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Information release

Savings Working Group Members

Issue date: 
Tuesday, 14 September 2010
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T Kerry McDonald

Chairman of OPUS International Consultants Limited, Grant Thornton Limited and i-lign Limited.  Director of Leighton Contractors Pty Limited (including Leighton Mining and Henry Walker Elton, Visionstream and Nextgen), NZ Institute of Economic Research (Deputy Chairman). Advisor to the Board Ruapehu Alpine Lifts Limited, WWFNZ (Trustee), Institute of Directors (President).

  • A Director of:  Comalco New Zealand (Managing Director);  NZ Aluminum Smelters,  Comalco Power & Electric Power Generation Limited (chairman); Gladstone Power Station, Queensland (chairman); BNZ & BNZ Investments (chairman), National Australia Bank, Carter Holt Harvey, Ports of Auckland, Antarctica New Zealand, Owens Group, Gough Gough and Hamer, GRD Macraes (chairman), OceanaGold (chairman), Oceana Gold Corporation - Canada (Vice Chairman) Dux Industries, Advanced Dynamics (NZ Chairman),and many others.
  • Economist 1965-1981 – NZIER, Commonwealth Secretariat.    Director NZIER 1976-1981; Worked in NZ, Australia and UK, mainly on Applied Economics and policy issues.
  • Chief Economist/Senior Executive Comalco/CRA/Rio Tinto  1981-2003; a Managing Director 1988-2003, based in Australia and New Zealand and working in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, SE Asia, Canada, USA & S America.


  • Top 200 Companies Executive of the Year, 1996
  • e-Government Advisory Board
  • Transpower Establishment Board (Deputy Chairman)
  • Interim Grid Security Committee, Wholesale Electricity Market Study, Wholesale Electricity Market Development Group, Foreign Direct Investment Advisory Board, State Sector Standards Board (chairman), Australia-New Zealand Business Council (chairman, now Life Member), Japan-New Zealand Business Council (chairman)
  • Aus-NZ Leadership Forum (NZ Chairman)
  • APEC Business Advisory Council (Co-Chairman of Trade Committee), Kakapo Recovery Project (sometime chairman), Government’s Social Services IT Infrastructure Board (chairman), DOC Oversight Committee (after Cave Creek, chairman)
  • Review of NZ’s Antarctic Science Strategy (chairman)
  • Prime Minister’s Advisory Committee (Rt Hon J Bolger)

BCom(Economics)  MComHons(Economics)
DCom(hc) University of Canterbury;  AFIOD FAICD FNZIM

Mary Holm

Mary Holm is a Qantas Media Award-winning columnist. She writes two personal finance columns, one for the NZ Herald, and the other for the Christchurch Press, Dominion Post, Gisborne Herald, Northern Advocate and Waikato Times.

She also lectures in financial literacy at the University of Auckland, presents seminars on personal finance, and is the author of a number of books – two of them bestsellers. Her books include: "The Complete KiwiSaver", "Get Rich Slow", "Investing Made Simple", "The REAL Story - Saving and investing now that inflation is under control" and "Snakes and Ladders - A guide to risk for savers and investors."

She is a director of the Banking Ombudsman Scheme, was on the 2009 Capital Market Development Taskforce, and was an analyst for the 1997 Todd report on retirement income.

Mary has been business editor of the Auckland Sun and Auckland Star, and has covered personal finance for the NZ Listener, Australian Financial Review and Chicago Tribune.  She holds a BA in economic history from Victoria University, MA in journalism from the University of Michigan, and MBA in finance from the University of Chicago.

Craig Ansley

Craig Ansley is the director of capital markets research for Russell Investments’ Australasia region.  Craig is responsible for fostering strategic research and analysis across all asset classes. He also provides support in strategic investment advice to clients of the Australasian investor services business.

Craig joined Russell in 1990 as a consultant, and became the founding managing director of Russell New Zealand in 1992.  He moved to a regional research role in 2002.

Prior to joining Russell, Craig pursued an academic career, holding professorial chairs at the University of Chicago, the Australian Graduate School of Management and the University of Auckland.

He has published widely in statistics and econometrics, and has presented many papers based on his original research at symposiums and conferences. He was an associate editor of the Journal of the American Statistical Association for several years. Craig has extensive consulting experience in the U.S. and New Zealand.

Craig has served on the board of trustees of the National Provident Fund and on the boards of a number of companies in the financial sector in New Zealand.

B.Sc., Mathematics, University of Canterbury, New Zealand, 1966
M.Sc., Mathematics, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, 1969
Fellow of Institute of Actuaries, London, 1972
Associate of Society of Actuaries, U.S., 1975
Ph.D., Business Administration, University of Michigan, 1976

Andrew Coleman

Andrew Coleman is an economist at Motu Economic and Public Policy Research, Wellington, who has been conducting research into the ways that the tax system affects the housing market. He previously worked at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and has taught at the University of Michigan.

Paul Mersi

Paul Mersi is a Financial Services & Tax Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers NZ.

He has a degree in economics from Victoria University, and has worked in Inland Revenue’s Policy Directorate and the OECD.

Paul has been an advisor to businesses, industry bodies, and other stakeholders in the financial services sector for over 20 years, in particular in relation to savings and funds management, life insurance, and banking.  He is a respected thought leader, and regular presenter and media commentator on a range of financial services issues. 

He has a strong policy background and has been heavily involved in designing, influencing, and implementing many regulatory changes, including the introduction of GST, the taxation of collective investment vehicles and offshore portfolio investment, as well as providing input into current regulatory and policy initiatives relating to financial literacy, financial advisors, securities law reform, NZ as a funds administration hub, and anti money laundering. 

Stephen Toplis

Stephen was appointed as BNZ’s Head of Market Economics in April 2001. He now carries the title of Head of Research. His previous employment included Chief Economist Deutsche Securities, Chief Economist BT Securities, Chief Economist Doyle Paterson Brown and Chief Economist Fay Richwhite. All of these roles involved a heavy degree of interaction with the wider savings and investment industry in New Zealand and offshore.

Prior to these mainly financial market roles Stephen was a Research Economist at the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research with a focus on macro forecasting and the household sector. As part of this role Stephen co-authored a contract paper on Taxation, Savings and Investment.

Currently, Stephen is located in BNZ’s Wellington Markets Division where he is charged with providing an economic and political overview for the Bank’s wholesale operation. The end focus of much of his work is the analysis of business risk for both the BNZ and its business clients.

Stephen is also a Director of the Hugo Group, along with Arthur Grimes and Colin James. The Hugo Group is a consultancy, which provides economic and political advice to a small group of New Zealand Chief Executives.
At university Stephen completed a BSocSci in Computer Science before moving on to do a Masters in Economics.

John McDermott

John is the Assistant Governor and Head of Economics at the Reserve Bank.

He has held posts at Victoria University of Wellington, the International Monetary Fund and National Bank of New Zealand.

He has also spent time as a visiting scholar at the International Monetary Fund and taught at the World Bank Institute.

He gained a BSc and MCom from the University of Auckland and a PhD from Yale University.

Last updated: 
Tuesday, 14 September 2010