Our Team

Meet the Team

Nigel Davenport 

Chief Executive nigel@venturetimaru.nz

Nigel has over 35 years’ experience in the financial services sector and brings a varied set of business skills, knowledge, and networks to the role of Chief Executive of Venture Timaru. Having first-hand experience as a business owner through to various governance roles and involvement with a number of community organisations enables Nigel to fully understand the challenges and opportunities facing new and existing local businesses.

He currently serves as a board member on Sport Canterbury and Economic Development New Zealand. He is a Trustee of the Aoraki MRI Trust and Aoraki Sports Persons Charitable Trust and serves as a Management Committee Member for the Canterbury Tactix.

Nigel is a member of the Canterbury Regional Skills Leadership Group, the Canterbury Mayoral Forums Education and Skills Group, the Ministry of Educations Pathways Advisory Group and was a member of the Unified Funding Group assisting design the new funding model for Vocational Education.

A born and bred parochial South Cantabrian he is passionate about the region and doing what he can to make this an even better place to visit, live and do business.


Di Hay

Operations Manager  di@venturetimaru.nz

With a background in communications and marketing, Di has worked in print and radio journalism, public relations, marketing and on-air presenting for commercial radio. She has also been involved in establishing and running two retail businesses, and a wholesale business specialising in importing goods.

Di holds a Graduate Diploma in Business Studies from Massey University and Certificates in Journalism and Adult Teaching.


Courtney has a background in tourism, graduating from the Diploma in Tourism Course at Aoraki Polytechnic in 2013. The past 4 years Courtney has been working at the Timaru Information Centre as a Sales and Promotions manager. Her passion is in customer relations and office administration work.

Courtney completed her secondary schooling on the West Coast in the town of Greymouth, soon after she moved to Timaru which she calls home.


Alice Gray

Financial Controller, BCA, CA  alice@venturetimaru.nz

Alice has been an accountant since 1978 and enjoys working with clients to provide timely advice.  Previously, Alice tutored Business Studies at the local polytechnic for approximately 20 years, heading the department in latter years. She thoroughly enjoyed passing on her extensive knowledge of Business Studies.

Alice specialises in accounting, tax and small business profitability.


Kate O'Connell

Visitor Promotions Specialist - Venture Timaru  kate@venturetimaru.nz

Kate has a background in design and marketing across a range of industries, but specifically tourism. Previous to working for Venture Timaru she had a marketing business that specialised in getting businesses thriving online. Digital marketing is Kate’s main area of interest, and meeting and working with stakeholders and business owners across the tourism and hospitality sector to grow our share of the tourism market.

Kate has a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in marketing from the University of Otago.


Renee Sargent

Digital Marketing Co-ordinator renee@venturetimaru.nz

Renee has a background in design, graduating from ARA institute of Canterbury with a Diploma in Digital Media and Design, giving her a range of skills in design, photography, marketing and more.

This is her first big step in the career direction she wants to head, after previously working in customer service for 7 years.


Keely Munro

Personal Assistant to CE/Business Support Officer  keely@venturetimaru.nz

Keely is originally from Christchurch, she has spent the past 14 years mainly sheep and beef farming in the Pleasant Point area and now lives in rural Timaru.  She has a background in administration and sales but in more recent years, her time has been spent raising three young children.

Keely's role is business support officer and PA to the CE, and she'll be working on a variety of our projects.