Governance Bio
Benesia Smith
Appoint Professional

Benesia Smith

1 Year
Paid or Unpaid Roles

Interested In:


Private company
Listed company
Community Group
Government Sector Org
Non Governmental Organisation


Advisor / Advisory Board
Board Member
Committee Member
“A diverse and connected board leads to a smarter company. I am passionate about the different perspectives Māori women bring to boards/advisory committees. A deep knowledge of government and strong background in Strategic Thinking and Planning; Community Engagement and Issues Management. ”
Governance Roles

Non Executive Independent Director

Homecare Medical (New Zealand) Limited Partnership

December 2020 - Present (2 months)

Appointed as an independent Director in December 2020. Homecare Medical runs the National Telehealth Service which delivers free health and mental advice, support and information 24/7, 365 days a year. The Board overseas this important mahi.

Independent member

Ministerial Advisory Group: Better responses to Natural Disasters and Other Emergencies in NZ

May 2017 - November 2017 (6 months)

One of two independent members appointed to the Minister of Civil Defence’s advisory group providing advice on whether NZ’s emergency response capabilities and framework was well placed to meet future challenges. Report submitted to Minister in November 2017. Report publicly released January 2018.

Executive Roles

Co-founder and Director

SSA Consulting Limited

February 2018 - Present (3 years)

A family-owned boutique company specialising in organisational performance and public policy services. This involves, for example, with clients to provide management and leadership support; community engagement strategies and advice; government policy and relations advice; and strategy development and planning.

Executive Director

Royal Commission into the Terrorist Attack on Christchurch Mosques on 15 March 2019

April 2019 - February 2021 (1 years)

Responsible for the provision of effective leadership, management and administrative support to enable the effective delivery of the Royal Commission’s Terms of Reference. Reporting to the two members of the Royal Commission. Report presented to Governor-General in November 2020 and presented to the House of Representatives in December 2020.

Head of EQCs Public Inquiry team

Earthquake Commission

January 2019 - July 2020 (1 years)

Responsible for working with the Board and Executive Leadership Team to develop EQCs strategy, narrative, input into, and initial response to, the Public Inquiry into the Earthquake Commission. Led small team of advisors and worked with Legal Counsel on the nature and extent of the advice and provision of information.

Sole trader

BDS Consulting Limited

September 2016 - January 2018 (1 years)

Working with clients on a range of government policy initiatives, community engagement strategies and advice, natural disaster and risk resilience issues.

Deputy Chief Executive, Strategy and Recovery Policy (and various other senior leadership roles)

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority

June 2011 - April 2016 (4 years)

Catalysed action across the organisation and recovery partners (local authorities, Te Rūnanga o Ngai Tahu, the Community Form) to provide whole-of-recovery (system), intelligence/insights and advice on the medium to long-term direction for the recovery of greater Christchurch from the Canterbury Earthquake sequence. Oversaw the the policy and legislation development of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act 2011 and Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act 2016. Provided advice to the Advisory Board n Transition to Long Term Arragements for Greater Christchurch Recovery.


Institute of Directors NZ

Company Directors’ Residential Course, Company Directors’ roles and responsibilities

2016 - 2016

University of Waikato

Bachelor of Laws, Law

1991 - 1994