Governance Bio
Helen Mexted
Appoint Professional

Helen Mexted

14 Years
Paid or Unpaid Roles

Interested In:


Private company
Listed company
Government Sector Org
Non Governmental Organisation
Sport & Physical Recreation Orgs
Council Controlled Organisation


Advisor / Advisory Board
Board Member
“I have a strong corporate and public sector background with specialist skills in strategy, change leadership, governance at project, programme, executive and Board level, corporate communication, stakeholder engagement, PR and external relations, brand, marketing, digital, product and business development and I am looking to contribute further at board level”


Special Interest Groups

Governance Roles

Independent Director

WRC Holdings, Port Investments, Greater Wellington Rail Ltd

August 2019 - Present (4 months)

Independent director for the investments and commercial businesses of the Greater Wellington Regional Council: port and rail.

Board Member

New Zealand Walking Access Commission

August 2018 - Present (1 years)

Crown Entity providing leadership and administering a national strategy to provide free, certain, enduring and practical access to the outdoors. Member Audit and Risk Committee.

Board of Governors

Scots College

January 2010 - April 2017 (7 years)

Leading independent boys school Years 1 - 13, 50+ staff, $30m revenue, Chair Marketing & Business Development Committee; Chair Health & Safety Committee; Member Finance, Audit & Risk Committee


Wellington After-Care Association

January 2009 - January 2012 (3 years)

Not-for-profit disability services organisation managing 7 service centres, Vice-President and Chair HR Committee

Executive Roles

Group GM Communications and Engagement

Ministry of Social Development

August 2018 - Present (1 years)

I manage the Communications and Engagement function and team of 50 across the MSD group and range of services with responsibility for corporate affairs, public affairs, stakeholder engagement, brand, media, digital, channels, client communications, campaigns and internal communication and engagement. Ex-officio member of the Leadership Team, member of the People, Culture and Strategy group and the People, Culture and Change LT governance committee. Responsible for a significant programme of transformation across the function and part of MSD’s wider strategy and change programme oversight group.

Deputy Chief Executive Advocacy

Local Government New Zealand

June 2013 - August 2018 (5 years)

I represented the interests of New Zealand’s 78 councils where my role was to lead sector and organisational strategy, policy development, marketing and communications to increase sector voice and advocate on key issues, and sector performance and programme initiatives to deliver better economic, social, environmental and cultural outcomes for communities. I was a member of the executive, report to the Board and lead governance and operations of Board sub-committees, advisory groups, and inter-governmental initiatives. I acted as Chief Executive to cover periods of leave and I was a key person in relationships with ministers, government agencies, NGO stakeholders and media. Over my tenure I developed and led out significant pan-sector initiatives including the CouncilMARK performance programme, 2050 local government strategic analysis, the local government funding review, Vote 2016, Housing 2030, Water 2050, climate change and risk management projects, and the annual local government conference and Excellence Awards.

GM Marketing

Public Trust

October 2011 - June 2013 (1 years)

I was a member of the executive, reported to the Chief Executive and Board for business unit activity, and led a team of 24 responsible for marketing strategy, planning, customer insight, brand, corporate and marketing communications, direct and digital campaigns, product management, and portfolio management for the customer and product change programme. I developed marketing strategy and activity plans for revenue growth, and was a key participant in a new enterprise strategic framework and value chain project and the annual Statement of Intent. My team and I also led a full strategic product review, identifying services for growth and closure, negotiated commercial service agreements with the Crown, and developed customer strategy, segmentation and customer experience models working closely with front-line sales, service and operations teams. I was also responsible for ministerial, select committee, government agency and media relationships.

GM Sales, Marketing & Communications


March 2010 - August 2011 (1 years)

I was a member of the executive, reported to the Chief Executive and and led the Sales, Marketing and Communications team of 26 people during a time of significant organisational growth and change. I was responsible for strategic brand development, product and member growth, sales and marketing, competitor strategy, communications and stakeholder relations. During this time I redesigned team capability via structural changes and new talent, and introduced strategic and operational activities to deliver a higher profile and member engagement and growth, and a more commercial and customer-oriented culture. This improved customer perceptions and reduced competitive threat. I also established a new partnership programme, website, and digital and social media strategy, and strategic projects including a youth programme which resulted in a four-fold increase in the student pipeline within 12 months.

GM Membership & Business Development

Federated Farmers

January 2009 - March 2010 (1 years)

I led a team of 19 across marketing, communications, business development, regional and national sales and service, and administration. Reporting to Chief Executive, I also worked closely with the Board and the 24 Provincial Presidents (together its National Council) and was responsible for 95% of entities’ funding via membership and non-membership revenue, the growth and retention of 26,000 members, as well as the marketing strategy, development of commercial products and services, loyalty offers and Partner Programme, and key relationships with partners and sponsors.

GM Funding & Corporate Services

St Laurence

January 2005 - January 2009 (4 years)

I led a team of 14 across Australasia for this $1.8 billion property investment and finance group with NZX and NZDX-listed funds, reporting to the MD and working closely with the Directors and fund Boards on strategy, credit ratings and transactions. I was responsible for group product development, marketing, communications, PR and external/investor relations; client and intermediary relationships, sales and business development; registry, operations, sales and service teams; and People, IT and Administration. I led changes to team capability and culture to transform the organisation to a high performing corporate model, developing brand values and behaviour and people performance systems. During this period the company had significant growth in both profile and funding including a 200% increase in direct and intermediary customers; $100 million (56%) growth in mortgage-backed funding; and $30 million in both bond and rights issues. I also played a key part in group restructuring and recapitalisation including managing clients, media and communications during the challenging financial events of 2008.

Head of Marketing & Communications


January 2001 - January 2005 (4 years)

I reported to the Chief Executive Investments and was a member of the NZ Leadership Group, Australasian Strategic Communications Group and the NZ Brand and Marketing Committee. I led research and analysis, customer acquisition and retention, development and delivery of new products, and the brand, marketing and communications team of 12 for the investment business.

Advertising & Loyalty Manager


April 1998 - December 1998 (8 months)

Responsible for NZ branding, marketing, promotional and research activity; management and revamp of the AA Rewards loyalty programme (including working with the programme's Board); and the management of all promotional activity across Fuel, Lubes and Shop products. I was also a member of the BP international branding committee responsible for the Positive Energy brand position.

Marketing Communications Manager

Contact Energy

January 1998 - January 2001 (3 years)

Managed brand, marketing and communications - including customer retention/acquisition, market research, loyalty initiatives and sponsorship; and guided product development. I led the development of the retail marketing function and integration of newly acquired customers into Contact's retail operations. I also developed and implemented market and brand positioning (using extensive qualitative and quantitative customer research), developed a new brand identity and guided the launch of the 'Dual Energy' product.

Account Director

Ammirati Puris Lintas

January 1995 - January 1998 (3 years)

Developed integrated advertising and communications solutions for the agency's largest clients including Lever Rexona, Boots Healthcare, NZ Police (Alcohol Moderation and Family Violence social marketing campaigns) and Bayer (animal health and crop science); and provided marketing direction on some of New Zealand's most well known brands including Jif, Handy Andy, Sunlight, Sun, Surf, Strepsils and Nurofen.

Consumer Product Manager


January 1994 - January 1995 (1 years)

Responsible for the NZ Consumer Pharmaceutical Business (brands included Phenergan, Tixylix, Oruvail and Anthisan) including portfolio, brand and product management; promotion, new product development and management of major Ethical pharmaceutical lines. Worked closely with the Australian office on several new products and brand extensions; and grew the Consumer business by over 25% during this time through implementation of innovative sales and marketing initiatives and programmes with the internal sales staff and the retail network.

Product Development Manager / Brand Manager

NZ Lotteries

January 1991 - January 1994 (3 years)

Managed strategic and tactical development of the Instant Kiwi brand and product range including significant qualitative and quantitative research, re-launch, NPD, promotion and trade communication to the retail network (around 35 new products annually); plus significant advertising and promotional campaigns. The Instant Kiwi Attitude campaign won numerous awards and assisted in brand re-positioning and a favourable change in image; and new product launches and brand extensions resulted in sizeable sales growth.

Business Solutions Manager / Business Analyst


January 1989 - January 1991 (2 years)

Assessed and implemented opportunities for new products/services/markets from business case to marketing plans (including 0900, Distance Leaning, ISDN, Video-Conferencing and High Speed Data Services); also developed and implemented plans for Residential, Government and Professional Services sectors.


Oxford University: Said Business School

Strategic Leadership Programme, Strategy and leadership

2019 - 2019

Institute of Directors

Company Directors Programme, Governance

2012 - 2012

Massey Graduate School of Business

Short Course, Public Sector / Corporate Governance

2008 - 2008

Victoria University of Wellington

MBA, (Strategy, Finance, Governance, International Marketing, Leading Change)

2003 - 2005

Massey University - Palmerston North

BBS, Business - Marketing

1986 - 1988