Our Board

Our Board governs Callaghan Innovation’s performance and leads our strategic direction.

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Pete Hodgson (Chair)

Pete Hodgson is a former Cabinet Minister (NZ Government 1999 –2008) whose portfolios included Science, Economic Development, Tertiary Education, Energy, Transport, Forestry, Fisheries, Climate change policy and Commerce. He serves on the Board of Otago Innovation Limited, and was also Chief Executive from 2014 -18. Otago Innovation is the University of Otago’s technology transfer office. He was Chair of the Southern District Health Board until dissolution and is actively engaged with multiple aspects of the New Dunedin Hospital build. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Science and a Master’s degree in Public Policy (with Distinction). 

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Elena Trout

Elena Trout is a qualified civil engineer with extensive experience in the planning, development and implementation of large engineering and technical projects. She has held senior management roles in the energy, transport and infrastructure sectors and has been involved in a number of high-profile and nationally significant socio-economic infrastructure projects. Elena is a past President and Fellow of Engineering New Zealand.

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Jennifer Kerr

Jennifer Kerr has extensive international experience in the HR and health, safety and wellbeing sectors in North America, Europe, the United Kingdom and New Zealand. She was formerly General Manager of Customers, People and Environment at Transpower and Group Director Human Resources and Health & Safety at Fonterra. She has also operated her own consultancy business, and prior to that was the Group Manager of Human Resources for Mobil Oil for all of Europe.

Jennifer has governance experience in the United Kingdom and New Zealand, including pension plan trustee roles in both countries. Jennifer is a member of New Zealand Global Women and has taken an active role during her career in mentoring and coaching other women to achieve their potential. She is of Ngāti Mutunga and Ngāti Tama descent.

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Matanuku Mahuika

Matanuku Mahuika has more than 25 years’ experience as a lawyer advising on a wide range of corporate, commercial, Treaty of Waitangi, Māori land and administrative law issues. He has experience in working with early stage and start-up businesses and has held a wide variety of directorships and governance roles. Matanuku’s tribal affiliations are Ngāti Porou and Ngāti Raukawa.

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Shaun Hendy

Shaun Hendy FRSNZ is Director of Te Pūnaha Matatini, a New Zealand Centre of Research Excellence hosted by the University of Auckland. Shaun teaches in both the Department of Physics and the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Auckland. 

Shaun worked as a scientist at Industrial Research Ltd from 1998-2013, and at Callaghan Innovation as an Industry and Outreach Fellow in 2013. He also lectured at Victoria University of Wellington from 2003-2013 and was Deputy Director of the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology from 2008-2012. In 2012, Shaun was awarded the Callaghan Medal by the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Prime Minister’s Science Media Communication Prize for his work as a science communicator. In 2013 he was awarded the E. O. Tuck medal for his research in applied mathematics, and co-authored Get Off the Grass with the late Sir Paul Callaghan. His most recent book, Silencing Science, was released in May 2016.

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Nicole Buisson

Nicole Buisson is an independent director and also works with technology companies on growth and scaling initiatives. She currently sits on the Boards of New Zealand Growth Capital Partners, The Icehouse and Mosaic Business Solutions. She formerly sat on MBIE's Small Business Council and the Boards of WEL Networks, Ultra Fast Fibre and Rose & Thorne. Her corporate background combines a mix of technology (AWS, Xero), venture capital and private equity (3i and E&Y's Venture Capital Advisory Group), and corporate innovation (Vodafone, HK CSL). Nicole holds an MBA from Columbia University and London Business School and is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors.

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Sally McKechnie

Sally McKechnie has more than 20 years experience as a public and administrative lawyer, advising and representing commercial entities, Government ministers, ministries, public sector and not for profit interests. She has experience working with and advising Crown and businesses entities in the science and innovation sector.  She founded and leads Simpson Grierson’s public law and government team in Wellington and earlier in her career she was Crown Counsel. Sally has had governance roles in the sport and not for profit sector, and is currently a director of Gymnastics New Zealand and Cricket Wellington. Sally holds an LLB(Hons) and a BA from Otago University, and a BCL and MPhil from Oxford University, where she attended as a Rhodes Scholar.

Updated: 10 July 2023