Presenter bios

Susan St John


Hon. Assoc. Professor Susan St John, QSO, Economics Department, University of Auckland and director of the RPRC. Dr St John was a member of the university's teaching staff from 1981, initially in economics, and since 2012 in public policy. Her research has focused on the Accident Compensation Corporation, public sector and retirement policy, particularly decumulation. In 1994 she became a founding member of the Child Poverty Action Group, and has edited and authored a large number of reports for them. In 2010 she was made a QSO for services to social policy.

Matthew Bell


Matthew Bell works at the Treasury, chiefly in the area of fiscal modelling, including responsibility for the Long-Term Fiscal Model and the New Zealand Superannuation Fund model. He has contributed to every one of the Treasury’s Long-Term Fiscal Statements, both in terms of modelling and writing policy pieces, and also authored articles on long-term fiscal pressures for New Zealand Economic Papers and the Commission for Financial Capability’s 2013 Review of Retirement Income Policies.  

Troy Churton


Troy Churton is the Commission for Financial Capability National Manager of Retirement Villages, plus he leads the Ageing Workforce conversation for CFFC. He has worked as a solicitor in private practice, senior government advisor, and director of a post-graduate training organisation. Troy sits on the Orakei Local Board.

John Cliffe


John Cliffe, Authorised Financial Advisor, BA, BCom, Grad.Diploma: Business Studies in Personal Financial Planning. Discretionary Investment Management Service Licencee. Own independent financial advice firm since 1996; co-developer of CCH Trust & Coy administration systems (now owned by Wolters Kluwer). In July 2018, led group of independent financial advisers who wrote open letter to Financial Markets Authority and Reserve Bank about the losses suffered by KiwiSaver default fund members and the lack of effective action taken by the regulators, along with a suggested ten step remedial program. View more about Cliffe Consulting.

Len Cook


Len Cook was Government Statistician from 1992 to 2000 and from 2000 to 2005 was National Statistician of the United Kingdom and Registrar-General of England and Wales. During that period contributed at many of the forums that took place on retirement provision. He was appointed in 2015 as the Families Commissioner and Chair of the board of Superu, a New Zealand crown agency that has had a strong involvement in lifting the evidence base used by NGOs, developing standards of evidence generally, and understanding the nature of cultural capital. In late 2016 he was appointed as a member of the Remuneration Authority.

Peter Cordtz

Peter Cordtz

As Acting Retirement Commissioner, Peter Cordtz is charged with helping all New Zealanders arrive at retirement in the best possible shape. He leads a team of dedicated staff all working towards making everyone that little bit more Sorted, be it school children, workers, those in our most vulnerable groups or those that are starting their journey into investment. Peter’s main role since 2015 as GM Community sees him lead the work focussed on improving the wellbeing of those most at risk of arriving at retirement in poor financial health. Key initiatives include those targeting Maori and Pasifika communities, especially supporting cross-sector partnerships by embedding financial capability into their programmes.

Diana Crossan


Dame Diana Crossan was the second Retirement Commissioner, from 2003 to 2013, after beginning her working life as a probation officer, and becoming the first manager of the Equal Employment Opportunities Unit at the State Services Commission, where she helped shape legislation on fairer access to jobs for women, people with disabilities, Māori and other ethnic groups. She has served on several charity boards, including Relationship Services and Refugee Services, and was the chief executive of Wellington Free Ambulance from 2013 to 2017.

Claire Dale


Dr M.Claire Dale is Research Fellow with the RPRC. Research interests include policy development toward solutions to New Zealand’s ageing population and escalation of pension, health and care costs, pension portability, longevity risk, decumulation, the tax and welfare interface, and intergenerational equity. She founded action research project Nga Tangata Microfinance in 2010 with loan capital from Kiwibank, which offers no interest loans to people on low incomes to promote social justice & financial literacy.

Judith Davey


Dr Judith Davey, formerly head of Institute for Ageing, and Deputy Director of the New Zealand Planning Council, is a Senior Associate at the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies at Victoria University. Her research focus is the ageing population and its policy implications. She has researched and published on income, transport and housing issues for older people, home equity release and intergenerational issues. She has provided advice to numerous policy-making bodies in the public, private and voluntary sectors.

Calvert Duffy


Calvert Duffy, Australia-based Governance, Risk and Compliance consultant, has worked for federal regulators, global financial services companies, not-for-profits and a global law firm, and now works in the same sectors with clients in Australia, Europe and North America. With over 30 years’ experience, his practice covers financial services, licensing, anti-money laundering and the credit sector, as well as consumer & competition issues. Roles include policy writing & lobbying, integrating compliance and risk management systems into mainstream business lines, producing commercially realistic outcomes, conducting AML implementations and audits, and understanding how to make it all come together.

Kris Faafoi


Hon Kris Faafoi was elected as the MP for Mana in November 2010, after more than a decade working as a journalist at TVNZ and the BBC. He is now the Minister for Civil Defence, Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, and Customs, and the Associate Immigration Minister. As the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, he’s committed to ensuring the wheels of commerce move smoothly and that New Zealand capitalises on every advantage it can to grow our economy, jobs, wages and opportunities. In the area of Civil Defence, Kris has a strong vision for ensuring that both government and communities are prepared to look after each other in the event of a local or national emergency.

David Harris


David Harris, Managing Director of TOR Financial Consulting UK, Research Associate of the RPRC, is an international expert on defined contribution pensions systems with worldwide contacts in academia, financial services companies, regulators, and politicians. Prior to TOR, he was with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and a senior consultant with Watson Wyatt in the UK and Washington DC. His AMP Churchill Fellowship enabled the study of public confidence in life insurance and retirement industries.

Ngaire Kerse


Professor Ngaire Kerse holds the Joyce Cook Chair in Ageing Well and is also Head of the School of Population Health at the University of Auckland. She is recognised as an international expert in interrelated areas of research and currently leads several research teams, each engaged in a number of research projects, including maximising health for older people; falls and older people; the impact of physical activity on development of disability; and developing Robot Technology for older people with dementia. 

Richard Klipin


Richard Klipin is CEO of the Financial Services Council of New Zealand. FSC represents the interests of the Financial Services Industry, articulating the voice of its members to consumers, regulators, Government and the media. The FSC is renewing its role in representing the personal insurance and wealth sector in a constructive way. The demands of the proposed regulatory regime, digital products and distribution, and rising consumer expectations, require a strong organisation to represent financial services firms. 

Michael Littlewood


Michael Littlewood had a career in superannuation as a consultant, author and commentator.  He was a member of the government’s 1991-92 Task Force on Private Provision for Retirement, is the author of How to create a competitive market in pensions – the international lessons (IEA London, 1998) and is the principal editor of PensionReforms. When Michael retired, he helped start the Retirement Policy and Research Centre in 2006 and was a co-director until 2015.

Alex McKenzie


Alex McKenzie is currently a principal policy analyst at the Ministry of Social Development.  He has worked in various policy and management roles at the Ministry and its predecessor organisations since 1992. During this time he has worked in a range of policy areas including employment and income support, student support, and housing and urban development.  For the past few years Alex has been working on retirement income policy, including provision of advice to the Government on New Zealand Superannuation. 

Scott McMurray


Scott McMurray is Director of Strategy & Stakeholder Relations, at the Financial Markets Authority (FMA). He was previously FMA’s Manager of Government and Industry Relations and Acting Head of Stakeholder Management. He managed the 2016 Review of Retirement Income Policies for the Commission for Financial Capability. Scott’s experience includes Government Relations Manager at Bank of New Zealand, and communications and advisory roles in local and central government, as well as working for a not-for-profit think-tank and public affairs consultancy.

Nick Sherry


Hon Nick Sherry, Australia’s former Minister for Superannuation & Corporate Law and Deputy Finance Minister, was a Labor Party Senator for the state of Tasmania from 1990 until 2012. Nick is an international superannuation and pensions consultant, a Director of Sherry & Associates International, an Independent Director of Spotless, and Chair of FNZ (APAC) and Chair of not-for-profit organisation: Youth, Family and Community Connections.

Suzanne Woodward


Suzanne Woodward is the Knowledge Translation Expert at the University of Auckland’s Public Policy Institute, and the Associate Director of Research Impact. She has a PhD in Media and Communication, and specialises in the mobilisation of policy-relevant research through a variety of platforms. As part of her role, she also co-ordinates interdisciplinary research projects. Suzanne produces the policy briefs for the PPI, runs their blog, podcast, and other social media. Her own research is in the area of equity and identity: gender, sexuality and ethnicity, with a particular focus on new technologies.