The BoardWorks team are full time practitioners, educators and writers. We are committed to constantly developing our knowledge of good practice governance.

 

Our Philosophy

Our approach is informed by having been engaged exclusively as consultants to governing boards for more than 25 years. We have been directors and board chairs ourselves, and chief executives reporting to boards. That experience is complemented by our long-term commitment to research and the discipline of publishing our views on board effectiveness. It has given us an unrivalled knowledge of the challenges faced by boards and where they typically struggle.

Our People

John Page

John Page

Managing Director

John joined BoardWorks from a career of major non-profit roles and fourteen years of governance consulting in the crown sector.

John joined BoardWorks after leading Sport New Zealand’s highly regarded governance programme. Its resources, notably the Nine Steps to Effective Governance, are in use across New Zealand and around the world. The now widely embraced Governance Mark accreditation system is a world first. John also led the organisation's gender diversity work resulting in women's representation on sport and recreation sector boards moving from 25% to 37% over six years.

Prior to crossing to the sport world John had a long career in the arts, as a manager, consultant and freelance producer. He worked across most performing arts disciplines including time in theatre, orchestras and festivals and was for six years General Manager of the Royal New Zealand Ballet.

John's formal training is in teaching and business, specifically marketing.

 

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Graeme Nahkies

Graeme Nahkies

Practice Leader and Co-founder

Graeme came to full-time governance consulting after a successful career as a chief executive, policy analyst and project manager. He has been an active director and chair.

Graeme’s senior roles have included Deputy Chief Executive of the then Housing Corporation of New Zealand, Chief Executive of the Waikato Regional Council, and Chief Executive of Hutt Valley Health Corporation Ltd, a Crown Health Enterprise. He has also undertaken acting chief executive roles for client boards.

Graeme has postgraduate qualifications in Geography, Sociology, Town Planning and Public Policy from Canterbury, Auckland and Victoria Universities. He has also completed a range of executive development programmes in New Zealand, and leading business schools in the US and the UK.

Graeme also has extensive experience in a range of governance roles (mostly as a board chair) in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. He is a Chartered Member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors' and a past winner of that organisation's National Study Award.

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Helen Burt

Helen Burt

Associate

Helen has specialist skills in culture development, team behaviour and performance, and interpersonal relationships.

Her key strength is getting to the source of business challenges, be they operational or behavioural, identifying a clear path forward and supporting teams and individuals on this path. She has experience across a range of industries, strategic alliances and major government projects.

As an Associate of BoardWorks she brings these skills to boards and executive teams to build collaboration, positive relationships, and enhance individual, team and organisation performance. Particular areas of interest and expertise include:

  • Working with boards to enhance their understanding of their role in organisational culture
  • Supporting boards to create positive relationships through understanding board dynamics and individual behaviours and styles
  • Building engagement and strong relationships between the Chair and CEO
  • Identifying and understanding the underlying dysfunctions in the boardroom.
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Craig Fisher

Craig Fisher

Associate

Craig is an acknowledged expert in financial and performance reporting. He is an experienced non-profit director and chair.

Until recently (2019) he was chair of the RSM New Zealand group and one of their six audit partners.  He is a Fellow Chartered Accountant with thirty years of public practice accountancy experience.  Specialising in audit he has strong critical analysis, risk awareness, and investigation skills. 

His work across government, commercial, and non-profit sectors has seen him provide external audit, assurance, risk management and governance advice across a diverse range of organisations.  He also has experience with high growth organisations and pragmatically assisting clients through the challenges of change and restructures.

Craig has had over twenty years involvement in professional standard setting for audit, assurance, ethics and accounting standards both in New Zealand and internationally.  For nine years he chaired one of the two professional standard setting boards of the then Institute of Chartered Accountants of New Zealand.  He was subsequently appointed to the External Reporting Board’s New Zealand Audit and Assurance Board on its establishment by the Government in 2011 until stepping off that in 2020.  He currently chairs the XRB’s External Reporting Advisory Panel.

Craig has a strong interest in organisational success and good practice and was awarded his Fellowship for services to the profession over twenty years in writing, education, and standard setting.   He is a regular presenter to a variety of audiences with topics including accounting, audit, risk, fraud prevention, governance etc.

He has a particular interest in impact measurement, organisational sustainability, integrated reporting and growing importance of climate change risk.

Craig holds a number of governance roles including chair of the Fred Hollows Foundation New Zealand, a trustee of Sustainable Coastlines Charitable Trust, an independent Councillor of Auckland District Law Society, independent chairman of Ngati Whatua Orakei’s Risk Assurance and Audit Committee, as well as a variety of other advisory roles.

He is a chartered member of the Institute of Directors.

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Sarah Exeter

Sarah Exeter

Associate

Sarah has a strong background in not-for-profit governance in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

She has been Head of Governance for Arts Council England and previous to that, undertook the same role across the four Tate galleries in the United Kingdom.  Closer to home she held a similar role for Unitec Institute of Technology.

Sarah has a keen interest in board diversity, Māori governance and emerging governance trends especially the role of culture at the board table.

Sarah is currently company secretary to several start-ups and SMEs.  

She has iwi affiliations to Ngati Hei and Ngati Tokurehe.

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Terry Kilmister

Terry Kilmister

Co-founder and advisor

Terry has consulted for over 30 years with organisations of all sizes and types across the commercial, public and not-for-profit sectors.

Now retired from consulting he remains an advisor to the company and an active director and chair.  Terry's work, both in Australia and in New Zealand, has been across all sectors from large publicly listed companies to a wide range of not-for-profit organisations with a focus on sport sector boards.

In his own right and in a writing partnership with Graeme Nahkies, Terry has written and published books and more than 300 articles addressing corporate governance issues. He has written best practice governance manuals for both Australian and New Zealand public entities and contributed to university texts.

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