TIA Board of Directors

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Gráinne Troute

Director, Tourism Holdings Ltd, Summerset Holdings Ltd and Investore Property

Gráinne is a professional director with many years’ experience of operating customer-focused businesses in highly competitive sectors including tourism, hospitality and retail. She is a director of Tourism Holdings Ltd, Summerset Holdings Ltd and Investore Property.

In her executive career she was most recently General Manager, Corporate Services for SKYCITY Entertainment Group. Prior to that she was Managing Director of McDonald’s Restaurants (NZ) Ltd and has also held executive roles with consultancy firm Right Management and with Coopers & Lybrand (now PWC). 

Gráinne has also spent many years as a trustee and chair in the not-for-profit sector, including having been the Chair of Ronald McDonald House Charities (NZ) for five years. She is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors.


Grant Webster compressed
Deputy Chair and General Sector

Grant Webster

Chief Executive, Tourism Holdings Ltd (thl)

Grant Webster was appointed CEO of thl in December 2008, before which he was Chief Operating Officer – Attractions Division with the company for three years.

Grant’s background includes senior executive roles and directorships across the tourism, hospitality, gaming and retail industries. Immediately prior to joining thl Grant was a General Manager at SkyCity Auckland.

Fergus Brown
Deputy Chair & Holiday Parks, Motels and Other Accommodation

Fergus Brown

Chief Executive, Holiday Parks New Zealand (HPNZ)

Fergus worked for the New Zealand Tourism Department from 1975 and Tourism New Zealand from its inception in 1991. He spent two years as Private Secretary to the Minister of Tourism and has represented New Zealand in postings to Australia and Asia.

Based in Hong Kong he established TNZ’s Asian operation, opening offices in Taiwan and South Korea before returning to New Zealand to take up an executive position in TNZ’s head office.

He owned a motor lodge incorporating a conference facility and licensed restaurant for five years. During this time Fergus was Deputy Chairman of Go Wairarapa, the region's economic development and regional tourism organisation.

Fergus is Chief Executive of Holiday Parks New Zealand, which is a full member of TIA. He has been a Board member of Tourism Industry Aotearoa between 2007 & 2013 and from 2014 representing Motels, Other Accommodation and Hospitality. Fergus is a trustee of the Tourism Industry New Zealand Trust, the PATA NZ Trust and is a Director of ServiceIQ representing the Hospitality sector.

Fergus won the Marsh Tourism Industry Champion Award in the New Zealand Tourism Awards in 2019.

“I am committed to the implementation of the Sustainable Growth framework and ensuring that small-to-medium sized tourism businesses are well represented on the TIA Board."

Trent Yeo
Adventure & Outdoor Sector

Trent Yeo

Executive Director, Ziptrek Ecotours

Trent Yeo is the Executive Director of Ziptrek Ecotours in Queenstown, which opened in 2009. Ziptrek is a sustainability-focused business providing personalised ziptrek eco-tours while telling a place-making story to thousands of guests.

Trent has served in a number of governance roles and is a strong sustainability advocate. He is a licensee and curator of TEDxQueenstown and is a regular speaker and panellist on sustainability, education, tourism and entrepreneurship programmes and events.

Attractions, Conferences and Events

Michael Ahearne

Chief Executive, SkyCity

Michael joined SkyCity in December 2017 as Group Chief Operating Officer and was appointed Chief Executive Officer in November 2020.

Michael has significant global experience in the gaming industry across both land-based and online casinos, as well as retail and online sports betting. Prior to joining SkyCity, Michael held a number of senior commercial, operational and product leadership roles at Paddy Power Betfair, one of the world’s leaders in sports betting and gaming.

Prior to this, Michael enjoyed a 13-year career in the Australasian gaming and entertainment sector – 10 years of which were spent at The Star Casino, Sydney, where he held a variety of senior management positions and, following that, three years as Chief Operating Officer for Aristocrat in the Australia and New Zealand regions.

Michael is a qualified accountant and holds an MBA from the University of Technology, Sydney.

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Co-opted Director

Reuben Levermore

Head of Tourism and Regional Affairs, Air New Zealand

Reuben Levermore is Head of Tourism and Regional Affairs at Air New Zealand.  Prior to joining Air New Zealand, Reuben was Director of Communications at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade and served as New Zealand Ambassador to the Philippines and as Ambassador to Thailand, Cambodia and Lao PDR. He has also worked in international trade negotiations, and as a financial markets advocate in the City of London.

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Culture and Heritage Sector

Phillipa Tocker

Executive Director, Museums Aotearoa

In the 12 years Phillipa Tocker has been with Museums Aotearoa, she has developed strong relationships across culture and heritage, and a broad and deep understanding of the enormous contribution this sectors make to New Zealand's society. Phillipa is also very aware of the challenges that culture and heritage organisations face.


Jacqui Wilkinson
General Sector

Jacqui Wilkinson

Founder, Adventure Capital 

Jacqui has a background in marketing and advertising, working with some of the world’s leading advertising agencies including Ogilvy and TBWA on some of the world’s leading brands such as Nestle, Purina, World Vision and American Express.

This experience helped forge a path into business back in 2004 as a marketing consultant which eventually led to the formation of two tourism businesses – Adventure Capital and Fine Art Tours NZ.

Adventure Capital is New Zealand’s leading provider of urban guided bike tours and outdoor gear rentals. Fine Art Tours NZ is a premium tour operator working with New Zealand’s leading luxury inbound agents to provide visitors exceptional arts & cultural experiences.

Jacqui is a passionate advocate for sustainability and actively applies these principles in her personal life, as well as in her businesses. For her, sustainability goes beyond environmental concerns, into a focus on local communities and serving the ‘greater good’.

For many years, she has also been known as a passionate advocate for active transport usage in urban environments.

She believes that travel can be transformational for economies and communities when delivered in a meaningful, considered way.

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Hotel & Lodges Sector

Gillian Millar

Senior Vice President Operations - New Zealand, Fiji and French Polynesia, Accor

Gillian Millar is the Accor Senior Vice President Operations for New Zealand, Fiji and French Polynesia. She was appointed to the role in April 2017, based in the Accor Regional Office in Auckland. This is the first time a female leader has held this strategic role for New Zealand’s largest hotel operator. Gillian is responsible for managing Accor interests in the region – in New Zealand specifically this comprises 32 hotels, 4300 rooms and 10 brands which generate over $400 million in revenue. 

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Land Transport Sector

James Dalglish

Director, GO Rentals

Former president and current council member of the Rental Vehicle Association and Director of GO Rentals, James Dalglish has been a passionate business and tourism leader for over 20 years.

A key focus for James in his role with the RVA has been building a stronger industry through collaboration and promoting a safer driver experience for our international tourists. As a pioneer of the Safer Journeys Tourism Forum, GO Rentals has led by example within the sector to drive awareness of driver safety and promoting industry responsibility as part of the Tiaki promise. 

Under James's leadership GO won TIA’s Visitor Experience Tourism Award in 2018 and were back as finalists in 2019, Canstar Awards in 2018 and 2020, involved in the highly regarded ITS Bluetooth Trial and became the first rental car company to achieve Qualmark Gold and be CarboNZero certified.

James is proud to lead a business focused on sustainable growth and innovation through industry leading technology. He is a passionate member of the Icehouse Alumni, an honorary member of Les clefs d’Or New Zealand and rugby continues to be his major love outside of work and family!

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Māori representative

Hemi Sundgren

 Te Āti AwaNgāti Toa, Ngāti Raukawa

Hemi has more than 10 years' experience working with iwi in the post-settlement development space, including 6 years as Pouwhakahaere - CEO at Te Kotahitaga o Te Atiawa Trust in Taranaki. In late 2020 he took a role at Tourism New Zealand as Pou Ārahi – Māori. His primary role with TNZ is to raise cultural confidence across the organisation. Hemi is also on the Board of Venture Taranaki.


Regional Tourism Organisations David Perks
Regional Tourism Organisations Sector

David Perks

General Manager, WellingtonNZ

David's experience in the tourism sector in New Zealand spans over 20 years.

Following a decade with Millennium Hotels in metropolitan and provincial destinations, David led Positively Wellington Tourism and when WellingtonNZ was formed as the capital’s EDA he became General Manager – Regional Development, Destination & Attraction.

David lead the tourism, business events and i-SITE teams at as well as work developing a regional destination plan and the Wellington Convention & Exhibition Centre. Being responsible for the workforce and business growth team has enabled tourism to be at the heart of economic development activity.

David has been a Trustee of RTNZ for ten years and previously sat on the board of TIA, CINZ and i-SITE NZ representing the voice of local government. He is passionate about creating the optimum environment for the development of a sustainable tourism sector that benefits every community.


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Tourism Services and Services to Tourism Sector

Anna Black

Executive Director, General Travel NZ Ltd & President, Tourism Export Council

Started by Anna Black's father Peter in 1973, General Travel NZ Ltd is one of New Zealand’s original and longest running inbound tour operators. Anna initially pursued a career offshore in corporate banking, however she joined the business in 2004 when the call of tourism could no longer be ignored. She has progressed from FIT reservations, to product sales and marketing, general manager and into her current role as Executive Director and shareholder in the company.

Anna is also the President of the New Zealand Tourism Export Council (TEC).


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Tourism New Zealand Representative

René de Monchy

Interim Chief Executive, Tourism New Zealand

René brings 15 years' global experience in consumer-led businesses including local and international marketing roles for Fonterra and Heineken and most recently as Marketing Director at Asia Pacific Breweries in Singapore.

As Director Commercial of Tourism New Zealand, René manages TNZ’s Commercial function which brings together its offshore offices and global Business Events team.

In January 2021, René was appointed as Interim Chief Executive of Tourism New Zealand.

Debbie Summers
Water Transport & Cruise Sector

Debbie Summers

Executive Director, ID New Zealand

With 20 years of cruise experience, Debbie Summers works closely with the vast majority of the world’s cruise companies, and she has a wealth of critically important industry connections at the very highest levels.

Debbie is Executive Director of ID New Zealand (the largest NZ cruise ground handler) heading up their Cruise Division and has been the New Zealand Cruise Association Chair since 2016.