputy Secretary for Market Services group, and acting Deputy Secretary for our Corporate, Governance and Information group.

Prior to MBIE, Greg was the Deputy Secretary for Commercial Solutions within the former Ministry of Economic Development (MED). He joined MED in November 2009 as Chief Information Officer and later was appointed Deputy Secretary of the Commercial Solutions Branch.

Before joining MED, he worked as an independent consultant in the areas of technology and management, across New Zealand and Australia.

Greg also has experience in the telecommunications, finance and banking sectors, and holds a BSc in Computer Science from Massey University.

Read more about Digital, Data & Insights

Robert Pigou, Head of Kānoa – Regional Economic Development & Investment Unit

Robert Pigou, Head of Kānoa – Regional Economic Development and Investment Unit

Robert is Head of Kānoa – Regional Economic Development & Investment Unit (RDU) which manages a number of Government funding initiatives.

Previously, Robert was Head of Investment Management at Provincial Development Unit (PDU), the team responsible for detailed assessments, analysis, and critiquing of all funding applications, and making recommendations to decision-makers.

Robert has extensive experience in the corporate finance and banking sectors both in New Zealand and Asia. He has held senior leadership roles at EY, AsiaPower Developments Limited and Lloyds Bank, The National Bank of New Zealand and Southpac.

He has more recently served in senior roles in the public sector, including as Deputy Secretary, Higher Courts at the Ministry of Justice and as General Manager, NZ Petroleum and Minerals at Ministry of Economic Development.

Robert has been a member of the Institute of Directors since 2016.

Read more about Kānoa – RDU

Melanie Porter, Deputy Secretary, Te Waka Pūtahitanga

Melanie Porter, Deputy Secretary, Te Waka PūtahitangaMelanie Porter is the Deputy Secretary, Te Waka PūtahitangaTe Waka Pūtahitanga works across MBIE and the wider system to progress key cross-cutting outcomes such as Maori and Pasifika Economic Strategy, overall Economic Strategy and Regulatory Stewardship.

Melanie’s previous role was General Manager, Engagement Communications and Ministerial Services at MBIE, responsible for delivering services to support a connected, transparent and engaged culture as well as delivering effective communications and engagement for public policy and service delivery.

Prior to this, Melanie held a number of roles leading policy teams responsible for competition, consumer, economic regulation and corporate governance policy at the Ministry of Economic Development. 

Melanie is a co-sponsor of MBIE's Arahanga Wahine (Women's network), MBIE's Women of Colour Network, and a huge supporter of the Pacific Staff Village and Te Rau Puawai network. She grew up in Samoa, and her first job was in Samoa’s Prime Minister’s Department.  Mel and her husband Tusi live in Wellington with their 3 children.

Read more about Te Waka Pūtahitanga

Paul Stocks, Deputy Secretary, Building, Resources and Markets

Paul Stocks, Deputy Secretary, Building, Resources and Markets

Paul leads our Building, Resources and Markets Group, which works is responsible for many of the regulatory systems that govern New Zealand’s markets including building, communications, competition, consumer and commercial, energy markets, financial markets, intellectual property, and petroleum and minerals.

The Group’s role supports a fair, competitive business environment and well-functioning telecommunications, building and construction and resources markets. It also serves as the Government's Procurement Functional Leader and the Government's Property Functional Leader.

Before his current role, Paul was Deputy Secretary for our Labour, Science and Enterprise group, and as Deputy Director General at the Ministry for Primary Industries, responsible for Policy and Deputy Director General Strategy and Performance.

Paul has held a number of management roles at Treasury, with responsibility for areas including education, market interventions and tax policy. He also worked at the Ministry of Health and the New Zealand Planning Council.

Read more about our Building, Resources and Markets Group

Suzanne Stew, Deputy Secretary, Te Whakatairanga Service Delivery

Suzanne Stew, Deputy Secretary, Te Whakatairanga Service DeliverySuzanne Stew is Deputy Secretary for Te Whakatairanga Service Delivery Group, which provides critical functions and services that support businesses, employees and consumers to operate successfully in the market place.

Prior to joining MBIE in 2019, Suzanne was the Deputy Secretary – Corporate and Governance at the Ministry of Justice for a period of four years.

Suzanne joined the public service in 2011 as General Manager Internal Partners at New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, where she led the delivery of corporate support services. Prior to that, she held senior management roles spanning diverse functions at TelstraClear and Wrightson.

Suzanne is originally from the UK and worked for British Telecom and Sony before moving to New Zealand in 2001. She began her career as a product engineer and holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) Electronic and Microprocessor Engineering from Strathclyde University in Glasgow, and an MBA from Imperial College in London.

Suzanne is married to Simon and mum to Harry and given any opportunity will join in any singing or dancing.

Read more about Te Whakatairanga Service Delivery

Oliver Valins, Chief Advisor to the Secretary

Oliver Valins, Chief Advisor to the SecretaryOliver’s role is as the Head of the Office of the Chief Executive at MBIE.

Prior to this he was the Deputy Chief Executive, Strategy and Corporate at Crown Law. He worked for almost 10 years at the New Zealand Treasury, with positions ranging from managing the Justice and Security team to being the Treasury representative on New Zealand’s United Nations Climate Change negotiations team.

Oliver holds a PhD in Geography from the University of Glasgow.


In this section

Chief Executive expenses disclosure

Expenses, gifts and hospitality expended by the Chief Executive.

Last updated: 15 November 2023