Meet our management team, including our Chief Executive.
Meet our management team, including our Chief Executive.
Dr Allan Freeth took up the role of Chief Executive of the Environmental Protection Authority in September 2015.
He has extensive experience of both governance and management, and is well known across New Zealand’s business, cultural and public sectors.
Dr Freeth’s previous managerial roles include seven years as Chief Executive of TelstraClear Limited (2005–2012) and five years as Managing Director of Wrightson Limited (to 2004). Prior to that, he held senior management roles in Wrightson Rural and at Trust Bank New Zealand Limited.
He is Chair of Triplejump and Chairman of the Advisory Board of Global Film Solutions. Dr Freeth was Chair of Housing New Zealand Corporation until July 2015. He is also active in the not-for-profit sector with previous roles as Chair of Queen Margaret College and Save the Children NZ, Deputy Chairman of FilmNZ, and a Director of the Malaghan Institute. At present he is Deputy Chairman of Crimestoppers and acts as an advisor for a number of charities associated with child and youth organisations.
Dr Freeth holds a BSc (1st class Honours) degree in Zoology, a Doctorate in Philosophy in Population Genetics, and a MBA with Distinction.
Professor Mike Bunce joined the EPA as Chief Scientist in August 2019. He completed his undergraduate degree at Lincoln University (NZ), and his PhD at the Australian National University. He undertook post-doctoral training at Oxford (UK) and McMaster (Canada) Universities before moving to Perth, Western Australia in 2006 to start his own laboratory.
In 2014 he founded Curtin University’s Trace and Environmental DNA (TrEnD) laboratory. Through his research career Mike has developed and applied DNA techniques to characterise biological communities within a wide variety of biological samples from sediment and scat, to seawater and streams.
His research focus has spanned many areas of environmental science including; biodiversity assessment, impact assessment, archaeology, extinctions, food webs, biosecurity, marine conservation, and endangered species detection.
Before joining the EPA, Doug had worked in policy roles at Te Puni Kōkiri and Ministry for Primary Industries, and spent three years at Te Ohu Kaimoana, where he looked after Te Wai Māori Trust, freshwater fisheries, rock lobster, and other customary initiatives.
He is Chairman and Director for the Rongowhakaata Asset Holding Company and Horahorakakahu 1B Trust, and was previously a Director of the Eel Enhancement Company.
Doug studied Physical Geography, Māori Resource Management, and Māori Studies at Victoria University, and he is fluent in Te Reo Māori.
Siobhan has significant experience across the legal and regulatory landscape which means she brings a sound cross-organisational perspective to the acting role of Legal Counsel and General Manager, Legal.
She has been a part of the EPA since it was established in July 2011. Before that she was a senior solicitor with the Ministry for the Environment and also has worked as part of a specialist environmental law team at Chapman Tripp.
Siobhan has studied at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in Hamburg, holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Science from Victoria University and also holds a post graduate Diploma in Education. She has also held leadership positions in secondary school education and is currently the Deputy Chair for the Board of Land Search and Rescue NZ.
Diane joined the EPA in January 2016. Her background is in journalism and she has worked as a news reporter, feature writer and senior production executive on a range of national and local newspapers and magazines in London, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
She has held senior communications roles in the not-for-profit, corporate and government sectors, including New Zealand Food Safety Authority, Save The Children, Local Government New Zealand, TelstraClear, New Zealand Post and the Ministry of Education.
Her specialist areas include brand and reputation management, crisis management and strategic and operational planning.
Flora joined the EPA in January 2014. Prior to this, she managed the human resources function at Learning Media – a State-owned enterprise – where she was responsible for general and strategic human resources management, with specific involvement in the people aspects of a company acquisition and the merger of systems, processes and the managed wind-down of the organisation.
Flora has also held a variety of human resources and tax roles at Inland Revenue, providing generalist to subject matter expertise relating to the establishment of large programmes of work such as Kiwi Saver. She has worked as a tax consultant for KPMG and has carried out various accounting-related roles in the private sector.
Flora is a trustee for the Te Kotahitanga Social Services Trust in Northern Wellington and holds a Bachelor in Business Studies in Communications Media Management.
Philip joined the EPA in April 2017. He has significant experience in financial control, technical accounting and change management.
Before joining the EPA, Philip was a Senior Manager with KPMG for eleven years, providing technical accounting advisory services to clients in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors and also across a range of industry sectors. During this time, he acted in the role of Chief Financial Officer in NZX Limited and AMP Capital Investors NZ Limited for extended periods.
He has developed and presented many technical accounting courses on financial reporting frameworks, and the practical application of New Zealand International Financial Reporting Standards (NZ IFRS) and Public Benefit Entity (PBE) Standards. Prior to joining KPMG, Philip held a number of senior finance roles within large and listed agricultural and financial services corporates including PGG Wrightson Limited, Fonterra Cooperative Group Limited and Prudential Assurance Company NZ Limited.
Philip is a registered Chartered Accountant and Mentor with the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ). He holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration degree from Victoria University of Wellington.
Cherie joined the EPA in January 2014. Prior to joining, Cherie worked in a number of policy roles with the then Child, Youth and Family (now Oranga Tamariki), the Ministry for Women, and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
Cherie has also attended and represented New Zealand in a number of international forums, including the United Nations in New York.
Cherie holds a Bachelor of Agriculture (Economics) from Lincoln University and a Master of Public Policy from Victoria University.
Clark joined the EPA in June 2014 as senior advisor in the New Organisms team. He is responsible for risk assessing the importation, development and release of new organisms in New Zealand, including biological control agents.
He is seconded to the role of Acting General Manger to the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Group from July 2019.
Prior to joining, Clark held research development roles and worked in academia as postdoctoral research scientist in the field of applied and environmental microbiology. Clark holds a PhD in Microbial biotechnology and a Bachelor of Laws.
Gina has significant experience in the legal and regulatory landscapes; particularly in compliance, monitoring and enforcement, as well as in Privacy, inquiries and information law.
Her early career was spent as a Crown Prosecutor at Meredith Connell, then as a Crown Counsel in the Criminal Group at Crown Law Office Wellington, principally involved in criminal law. Since then, she has held a number of roles including as National Prosecutions Manager and Principal Legal Adviser for the Ministry for Primary Industries.
She also has the distinction of having served three terms as a Visiting Justice in prisons under the Corrections Act 2005, a role which required decision making in prison disciplinary hearings as well as other roles as a quasi-judicial officer.
She continues to be a member of the National Prosecutions Advisory Board, and has also contributed to a range of other steering or working groups across government and law enforcement, including law reform.
Michelle joined the EPA in 2011 when we took over the administration of the Emissions Trading Scheme. She brought with her a wealth of climate change experience, having worked for the Ministry for the Environment’s climate change team since 2006.
Since joining our Emissions Trading Scheme team Michelle has held a number of roles, including heading up the team as the Emissions Trading Scheme Operations Manager.
Previously, Michelle held roles with the Accident Compensation Corporation, including organisational development and Human Resources.
Michelle holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration from Victoria University.