At the Nelson Regional Development Agency, our people are our most important asset and bring a wide range of skills and capabilities to the organisation.

Our diverse team is made up of individuals from many different countries, speaking many different languages, uniting in their undying passion for our extraordinary region and their dedication to sharing this with current and potential talent, visitors and investors.  

Hannah Norton - Regional Development and Attraction Manager

Hannah Norton - Regional Development and Attraction Manager

Hannah moved to the Nelson Tasman region in early 2018 looking to combine her career with an extraordinary lifestyle and has never looked back. She has a diverse background in marketing and business development, initially in the legal and events sectors before moving to Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development where she gained specific experience in destination marketing and management.

Hannah leads the development and execution of Nelson Tasman's regional identity, with a key focus on positioning and promoting the region as a place where talent and business want to be. She also heads up our Skills & Workforce Development team and manages the communication and digital strategies across all of the Nelson Regional Development Agency's activity areas.

Outside of work, Hannah can be found in the outdoors with family and friends, whether it be running, mountain biking, kayaking, participating in adventure races or taking a slower paced tramp in the back country.

 

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Gisela Purcell - Visitor Destination Manager

Gisela Purcell - Visitor Destination Manager

Gisela grew up in Nelson Tasman but has spent enough time living in other places around the world to appreciate what makes this region unique. She has an MA in International Development and a wide range of work experience including running her own business teaching languages to children in New Zealand and Australia, marketing local education opportunities to international students, and promoting the region's wines. Gisela believes that the synergy created by working collaboratively harnesses more energy to achieve maximum results.

Outside of work, Gisela enjoys playing in a variety of music groups from percussion bands to classical orchestra. She loves getting into the great outdoors either on foot, by bike or in her kayak. She is also passionate about her volunteer roles with the Trade Aid Shop and Fair-Trade movement.

 

contact gisela

Toni Power - Finance & Commercial Lead

Toni Power - Finance & Commercial Lead

After a few years of living in Christchurch working for a global IT company, Toni, a born and bred Nelsonian, decided to return home with her family to more stable ground. Toni has seventeen years’ experience in the finance industry, having first started her accountancy career at West Yates.

Toni manages the finances of the Nelson Regional Development Agency, supporting the team as they deliver on promoting, positioning and connecting the region. Toni is an all-round problem solver, carrying out a range of administration duties including Health, Safety and Wellness, IT solutions, compliance and Human Resources, as well as providing assistance to the i-SITE management team.

Toni loves living and working here in Nelson Tasman. On the weekends you’ll find her escaping from spreadsheets by cooking up a storm in the kitchen or exploring the great outdoors with family, friends and her dog Mac.

contact toni

Lesley McQue - Economic Developments Projects & Insights Programme Manager

Lesley McQue - Economic Developments Projects & Insights Programme Manager

Originally from the UK, Lesley and her husband migrated to Nelson Tasman in 2004. With a background in production management, project management and research work, Lesley enjoyed a variety of roles before joining the Nelson Regional Development Agency in 2013 to deliver Economic Development projects and Economic data and reports.

Lesley has spent the last 18 months helping to develop the Te Tauihu Intergenerational Strategy, an ambitious project led by Wakatū Incorporation in collaboration with NRDA, Nelson City Council, Tasman District Council and Marlborough District Council.  Lesley’s role at the Nelson Regional Development Agency is now focused on the development of the Project Kōkiri Recovery and Regeneration Plan, a 5 year economic strategy for Nelson Tasman.

 Having travelled extensively, Lesley now enjoys home life on her rural property. In her free time, she can be found tending her vegetable garden and orchard, cooking or engaging in a range of other creative pursuits.

 

contact lesley

Mark Maguire - Regional Business Advisor

Mark Maguire - Regional Business Advisor

Mark relocated to Nelson Tasman after 13 years in Wellington. His strong commercial background includes 15 years of experience in corporate governance, operational design and strategy, product development, change management and succession planning.

Mark manages the delivery of the Regional Business Partner Programme across the top of the south. The RBPprogramme is focussed on helping businesses to innovate and grow by providing information, independent advice, funding and connections to businesses seeking support in their growth journey.  

Drawing on the resources via NZTE and Callaghan Innovation this covers a range of R&D grants, specialist research & technical expertise, innovation skills-building programmes, management capability funding, access to Business Mentors and connections across the local and national business ecosystem.  In 2020 the government increased its support of this programme to enable our team to assist over 1,500 more businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic utilising the resources available via the Regional Business Partner Programme.

 

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Tracee Neilson - Business Events Lead/Destination Coordinator

Tracee Neilson - Business Events Lead/Destination Coordinator

Tracee grew up in Nelson Tasman but left for Otago University where she gained a BCom and DipCom before her big OE. Tracee's professional career has included banking and retail marketing for Shell. Returning home in 2004 to be close to family and raise her children, Tracee has been part of the Nelson Regional Development Agency (previously Nelson Tasman Tourism) team for over 10 years.

Tracee's role includes leading the Business Events programme, submitting bids, hosting PCO's, generating sales leads and engaging with partners.

In her spare time, Tracee makes full use of our national parks and all the other great outdoor activities the region offers, particularly running and mountain biking with her two children. Tracee also enjoys travelling and is constantly reminded of how spoilt we are to be living in Nelson Tasman.

 

contact tracee

Laura Duquemin - Marketing & Digital Executive

Laura Duquemin - Marketing & Digital Executive

Originally from Guernsey in the Channel Islands, Laura and her family moved to Nelson Tasman in 2003. After spending her gap year travelling, she completed a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Management and Marketing here at NMIT, engaging in marketing internships and contract work throughout.

Laura's role at the Nelson Regional Development Agency involves positioning and promoting the Nelson Tasman region as an extraordinary holiday destination for domestic travellers, with a specific focus on driving visitation during the shoulder seasons. Working closely with partners, influencers and media, this involves overseeing and coordinating all aspects of domestic marketing campaign activity. Laura also manages the content across a range of our digital platforms, including our regional website and social media channels.

In her spare time, Laura loves to tick as much as she can off her ever-changing bucket list. Whether that's canyoning in the Abel Tasman National Park, hiking to the top of Mount Arthur, running a half-marathon or taking to the skies in a hot air balloon, she's always open to suggestions for new activities. 

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Rebecca Leach - Events Liaison

Rebecca Leach - Events Liaison

Rebecca completed a BSc and BCapS at Otago University, before beginning her career in Account Management and Space Planning in the FMCG industry whilst studying marketing at Massey University. Rebecca first moved with her family to Nelson Tasman in 2006, but spent 3 years living and working in Abu Dhabi before securing her role as Events Liaison at the Nelson Regional Development Agency.

Rebecca's role includes marketing events through various media channels, co-ordinating the 3 NCC Event Sponsorship Funds and assisting in the smooth delivery of major events and city activations by connecting people in the events and related industries. This is for the benefit of our communities, increasing social cohesion and bringing positive commercial outcomes for local business. Rebecca really enjoys building these relationships and seeing the multitude of outcomes of well organised events – especially enjoyment on the faces of attendees!

Rebecca’s spare time involves following her teenage children’s ballet, underwater hockey and volleyball from the side lines, walking her aging chocolate Labrador along the railway reserve and a little gardening. Rebecca believes that Nelson Tasman is the perfect region for all of these activities. 

contact rebecca

Donna Adlam - Business and Marketing Support Coordinator

Donna Adlam - Business and Marketing Support Coordinator

Originally born in Palmerston North, Donna has lived, worked and travelled around New Zealand and other parts of the world, including her big ‘O.E’ to the UK and USA. Donna's passion for the tourism industry, particularly in New Zealand, was inspired by her work as a Scuba Diving Instructor at Dive! Tutukaka in Northland.

Donna provides administrative support to Mark Maguire through the Regional Business Partner Programme, a programme designed to enable local businesses to innovate and grow. She also assists Gisela to attract visitors into the region during the shoulder seasons and provide ongoing communications to local trade businesses.

Donna enjoys spending time with her 3 children, who are ‘the light of her life’.  She has a keen interest in nutrition, health and sustainable practices through reducing waste and growing her own food. Donna thoroughly enjoys living in the Nelson Tasman region, finding all her great passions at her doorstep; the outdoors, hiking, running, biking, swimming, beaches, amazing wine and food and great friends.

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Jenelle (Nelly) Strickland – Vocational Coordinator

Jenelle (Nelly) Strickland – Vocational Coordinator

Nelly heralds from the North Island and moved to our extraordinary region in her teenage years. She studied a Bachelor of Business Studies in Sports Management and Sport Coaching at Massey University, before returning to Nelson Tasman to work in Events and Marketing at NMIT. Her love of sport and management led her to the Tasman Rugby Union, New Zealand Rugby, and then to a part-time Learning & Development Education Advisor role at New Zealand Rugby while also working part-time for NRDA in Event Sales and Marketing.

Nelly was welcomed back to NRDA in a full-time capacity to join the Skills and Workforce Development team as a Vocational Coordinator, when her contract at New Zealand Rugby was cut short due to COVID-19. The purpose of her new role is to help strengthen connections between local employers, schools, and students to achieve greater engagement in vocational education and employment, with the aim of supporting sustainable careers for youth and regional economic prosperity and establish programmes and systems in order to help retain and attract youth employment in our region. Nelly also leads our Culture and Wellbeing initiatives utilising her skills in leadership and development.

Outside of work Nelly loves keeping fit and active, taking to running and biking tracks in the Nelson region with her dog Tui, partner and friends. She understands the importance of a healthy mindset and working together towards a common goal and lives and breathes these values.

 

CONTACT Nelly

Kirsten Thorp - Workforce Development Coordinator

Kirsten Thorp - Workforce Development Coordinator

Kirsten is from the North Island originally but will claim top of the South Island as her home having lived in Nelson for over 18 years. She completed a Law Degree at Otago University and then went on to study a Diploma in Careers Guidance. 

Kirsten joined the team in late 2020 to work on several youth initiatives. These include the exciting new Graduate and Summer Intern Programmes and a project to support marginalised youth in Nelson Tasman. She brings a strong background in corporate communications working in Melbourne, Auckland and Wellington and most recently spent eight years’ as a Careers practitioner working in local secondary schools.

As a parent and proud Nelsonian, she is keen to bring her energy to raising the profile of our beautiful region as a place to live, work and play. She enjoys playing tennis, exploring the Abel Tasman on her boat with her friends and family and adventuring in the Grampians with her Labraschnoodle, Eddie.

CONTACT Kirsten

Charlotte Lang – Communications Coordinator

Charlotte Lang – Communications Coordinator

A born and bred Nelsonian Charlotte skipped across the ditch to Melbourne after studying a Bachelor of Design (Hons) at Massey University to kick off career in Marketing. Working across varying roles in Media, Event, Design and Advertising during her 8 years overseas, Charlotte returned home in 2018 for a role as a Marketing Executive at World of WearableArt.

In 2020 she joined the team as Communications Coordinator and is responsible for providing support to the management team to help implement and communicate the NRDA and Project Kōkiri communications and engagement strategy. She also coordinates the content development and delivery for all corporate communications across multiple channels, and to numerous audiences.

Charlotte is thrilled to be working for a company that has a clear purpose to serve and better the region and has thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the people of Nelson Tasman again after been away for over 10 years. In her spare time you will find her in one of three places, teaching Hot Yoga at City Fitness, walking her Golden Retriever Harry at the Tahuna Back Beach, or tending to her garden. She is passionate about the environment and is proud to live in such an extraordinary region that makes living a balanced and fulfilling life possible.

 

CONTACT CHARLOTTE

Jess Harvey - Business Support Coordinator

Jess Harvey - Business Support Coordinator

Originally from Sweden, Jess moved to Nelson in 2010 to study Adventure Tourism at NMIT and began her career at the Nelson i-SITE in early 2016. Jess brought with her a range of experience in the tourism industry from her time guiding on the ice at Fox Glacier, ski instructing at Rainbow Ski Field and teaching outdoor education at Rotoiti Lodge Outdoor Education Centre.

During lockdown Jess shifted her focus to support the wider organisation as Business Support Coordinator and Executive Assistant to the CE, which often sees her problem-solving her way around the Mahitahi Colab. Jess works out of the Mahitahi Colab reception Monday-Tuesday and can be found in Nelson Regional Development Agency’s office for the remainder of the week. 

In her spare time, Jess is most likely outside, often on a mountain bike. Jess enjoys travelling the world with her husband during the New Zealand winters to partake in the Enduro World Series mountain bike races and is the first person to vouch for Nelson as a world class destination for the sport.

 

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Nelson Tasman i-SITE Team

Nelson Tasman i-SITE Team

In addition, we are very proud to have a dedicated seasonal i-SITE team. 

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