National Board

Coastguard New Zealand Board

The Coastguard New Zealand Board governs the strategic direction of our national office. 

The composition of the Coastguard New Zealand Board is:

  • Led by a President who is nominated and elected by units
  • 4 Elected Members who are also nominated and elected by units
  • 4 Appointed Members who are appointed by the Board Appointments Panel


Mike Purchase

Mike has been involved in the telecommunications and technology industry for the last 33 years, the last 20 of which have been in Executive roles. Well versed in organisational change, talent management and governance, Mike brings strong technical, commercial and strategic experience.

Mike and 5 other shareholders sold their business in July 2015 to Vodafone NZ Ltd after successfully operating in the New Zealand market for over 17 years. Mike has professional senior executive experience and is a highly capable relationship and people manager. He has held Senior positions for multinationals along with large New Zealand Corporates such as New Zealand Post and Telecom before becoming a shareholder in WXC Ltd, employing 70 people in the NZ Telecommunications Industry.

Outside of work Mike is extensively involved in Coastguard volunteering holding a Masters CoC, Maritime NZ SRL. A Past President of Auckland Coastguard, Mike currently holds the elected position of President of Coastguard New Zealand. Additional interests are aviation, which sees Mike holding a Private Helicopter Pilot’s License, and motorsport.

Mike has a proven track record of driving projects and positive change. Mike has a philosophy of collaboration to achieve results and is a strong communicator. His involvement with both large Corporate work and volunteer based organisations provides him broad experience in applying this approach for results.


Elected Board Members

Pete Kara

Pete’s heritage is from Ngāti Rongomaiwahine. Pete is a current member of the CNZ Board and has been a volunteer with Nelson Coastguard for 14 years. He was previously the President of Coastguard Central Region and led the team successfully through the Project Horizon changes. Pete is an expert in Emergency Management and has had an extensive career as a chemical weapons specialist.

John Linn

John has been a volunteer with South Taranaki Coastguard for the past 18 years, has been on the CNZ Board for 2 years, was on the Central Region Board for 10 years – including as Chairman – and, during the past year, was Chair of the Project Horizon Board sub-committee. John runs and owns a highly successful industrial electrical business and was a dairy farmer in a previous life.

Ross Lockwood

Ross joined Waihi Beach Coastguard as a volunteer in mid-2019. Ross brings a wealth of commercial and corporate experience having held a combination of executive, general management and consulting roles in the telecommunications, air, power, postal, emergency services and health industries.

He has a track record in improving organisational performance – operationally and financially. Ross is a boatie, is a member of the NZ Law Society Standards Committee and a branch committee member of the Bay of Plenty Institute of Directors.


Appointed Board Members

Aaron Wallace

Aaron has been on the CNZ Board since 2013. He is the current Vice President, the Chair of the Audit and Risk sub-committee, Trustee of the CNZ Trust and was also a member of the Project Horizon sub-committee. Aaron is a founding partner and Director of the financial and advisory firm, Bellingham Wallace and is on multiple Boards in a wide variety of industries.

He is a Fellow Member of the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and has deep knowledge and understanding of Coastguard’s strategic and financial affairs and our somewhat intricate fiduciary needs. Aaron has been directly instrumental in the significant positive shift in CNZ’s financial position that has occurred over the past 8 years.

Evelyn Davis

Evelyn has an extensive background in strategic human resources, training and education, and health & safety. She has developed and implemented people and training strategies, at scale, for organisations like McDonald’s, Tegel Foods and Antares/Burger King – education and training being a key strategic lever for organisations in the hospitality and food industry – just as it is for Coastguard.

Evelyn has experience working with industry training organisations and has co-owned a computer training company. She has been on the Coastguard Northern Region Board for past 3 years and was a member of the Project Horizon sub-committee. Evelyn has also been a Trustee of various organisations, such as the Auckland Ronald McDonald House.

Liz Urquhart

Liz is currently GM of a portfolio of growth products at Spark, having spent two prior years as the organisation’s GM Group Strategy. Liz has experience in a wide variety of organisations from new start-ups (Liz was the founder and owner of a premium honey business) through to leading strategy and significant transformational change in large organisations. Liz brings extensive experience in collaborating with Boards and other key stakeholders – particularly in relation to the development and implementation of strategic plans.

Liz has a deep understanding of complex stakeholder relations having worked as an economic advisor and consultant to governments and other parties in New Zealand and internationally. Liz is mum to Conor (8) and lives in Auckland.

Susan Doughty

Susan lives in Mt Manganui with her husband, Graeme, and has 3 adult sons. Susan is well-versed in not-for-profit organisations: she is currently the Chair of DiversityWorks NZ (Equal Employment Opportunity Trust) and before that was the Chair of the YWCA. Susan is currently working with the CEO and Board of Zespri to review their global remuneration and mobility strategy.

Following the sale of her (co-owned) consulting business to EY in 2018, Susan was a Partner in the firm for several years. During this time, she advised and interacted with Boards in a wide variety of organisations and industries on people-related strategies. Susan then went on to become Fonterra’s Director of Talent and Engagement.


Co-opt Members

Bennett Medary

Bennett has held many roles during his 6.5 years with Coastguard. He is currently an active Master on board Coastguard Auckland's vessels ASB and Lion Foundation Rescue, a Coastguard and Regional Instructor and a Lead Radio Operator with Northern Communications and he has also been a Board Member on what was the Coastguard Northern Region Board. 

Bennett is a professional director and advisor specialising in governance, strategy and technology led transformation. With over a thirty-year career under his belt, he has worked with many organisations in the public, private and charitable sectors where he has developed some strong skills in deploying technology as a critical enabler for change, generating fresh thinking, balancing risk and empowering diverse high-performance teams.


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