Our Team

Meet the Team

Nigel Davenport 

Chief Executive

Nigel has over 30 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 serves as a board member on Sport Canterbury, Independent Advisory Board Chairman of 100% Pure New Zealand Honey (NZ’s largest privately owned exporter of manuka honey) and is a past Chairman and Mayoral Trustee of the Aoraki Foundation. He is also Trustee of the Aoraki MRI Trust and also of Aoraki Sports Persons Charitable Trust.

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

Di Hay

Operations Manager



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 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 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.

Vish Gupte

Business Support Officer



Vish is an administration professional with years of experience in government and private sector organizations supporting the managers, executives and the team to deliver excellent client experience. Vish holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Management in Business and Tourism Management. She also holds a bachelor's degree in French Language with Japanese. Her passion is in administrative governance support.

She is a sport enthusiast and Secretary of Timaru Badminton Club. She enjoys playing badminton in her leisure.

Our Board of Directors

Mark Rogers, Professional Director, Board Chairman

Mark Rogers, chairman

Mark is a professional director. Mark holds Chair and Director roles on a number of Boards. Mark has a broad background in governance and experience to Chief Executive level. He has worked in both the commercial and governmental spheres and has expertise in the economic development, tourism and infrastructure sectors. Mark is experienced in strategy, finance and operations with specialist knowledge of change, risk and health and safety. He is a member of the Institute of Directors in New Zealand, the Business Leaders’ Health and Safety Forum and Risk NZ. Mark holds a BA (Hons) in Political Science.

Nicky Hyslop, Company Director and Rural Professional

In partnership with her husband Jonty, Nicky owns and farms Levels Estate, an intensive sheep, beef and arable irrigated property on the outskirts of Timaru. She has worked for 20 years in the sheep, beef & deer industry as a registered farm advisor, predominantly in Canterbury with Macfarlane Rural Business.  Nicky holds director positions with Opuha Water Limited (Vice Chair), Beef+Lamb NZ, Chair of Craighead School Board of Proprietors and advisory board positions on several private farming companies. Nicky has a passion for rural New Zealand, its communities and sustainable agriculture.

Warren Park, Company Owner/Director

Warren is the joint owner of retail clothing businesses Camerons Clothing and Evolv with 4 stores in Timaru, Waimate and Oamaru. With 33 years hands-on retail experience and 14 years of ownership he has embraced the need to continually adapt to the changing face of retail and is passionate about the future growth of this sector in South Canterbury. Proudly born and bred in Timaru, Warren and his wife Beth have two school-age children and enjoy being actively involved in this family-friendly community.

Raeleen de Joux

Raeleen was born in Gore and brought up in a small Southland rural community. She is from a nursing, public health and health education background and currently employed as a tutor in the Department of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health at Ara Institute of Canterbury. Raeleen is a sitting member of South Canterbury District Health Board.

She has lived in the Aoraki region for 46 years. In partnership with her husband Chris, she is a Director of Charoux Partnership , a local building company. She loves Timaru and South Canterbury and believes it is the best place in the world to bring up a family.

Raeleen has a strong commitment to community development and enjoys her involvement in several community groups, organisations and sporting bodies. She is the Chairperson of Te Aitarakihi Trust Inc and actively involved in the ongoing development of Te Aitarakihi Multicultural Centre.

Erin McNaught, Company Owner/Director

Erin is the joint owner of Industrial Controls South Canterbury Ltd, and has been actively involved in developing this business from its start in 1996 to present day with a team of over 100.

She has a background in business administration and human resources, with particular interest in the people that make our businesses and communities successful.   This has led to a return to formal education, with current part-time study toward a Bachelor of Applied Management specialising in Human Resource & Strategic Management which will be completed in 2020.  Erin works alongside her partner of 30 plus years, David Stickings, and together they have two children, who are both also doing tertiary studies.

Erin was born in Timaru and is passionate about our region and all that it has to offer.