An experienced, commercially astute business exec, Amanda supports senior decision-makers with innovative solutions, clear information that’s tailored to context, and a straight-up personal style
Amanda joined us in 2018, bringing strong expertise in developing business cases and investment analysis, earned through her experience in both the private energy sector and New Zealand government. Her skill-set also includes designing and reviewing operating models and processes, and procuring and negotiating contracts.
Amanda is adept at putting well-thought-out solutions in front of decision-makers with clarity and a sense of their organisation’s key drivers and priorities. She understands that all options are likely to involve pragmatic trade-offs, and she makes sure senior leaders get a clear picture of all the real benefits, costs and compromises when they’re choosing the best option.
Amanda has also been highly effective as a programme manager who makes things happen – she has successfully managed a number of complex, multi-faceted projects all the way from inception to implementation. As well as the right technical expertise, Amanda has the interpersonal skills a manager needs to be able to influence all the critical factors that go into making a project succeed.
With a direct and personable style, Amanda knows that trust and honesty are central for successful working relationships. She prefers that key conversations happen face-to-face as much as possible – it’s important not only for building trust, but also for bringing to light all the necessary information. She sees busy, informal collaboration with both clients and colleagues as central for making sure all the key players have been talked to and all options considered.
Initially a geophysicist in both New Zealand and the UK, Amanda later became a commercial analyst and market development specialist, completing an MBA. After a period as a senior financial analyst at Treasury, she joined MAF Biosecurity New Zealand in 2004 as a Director of Business and Planning. There she was responsible for improving commercial practice and performance across the range of business service functions, including finance, planning, procurement, information management, HR, property services, and health and safety. Then, in 2010, Amanda joined Alinta Energy in Australia as Commercial Manager Wholesale Energy.
Examples of Amanda's work include:
- Leading and managing a major 18-month project defining MAF Biosecurity New Zealand’s business model. This included reviewing and mapping all current and expected business processes in line with the newly integrated organisation, as a platform for the organisation’s future.
- Leading the development of MAF Biosecurity New Zealand’s inaugural five-year Strategic Plan and Information Management Plan. The work included implementing the new plans through embedding budgeting, procurement and project management processes within the organisation.
- Designing, delivering and project-managing the Investment Analysis workstream required to develop a business case for a replacement border management system for New Zealand, including processes, systems, and change management. Amanda worked with senior executives of border agencies (MAF, Customs, Immigration, Police and Te Puni Kōkiri), as well as industry, to design the new business operating model and systems. She led the creation of the financial model to support the investment decision and worked with both internal clients (front-line operational managers) and industry clients (ports and logistics companies) to quantify the cost savings to be included in the business case.
- Developing and implementing a 10-year gas and electricity procurement strategy for Australian company Alinta Energy, including strategies for optimising the performance of the company’s gas and electricity portfolios
- Leading the process redesign and renegotiation of Alinta’s suite of contracts with a large industry player. This required establishing a cross-organisational team to investigate and implement improvements for both sides, which resulted from optimising the performance of operational assets located at an Alinta refinery. The key driver was to increase efficiency and financial returns for both organisations. The work included developing the project management framework, monitoring key milestones and risks, and reporting regularly to the senior executive.