Susan Sawbridge

Manager New Zealand Major Events
New Zealand Major Events
Susan Sawbridge2

Susan Sawbridge leads New Zealand Major Events, housed within MBIE.  The team has responsibility for the Crown’s role in the 36th America’s Cup, the Major Events Fund, and coordinates major event support and leverage across government.  Susan has a background in destination development across tourism, international education, business events and major events.  She is also a director and founding member of the International Association of Event Hosts. 

Peter Cox

Chief of Operations
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My current role is Chief of Operations for APEC21 and I am tasked with providing leadership, assurance and connectivity across events planning and delivery to ensure the operational success of New Zealand’s APEC hosting year.  This includes the planning and implementation of all APEC events and associated logistics in line with the established hosting objectives, the expectations of the Government and within the allocated funding. My responsibility includes working in close partnership with New Zealand Police, host cities, other key stakeholders and alongside APEC21 Programme leaders responsible for APEC policy and maximising the opportunities from the hosting year.  


Prior to this role I worked at Sport New Zealand in Wellington for 12 years. For much of that time I was Manager Major Events providing end-to-end strategic and operational support to over a hundred mega/major sporting events in New Zealand. I also had roles as Manager High Performance Facilities overseeing development of a network of world-class daily training environments, Acting Manager Stakeholder Engagement and as Head of the Culture Team at Sport New Zealand.

I have always been motivated by the desire to create value for society and to help people explore and grow to their full potential. Major events have been a wonderful way to do this through the variety of benefits they offer and the stretch they demand from those working on them and participating in them.

Tom Mayo

Company Director & Co-founder
Mayo & Calder
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Mayo and Calder is the exclusive event delivery company for both the Defender and Challenger of the 36thAmericas Cup. Managing both events (The Match and Challenger series) for up to sixteen weeks, the AC is the largest sports event to hit NZ since the RWC 2011.

Mayo and Calder are a private company who have delivered Major Events across Asia Pacific, most recently the 2018 Volvo Ocean Race in Auckland, Melbourne and Hong Kong. The 2018 Hong Kong Volvo Ocean Race was the largest sports event funded by the HK government and Mayo and Calder took the opportunity (and full risk) to deliver and produce the event. The Company has delivered, end to end, six major international sports events, generating millions in sponsorship, managed government funds and delivered in some of the most remote and time pressured environments. 

Aaron Carter

Owner & Director
Total Sport
Aaron Carter

Aaron founded Total Sport in 2000, and could probably write a book on the steps not to take in forming start-ups! 


We’re a small team with a big passion for creating opportunities for like-minded people to experience some of the most stunning natural landscapes in New Zealand, this magnificent playground we get to call home. We are all about creating challenging and inspiring experiences in stunning natural locations. Our products are great events, our business is people.


We stand by our pillars and values every day as they shape our business, our decisions and our actions. In all we do we aim to be Inclusive, Innovative, Inspiring, Sustainable, and to operate with Integrity at all times.


In the Total Sport event portfolio nowadays are approx. 20 annual events, all in the outdoor participation-based sport and recreation space.

Andrew O’Loughlin

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Andrew O’Loughlin is a Melbourne based Event Advisor, Author, Trainer and Mentor, and co-host of ‘The Event Show’ podcast.  Having been in events for over 25 years, Andrew spent the last decade leading an international event agency and is now helping people create more successful events, and be more successful as event people. 

With vast experiences across major events, festivals, corporate, brand, sport, and government-related campaigns; Andrew is now leading and facilitating learning experiences with event leaders like you. 

Andrew’s approach uses leading ‘Experience Design’ methods, to create more influential events and influential event people.  

Paul Kean

Events Production Team Coordinator
Christchurch City Council
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Paul is Christchurch born and has lived in the city most of his life. As a Council Events Co-ordinator for 14 years he's been project lead for KidsFest and the hugely popular SummerTimes Festival programme which includes favourites such as Sparks, Kite Day, Summer Theatre and Lazy Sundays.

 Prior to joining the CCC Events Production Team Paul cut his teeth in Event Production as the Student Activities Co-ordinator at the University Of Canterbury for 16 years. This included producing huge Orientation Festivals, Graduation Balls, the notorious End of Lectures Tea Party and weekly lunchtime concerts along with enabling the student performing arts clubs to flourish.


Paul sits in the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame celebrating his halcyon days with Toy Love and is a founding member of The Bats who have recorded 10 albums and toured the world many times since 1982. He has also helped produce performances for New Zealand Music Month and recently played with The Bats at the Christchurch Town Hall as part of the Arts Festival programme.

Paul says his background as a musician has helped in his role at the Council. "To be known and have a bit of a profile in the industry certainly helps when you're knocking on doors or phoning performers up. It's an advantage for all for me to see events production from both sides."

Rosaria Ferguson

Event Producer
Boma New Zealand
Rosaria Ferguson

Rosaria see’s events as opportunities for experiential transformation or space to see or try a new perspective. Crafting events utilises her practical knowledge, creativity, problem solving and organisation skills as she turns ideas into actions, testing new concepts and supporting youth projects.
Events are the pinnacle of all the things I love - people, food, music, connection, exploration and vibrancy.

Rosaria has worked in many different environments, on a wide range of projects and events in all areas from Sustainability Management to Stage Management in both community and private sectors; Free, Public events to Charity Dinners. 

Karena Finnie

Head of Major and Business Events

Karena Finnie has recently joined ChristchurchNZ as Head of Major & Business Events after a 13 year career in the Events & Arts Team at the Christchurch City Council.

Karena has held senior management and advisory roles working across many major and community events including FIFA U20 World Cup, ICC Cricket World Cup, World Bowls Championships, KidsFest, SummerTimes and Christchurch’s ever so popular Botanic D’Lights. 

In 2011 Karena worked for Rugby NZ 2011 as Regional City Liaison Manger for Rugby World Cup.

Karena has been one of the driving forces in Christchurch behind the attraction, sponsorship and development of events in the city. Developing bid documents, producing events, managing famils, developing leverage and legacy plans along with the procurement of commercial sponsorships.

Deane Simmonds

Acting Head of Major Events

An accomplished executive manager across commercial, arts and events sectors and acknowledged as a results-driven leader, having consistently achieved business growth objectives throughout his career.

Deane is passionate, resolute and relishes the challenges of rapid change environments with multiple project objectives to deliver at once. His success comes from building strong partnerships and being adept at building and motivating cross-functional teams through empowerment, accountability and celebrating success.