Senior Leadership Team

Portait of John Allen.

John Allen

Chief Executive

John is WellingtonNZ’s CEO, leading the charge in our ambition to make the Wellington region wildly famous.

John is an experienced chief executive, having led New Zealand Post, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the New Zealand Racing Board. As a civic leader in the region, he is focused on supporting the region to prosper in the post-COVID-19 world.

“Wellington needs to be confident of our future, what will define it and how it will be delivered. To thrive we need a flourishing economy where more people can participate in its benefits. WellingtonNZ has a key role to play in paving the way for a prosperous future and attracting the talent, students, events and visitors and investment that will make that happen.”

Portrait of Heidi Morton.

Heidi Morton

Chief Operating Officer

Heidi heads up the teams that deliver support services across WellingtonNZ in People & Culture, Health & Safety, Finance, and IT. Business Services also assist WellingtonNZ teams with Corporate Services, Legal, Board Secretariat and Risk work.

A born and bred Wellingtonian with a varied career across the globe, Heidi ensures her teams are working as valued business partners and strives to make the mundane enjoyable.

“We’re a team of people who are wildly passionate about Wellington and want to see this region succeed. WellingtonNZ has a wide and varied mandate and need to ensure we have the right people, capability and resources to deliver a positive impact for the region’s economy.”

Portrait of Toni Kerr.

Toni Kerr

General Manager, Māori Economic Development and Strategy

Toni Kerr is leading WellingtonNZ’s strategic response to Māori economic development. She will work with key partners towards an inclusive economy. This is so Māori can gain opportunities to grow wealth and prosperity for themselves and future generations.

Toni lives in the Wairarapa and grew up in Upper Hutt, with affiliations to Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga and Ngāti Tūwharetoa. With 30-plus years of experience in financial services, Toni’s previous roles have been at Te Puni Kōkiri and Te Pūtea Matua/RBNZ. This reflects her focus on Māori economic development. She also holds governance roles for investment entities across several .

“I’m incredibly fortunate to be involved in mahi that contributes to growing awareness of the Māori economy and its potential for the region. Improving the support for Māori has benefits for the wider economy.”

Headshot of Stuart Taylor.

Stuart Taylor

General Manager Business and Innovation

Stu heads up the teams that are focused on Jobs for the future — supporting businesses to grow, innovate and meet future workforce needs across Te Upoko o Te Ika (Wellington Region).

WellingtonNZ’s Business & Innovation Unit brings together Screen Wellington (Regional Film Office), Business Growth, Regional Economic Development, Māori and Pasifika, and Workforce Development.

We work in partnership, support investments and aim to deliver the objectives of the Wellington Regional Economic Development Plan on behalf of the Wellington Regional Leadership Committee, Wairarapa Economic Development Strategy, Regional Business Partners Programme and the Screen Sector Strategy.

Since moving from the UK in 2006, Stu has led a number of complex work programmes across Aotearoa and supported Ministers, including Regional Economic Development, Destination Management and Tourism recovery, collaborative catchment management, and contaminated site remediation, and has managed numerous central government funds.

Portrait of Todd Barberel.

Todd Barberel

General Manager Destination, Marketing and Communications

Todd heads the destination team that is responsible for trade tourism, maintaining industry partnerships, championing destination management and the visitor experience provided through the Wellington isite.  He also leads the Marketing, Digital, Content, and Communications teams responsible for the storytelling and engagement of audiences, encouraging all to experience Wellington as a place to visit, work, live, and invest in.

A proud resident of Te Whanganui a Tara, Todd is passionate about showcasing all that Wellington has to offer to New Zealand and the world. Prior to WellingtonNZ, Todd held various roles at New Zealand Rugby, delivering global marketing and sponsorship campaigns, leading commercial programmes, and building long-standing trusted partnerships with domestic and international organisations.