The NZIER Board

The Board is responsible for NZIER's strategic direction, and for ensuring that NZIER continues to strive to attain its goals. The Board’s role is to:

  • Monitor and safeguard the continuation of NZIER in good financial health and morale.
  • Monitor, safeguard and enhance the reputation and image of NZIER. This includes appropriate individual Board members speaking or otherwise representing NZIER’s views (with the Chair's prior approval).
  • Ensure the employment of a suitable Chief Executive Officer of NZIER.
  • Keep the performance of the Chief Executive under review (and through him the performance of NZIER’s staff).
  • Give advice to the Chief Executive on questions of general business practice or standards within the knowledge of the Board, and give advice on strategic planning initiatives and issues.

Board members

BOARD - Keith Watson (FL) cropped

Keith Watson


Keith has a breadth of capabilities gained as a Chairman, Company Director and Managing Director with governance experience in global listed businesses.

He has been an independent Chair of Opus International Consultants (NZX: OIC), Managing Director of Hewlett Packard NZ, and a member of the University of Auckland Business School's Advisory Board.

Keith specialises in innovation practices in industries that are moving at pace to respond to both technological change and to new sources of competition due to digital transformation, cybersecurity and Cloud.

BOARD - Bruce Wattie

Bruce Wattie

Deputy Chair

Bruce has been specialising in providing corporate finance advice and assistance to clients since 1985. He was a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for 25 years and continues to provide a diverse range of commercial and financial advice to both the private and public sectors.

Bruce's technical specialisations include large-scale infrastructure procurement processes, infrastructure financing, financial analysis, capital structuring, business case development, economic regulation, business and share valuations, and cost of capital.

In addition to his technical specialities, Bruce provides general business and commercial advice to boards of directors, other governing bodies and management. He has also been involved in many dispute resolution processes, including acting as an expert witness in court proceedings and arbitrations.

Bruce holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration in Economics and Accounting and completed the International Business Programme at Harvard Business School, Boston, USA. He is a Chartered Accountant with the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants. 

BOARD - Grant Pryde

Grant Pryde

Board member

Grant is the former Managing Director of Ichor Leadership Search, a Wellington-based executive search firm with a portfolio of clients across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors in New Zealand. Well-known for delivering advice to enhance organisational success, Grant's particular expertise is in leading national and international search assignments and completing complex leadership appointments.

On the NZIER Board, Grant chairs the Remuneration and HR Committee. He is also an Independent Director on the Board of Orchestra Wellington.

With over 30 years of experience in executive search, Grant has developed long-standing client relationships advising Boards, Chief Executives and senior leaders. His consulting career began with an international search firm, where he was appointed a Director in 1991. He then joined an Auckland-based practice where he conducted international searches in professional services, information technology and government sectors. 

Grant holds a Bachelor of Education from the University of Canterbury and a Diploma in Business Studies from Massey University. He is a member of the Institute of Directors New Zealand.


Professor Les Oxley

Board member

Les Oxley is Professor of Economics at the University of Waikato's Management School, Adjunct Professor at Curtin University and Affiliate at Motu. In 2004 he was Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand (FRSNZ).

Les was Chair of the Business and Economics Panel of the 2018 Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF) New Zealand research assessment exercise. He is co-editor-in-chief and joint founding editor of the Journal of Economic Surveys. He has published on a wide range of topics including sustainable development, NZ economic history and applied financial economics.

He has received research funding from the Marsden Fund, the Health Research Council, the Leverhulme Fund and as it was called at the time, the Public Good Science Fund (PGSF). He is also currently deputy chair of the International Advisory Board of the Ageing Well, National Science Challenge (NSC).

BOARD - Paula Brosnahan - FL cropped

Paula Brosnahan

Board member

Paula is a Partner at Chapman Tripp, specialising in environmental, planning and resource management law. Paula’s experience is diverse, working in both the private and public sectors (central and local government).  She has extensive experience providing strategic and legal advice in support of complex, large-scale infrastructure projects.  
Paula holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Auckland and a Masters in Law (Env and Nat Res) from Lewis & Clark Law School, Oregon. She is a member of the Institute of Directors New Zealand.

Paula chairs the Board's Audit and Risk Committee.

Rectangular frame Mike Burrell

Mike Burrell

Board member

Mike is the Executive Director of the Sustainable Business Council and Climate Leaders Coalition. 

Mike’s previous role was with the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, where he was the Director of Sustainable Economic Development, before serving as New Zealand’s High Commissioner to South Africa and chargé d’affaires to Myanmar. 

Mike was the founding CEO of Aquaculture New Zealand. Before that, he worked with the international law and economic consulting firm LECG, after consulting in international development. Mike has over 30 years of experience in leadership and consulting roles in New Zealand and internationally.

Mike has degrees from the London School of Economics and the University of Canterbury.