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Director and Authority profiles

MNZ is made up of a Board of five members appointed by the Minister of Transport. The Board appoints the Director of Maritime New Zealand, who has independent statutory powers under the Maritime Transport Act 1994.

Keith Manch

Keith Manch – Director

Keith took over the role of Chief Executive and Director of MNZ on 5 December 2011. He has worked in the public sector since 1977 and brings extensive leadership experience in a number of policy and operational senior leadership positions in regulation, compliance and enforcement.

After starting his working life in the NZ Police, Keith has worked at the Commerce Commission, as the General Manager of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, as the General Manager of Gambling and Censorship Compliance and Enforcement at the Department of Internal Affairs, as the General Manager Integrity Services at the Ministry of Social Development and as Deputy Secretary, Regulation and Compliance at the Department of Internal Affairs. Immediately prior to joining MNZ Keith was, for a short period of time, the Chief Executive of the Real Estate Agents Authority – the Crown Agent responsible for regulating real estate agents.

He has a Master of Communications degree from Victoria University and is an alumni of the Government Advanced Leadership Programme. He has had a long involvement in work to develop professional regulatory practice in New Zealand.


David Ledson

David Ledson – Chairman

David was born in Reefton. In April 2009 he retired from the Royal New Zealand Navy after 42 years service – spending the last 5 years as Chief of Navy. He had a variety of appointments at sea, ashore, in New Zealand and overseas. With his wife Barbara, he divides his time between Wellington and Otaki.

David was appointed Chairman in February 2010.


Peter Cowper

Peter Cowper

Peter is Owner/Director at Quorum Group Ltd providing consultancy services with a focus on organisational effectiveness, operations and service delivery, along with mentoring senior managers and executives. Peter has extensive management experience, through a variety of roles including COO at WelTec, CEO at Digital Porirua Trust, General Manager, Science and Engineering Services at BRANZ and General Manager, Network Delivery at Telecom.

He became a member of the Authority in May 2011 and is also Chair of the Centre for Fine Woodworking Trust in Nelson.


Belinda Vernon

Belinda Vernon

Belinda is an Auckland-based consultant with a background in accounting, shipping and conservation. She has worked in senior accounting and management roles in the shipping industry in New Zealand for Tasman Express Line Ltd and McKay Shipping Ltd. Her initial shipping experience was gained with Ellerman City Liners in London.

Belinda was a Member of Parliament from 1996-2002 and is a director of the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences Ltd (GNS Science) and a trustee of the Auckland Philharmonia Foundation. She recently completed a 10-year term as a trustee of the Motutapu Restoration Trust.