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Ministry Leadership Team

Meet our Te Kāhui Mataaho, Ministry Leadership Team

Bernadette Cavanagh

Chief Executive  Tumu Whakarae 

Bernadette Cavanagh is the Chief Executive – Tumu Whakarae of Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage (MCH), taking up the role in February 2019.  

Bernadette brings to the role strong leadership skills, expertise at the international level, and experience in navigating complex issues and delivering results. Before joining the MInistry, Bernadette had a career with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), with her most recent role as Deputy Secretary of the Multilateral and Legal Affairs Group.

Bernadette also served offshore including as Deputy Head of Mission in the New Zealand Embassy in Moscow, Deputy Permanent Representative at New Zealand’s Mission to the United Nations in New York and was New Zealand’s High Commissioner to Singapore. Bernadette began her public service career with the New Zealand Defence Force / Ministry of Defence.

To contact Bernadette please email her Executive Assistant Bridie Cooper : [email protected]

Anna Butler

Deputy Chief Executive, Policy and Sector Performance – Pou Mataaho o Te Aka

Anna Butler is the Deputy Chief Executive, Policy and Sector Performance - Pou Mataaho o Te Aka, taking up the role in February 2020.  This role is responsible for the Ministry’s provision of quality, timely policy advice to Ministers on cultural issues, and for managing the Ministry’s relationships with the 15 funded agencies alongside which we look after the government’s investment in culture.

Anna is a highly skilled leader with more than 20 years’ public service experience. She has substantial experience leading policy and legislation change. In her previous role Anna overhauled MBIE’s approach to the building regulatory system. She lead a programme of significant change for the building and construction sector, with a strong focus on improving quality and efficiency. Before joining MBIE Anna was the General Manager Housing, Income, Support and Employment – Social Policy at the Ministry of Social Development (MSD). Anna established a social housing team and led major benefit system reforms.

Anna is a passionate public servant who is committed to getting government and industry working together, knowing high-performance comes from partnership.

To contact Anna please email her Executive Assistant Janet Emmerson : [email protected]

Sarah Hardy

Acting Deputy Chief Executive, Organisational Performance - Pou Mataaho o Te Iho 

Sarah Hardy is the Acting Deputy Chief Executive, Organisational Performance - Pou Mataaho o Te Aka, taking up the six month role in November 2020 while on secondment from The Treasury.

Sarah has previously worked at Manatū Taonga as Manager Finance and Strategic Planning from 2011-2016, including acting for a few months in the DCE Organisational Performance role.  At The Treasury Sarah is the Director with responsibility for the Strengthening the Treasury programme. Previously Sarah was the Director leading the design and operation of the Public Finance System with responsibility for the spending in areas across the health, social and other government services sectors.

Sarah was earlier seconded to support the establishment of Oranga Tamariki as CFO and originally went to The Treasury to manage the Head of the Finance Profession team. Sarah also worked at Audit New Zealand, having started her career in the public sector practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers in the United Kingdom.

To contact Sarah please email her Executive Assistant Pablo Monteverde-Young : [email protected]

Mike Nathan

Pou Mataaho o Te Pae Huarewa – Deputy Chief Executive, Māori

Mike joined the Ministry in 2018. He is primarily responsible for ensuring the Ministry is fulfilling its treaty obligations in meeting the aspirations of iwi Māori. 

Mike has vast knowledge and experience in both Community and Youth development working in grassroots, regional, national and international settings. He has also led the establishment and implementation of Māori strategic frameworks. An experienced public servant, Mike previously worked at the Department of Internal Affairs, Social Welfare and Māori Affairs. 

Mike affiliates to Te Rarawa and Ngāti Koroki Kahukura.

To contact Mike please email his Pou Whirinaki (Administrator) Te Atahou Mataamua : [email protected]

Tamsin Evans

Deputy Chief Executive, Delivery Group – Pou Mataaho o Te Hua

Since emigrating from the UK in 1996 Tamsin has worked in a wide range of local government and corporate functions. From delivering major infrastructure projects, to key strategic and policy initiatives and organisational change projects, to front line and core services, she has worked in local government for 21 years and at a senior level for fifteen years.

Tamsin worked at Kapiti District Council as Group Manager Community Services and Deputy Chief Executive. She had been at KCDC for 10 years and prior to that worked for Capacity (now known as Wellington Water) and for Wellington City Council in various infrastructure and customer service roles.

While working at Kapiti Coast District Council, Tamsin was involved several major construction projects including building the Coastlands Aquatic Centre and the Alliance arrangements to deliver the Mackays to Peka Peka Expressway as well as a variety of strategic and policy activities.

Tamsin worked as Chief Operating Officer at Porirua City Council from March 2016 until June 2018. The role encompassed operational and strategic leadership of the Council’s delivery activities in infrastructure and community facilities at a time when the completion of Transmission Gully and several other major developments in the city herald exciting growth opportunities for Porirua.

However, after twenty one years in local government it was time for a change and the chance to make a switch to central government was too good an opportunity to miss. Tamsin joined the Ministry in August 2018.

To contact Tamsin please email her Executive Assistant Sarah De Renzy : [email protected]


Updated on 23rd November 2020