Employment Law Update

An essential forum in extraordinary times


Jennifer Mills

Director - Head of Practice

Jennifer Mills & Associates

Jennifer is one of New Zealand's leading employment and health and safety lawyers, with extensive experience in employment litigation, industrial relations, health and safety, complex restructures, large scale Holidays Act issues, executive remuneration and exits, and immigration. She has been listed as a 'leading individual' in the 2017 Asia Pacific Legal 500 and is rated one of the leading employment lawyers in the world, by Chambers Global.

Johanna Drayton


Dyhrberg Drayton Employment Lawyers

Johanna Drayton is a partner at Dyhrberg Drayton Employment Law, a specialist employment law practice in Wellington. Johanna has over 25 years’ post admission experience comprised of working in a large law firm, and then as a partner in a boutique litigation law firm before establishing Dyhrberg Drayton Employment Law in 2011. Her clients are public and private sector employers, and employees. Johanna is a member of the New Zealand Law Society and the Wellington Women Lawyers' Association. Johanna has significant experience and expertise in all aspects of employment practise and advocacy. She has represented clients in the Employment Relations Authority, Employment Court, District and High Courts and Court of Appeal. Johanna undertakes independent investigations for employers into complaints arising in the workplace. She completed the AHI Training Institute for Workplace Investigators in Atlanta, GA and now holds the AWI-CH distinction for investigators. She is the author of the chapters on Human Rights, Privacy Law and Official information in the text published by Thomson Reuters, Civil Remedies in New Zealand.

Charlotte Joy


Bell Gully

Charlotte is a solicitor at Bell Gully in the Employment and Workplace Safety team. She provides practical advice on a wide range of issues including personal grievances, disciplinary processes, performance management, enforcement of post-employment obligations, industrial relations, restructures, legal compliance, privacy, and health and safety. She also regularly advises corporate clients on employment aspects of commercial transactions, including due diligence matters, the transfer process for employees and reviewing corporate transaction documents.

Sherridan Cook


Buddle Findlay

Sherridan is a partner at Buddle Findlay and leads the Auckland litigation, employment and health and safety teams. He has specialised in these areas for over 20 years and is passionate about them. He enjoys advising a wide range of public and private sector clients on the full range of employment and health and safety issues, but particularly enjoys anything contentious! He is Consultant Editor for Health and Safety Law Made Easy and Employment Law Made Easy (both published by LexisNexis), and is an author of Mazengarb's Personal Grievances text.

Amanda Douglas


Wynn Williams

Amanda Douglas leads the Employment and Health and Safety practice at Wynn Williams. She acts for employers and employees on a variety of Employment Law matters, with a particular focus in the dispute resolution area. This includes disciplinary steps, claims through the ERA and Employment Court, negotiations and mediation. Amanda also provides advice on employment agreements and organisational restructuring. Amanda has a good ability to obtain a pragmatic negotiated outcome to many disputes. Where resolution is not possible, she presents a well- considered case to the ERA or Court. Amanda also advises on health and safety matters, and regularly presents on employment and health and safety matters.

Mere King

Senior Associate

Buddle Findlay

Mere is a Senior Associate, in Buddle Findlay’s national employment team – a team known for their commercial approach. In the last 10 years she has focused her practice on employment law and gained recognition for her skills. Mere provides client focused practical advice on a wide variety of matters. She specialises in providing strategic and practical advice on all aspects of employment law, including advising on personal grievances, restructures and disciplinary matters and she regularly appears in the relevant jurisdictions.

Matthew Hutcheson

Senior Solicitor

Duncan Cotterill

Matt is a Senior Solicitor in the Employment and Health and Safety team at Duncan Cotterill. He has extensive experience advising on, and advocating in, disputes as a general litigator. Matt has represented clients in various Tribunals, Authorities, and Courts in a range of criminal, civil, employment, regulatory and health and safety matters. For the past few years, Matt has been practicing as an employment and health and safety specialist. As Matt predominantly assists businesses, he understands their needs and works alongside them in order to achieve a commercially viable outcome. He assists with all employment law issues, from front-end guidance, to dispute resolution and advocacy. Matt also assists clients with all matters relating to health and safety, including providing regulatory advice, developing hazard management systems, and representing clients in WorkSafe investigations and prosecutions.

Richard Wagstaff


New Zealand Council of Trade Unions

Richard Wagstaff was elected NZCTU President in 2015. He was previously NZCTU Vice President and one of two national secretaries of the Public Service Association. Richard is currently a member of the ILO Governing Body and the ILO Committee for Freedom of Association. Richard is also a member of the New Zealand Tripartite Future of Work Group. Richard began working as a full time paid union official in 1988 as a researcher. Later he became an organiser, working in Auckland with PSA members in the health and disability sectors. In 1997 Richard was appointed as a national operations manager, responsible for PSA members throughout the country in the health and community sectors. He then took up the position as a national secretary of the PSA in 2000 which he held until becoming CTU President in 2015. The PSA is New Zealand’s largest trade union and as national secretary, Richard was responsible for overseeing the implementation of the PSA’s industrial and political strategies and it’s operations.

James Warren


Dentons Kensington Swan

James is a dual-qualified employment law expert with many years’ experience supporting organisations in both the UK and New Zealand. He specialises in workforce change, employee relations and disputes, and the employment issues arising out of commercial transactions. He advises a range of clients in various industries with domestic and international footprints, having a particular interest in the technology, media and retail sectors. James is regularly instructed on multi-jurisdictional projects and business transformations, complex reorganisations and the implementation of global policies. He is also an approachable and responsive advocate when dealing with disputes, grievances and claims, focused on delivering practical and commercial solutions.

Alison Maelzer


Hesketh Henry

Alison Maelzer provides advice on all aspects of employment law, helping clients to avoid or resolve employment relationship problems. Practicing exclusively in the employment jurisdiction, Alison has extensive experience in the full range of employment law issues. She advises employers, employees, and unions on disciplinary issues, compliance with legislation, health and safety at work, and collective bargaining. Alison provides pragmatic, business-focused advice with a view to minimising cost and time for the client. Her advice is practical, solutions-based and delivered in plain English.

Jade Leung

General Manager People and Performance

Horizon Energy Group

Jade has built business success as part of the Executive team by defining the strategic direction of the business and bringing our vision to life through our teams. She bridges the gap between strategy and business impact by working closely with management teams to shape a culture that is engaged and committed to continual improvement. Operating in a diverse range of business environments including aviation, construction and energy, She has a reputation for being an intelligent, commercially astute and pragmatic business leader who takes a forward looking approach to developing key people and safety strategies. She holds a Master’s degree in Industrial and Organisational Psychology and has extensive experience in driving organisational change and building people and safety frameworks throughout organisations to increase people capability, talent retention and business performance.

Simon Brown

Head of Culture & Performance


Simon has over 20 years HR experience and leads the Culture & Performance team at NZME. Simon joined NZME (APN) in 2011 and has held various roles including HR Manager, Head of HR Services, and Head of Business Partnering. Prior to joining NZME Simon worked for Tower insurance, and before that worked in the UK and Australia across industries including Banking and Law. Simon has a BA in International History & Politics plus an MA in Human Resources. Outside of work Simon enjoys the outdoors and spending time with his family.

Jess Ah Kuoi

Head of People and Culture

Eye Institute

Jess Ah Kuoi is a Human Resources Professional that is currently working as the Head of People and Culture at the Eye Institute. After studying at Otago University, Jess started her career at Chapman Tripp and has been growing and developing throughout various organisations such as PwC and NZME. Jess is passionate about improving mental health in New Zealand and dedicates her time to being a trustee on the JK Foundation board. In her spare time, Jess loves to give back to her community by volunteering for various charities such as; TupuToa and Double Happy Kids.
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