Our leadership

Led by the Chief Electoral Officer and Chief Executive, our senior management team guides the organisation to ensure New Zealand has an electoral system people can have trust and confidence in and by helping people to take part in the electoral process.

If you have any questions for a member of the senior management team please contact us.

Meet the senior management team

Alicia Wright

Chief Electoral Officer and Chief Executive

Alicia’s 5-year term as Chief Electoral Officer and Chief Executive began in January 2017. She is responsible for leading the organisation and ensuring the Commission facilitates participation by New Zealanders in parliamentary democracy, promotes understanding of the electoral system and maintains confidence in the electoral system.

Alicia is also a member of the Electoral Commission’s Board, where she is responsible with other Board members for overseeing the implementation of the Commission’s objectives, functions and powers.

Graeme Astle

National Manager Voting Services

Graeme and his team provide front-line voting services to the public during election events.

Mandy Bohté

National Manager Enrolment and Community Engagement

Mandy leads a nationwide team of community-based staff, maintaining an accurate electoral roll for New Zealand. They also communicate, educate and inspire people to actively participate in the electoral process.

Deidre Brookes

Manager International

Deidre and her team lead the Commission’s international engagement both at home and abroad. Additionally, the team provides development assistance to electoral agencies in the Pacific, in association with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade under the NZ Aid Programme and in coordination with other donor partners.

Suzanne Knight

Manager Communications and Education

Suzanne and her team ensure the right message is delivered through the right channels at the right time, to both internal and external audiences.

Elizabeth Lowndes

Manager Corporate Services

Elizabeth leads the team that provides financial, human resources, procurement and other technical advice and administrative expertise to support the Commission’s people and activities.

Mark Lawson

Manager Strategy

Mark leads a team that undertakes organisation-wide strategic reviews, long term planning, reviews of legislation, data-driven insights to support business information and business change, risk management and supporting and building relationships with the wider public sector.

Carol Slappendel

Chief of Staff, Office of the Chief Electoral Officer and Chief Executive

Carol manages a small office that supports the Chief Electoral Officer and Chief Executive, the Board, and other governance groups.

Kristina Temel

Manager Legal & Policy

Kristina and her team provide in-house legal and policy advice on electoral legislation. They also provide advice and guidance to political parties, candidates, MPs, the public, the Minister of Justice, Ministry of Justice and the wider government.

James Willcocks

Chief Information Officer

James leads an Information Technology team that supports day-to-day operations, IT strategy, resourcing and implementation of the technology required to support electoral events. The Information Technology team also helps the organisation define, design, build, test and deliver new technologies and business solutions. In addition, James is the Chief Information Security Officer, ensuring compliance with all relevant government and industry cyber-security standards.

Our Board

The Electoral Commission is governed by a board of three members: a part-time chair, a part-time deputy chair and a full-time chief electoral officer, who is also the chief executive

What the Board does

The Board oversees our work to ensure we meet our objectives, and implement our functions and powers.

The Board also makes sure we’re impartial and independent, in a way that:

  • facilitates participation in parliamentary democracy
  • promotes understanding of the electoral system
  • maintains confidence in the administration of the electoral system.

The Governor-General appoints all three Board members on Parliament’s recommendation.

Meet the Board

Marie Shroff, CVO, CNZM

Chair

Between 1987 and 2003 Marie was Secretary of the Cabinet and Clerk of the Executive Council, working with four Governors-General, and six Prime Ministers from both major parties. During that time she co-led a senior officials group which prepared central government for the introduction of the proportional electoral system in New Zealand. Marie also served as Privacy Commissioner from 2003 to 2014.

Marie is a member of the Media Council and on the boards of Consumer New Zealand, the Consumer Foundation and the Privacy Foundation New Zealand.

Marie’s 5-year term as Chair of the Electoral Commission Board began in August 2019.

Jane Meares

Deputy Chair

Jane is a commercial barrister at Clifton Chambers in Wellington. She undertakes public sector and commercial advisory work. She was previously Treasury’s chief legal adviser.

Jane is Chair and Chief Commissioner of the Transport Accident Investigation Commission, Chair of Financial Services Complaints Limited, a director of the Electricity Corporation of New Zealand, Chair of the Royal New Zealand Ballet Foundation of New Zealand and a member of Land Information New Zealand’s risk and assurance committee.

Jane’s 5-year term as Deputy Chair of the Electoral Commission Board began in August 2019.

Alicia Wright

Chief Electoral Officer and Chief Executive

Alicia previously held the role of Deputy Secretary at the Ministry of Defence and senior roles across the public service including the Department of Labour, Ministry of Social Development and the Department of Internal Affairs. She has also been a principal at Deloittes and was a Director of Amherst Group.

Alicia’s 5-year term as Chief Electoral Officer and Chief Executive began in January 2017.

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