National Board Members 2018

1 Oct 2018


Hospitality New Zealand National Board Members 2018

On 27 September, Hospitality New Zealand held its Annual General Meeting at Rydges in Queenstown. Clare Davies stood down as National President after six years on the national board, and Jeremy Smith was elected in her place. Peter Morrison remains as Vice-President, and Tony Crosbie as Treasurer. All other board members were re-elected, along with new board member Kristy Phillips from the South Canterbury Branch.

Jeremy Smith - National President

Jeremy is a shareholder and a director of Trinity Group based in Wellington. The Trinity Group owns hotels, restaurants and bars in the lower North Island, Christchurch and two resorts in Vanuatu. Jeremy joined the Trinity Group 12 years ago when he moved to NZ. In a previous life Jeremy with his accounting degree worked in the IT and mobile industry managing large international projects. Jeremy has been a Board member for two years and has served as the Wellington Branch President since 2011. Jeremy has focused on getting the Association's voice heard when it comes to dealing with the Government, police and partners and to find new ways of working positively with Councils and other Government bodies. With 12 years in the industry and 34 years as a customer nothing in our industry surprises Jeremy anymore.


Peter Morrison - Vice President

With a career spanning just over 40 years, Peter Morrison is a mainstay of the Christchurch hospitality scene. He holds various executive roles, including his current role as Vice-President of the national board of Hospitality New Zealand. He is also a World Director of SKAL International, the world’s leading tourism and hospitality organisation.

Peter began his career as a management trainee for Lion Nathan, gaining valuable management experience in various hotels throughout the country. He moved to Christchurch in 1986 where he managed the Hotel Russley, before becoming one of the owners. Throughout the 1990s, his company Morrison Hospitality Management Ltd successfully owned and managed a number of accommodation, bar and restaurant establishments including, Morrisons on Merrin in Avonhead and the Mansfield House & Tavern in Merivale. With his partner Jan Clarke, he has been welcoming guests at The Classic Villa since 2006.

In last year’s Queens Birthday Honours, Mr Morrison was awarded an MNZM (Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit) for services to the hospitality industry.


Tony Crosbie - Treasurer

For over 32 years Tony has contributed his whole career to the hospitality industry especially in the food, beverage, gaming and TAB. Tony started his career in 1983 as an Apprentice Chef with the Invercargill Licensing Trust and then in 1987 started his management career as a Management Trainee with Lion Nathan gaining invaluable experience from various hotels around the country. Tony held his first manager position at the Backbencher Pub and Café in Wellington in 1991, from there he went on to manage the Masonic Hotel in Napier before running various establishments for the Oamaru Licensing Trust. In 1995 Tony took over his first lease, that being the Northside Tavern in Oamaru. Over the past 20 years Tony has owned and operated at various times 17 venues throughout the South Island. He presently owns and operates eight hospitality venues within the South Island those being in Te Anau, Timaru, Blenheim, Greymouth, Richmond and Motueka. Between these eight venues Tony has 122 gaming machines, five full TAB facilities, six branded restaurants and a total of 125 staff. Tony is presently on three Executive Branches of the NZ Hospitality Association in Nelson, Marlborough and Westland.


Nigel Humphries - Accommodation Advisory Council Representative & Board Member

Nigel and his wife Fiona operate the Anchorage Motel in Te Anau, part of the Golden Chain group. They have three adult children – Emily, Nick and Sophia. Fiona also works as a teacher and Guidance Counsellor at the local high school. They took over Anchorage Motel 20 years ago and have developed it from the original 8 unit 3-star motel, to the current 16 unit 4-star property. They have invested heavily back into their business over the years and are pleased to be able to offer comfortable, modern accommodation.

Te Anau is a very challenging place to run a motel as business is very seasonal and highly exposed to the international market. They have to keep a very close eye on the market and be adaptive to new trends, markets and changes in the way people book. In 2010, they entered the NZ Tourism Awards and were delighted to win the motel category. Nigel also serves as the Fiordland Chair of the Board of Trustees.




Neville Butcher - Accommodation Advisory Council Representative & Board Member

While Neville’s career began in the electrical engineering field, an opportunity to buy a motel lease in Queenstown in 1993 was one of those moments in life that led to a total change in direction. Having since had two motel leases and then building and now operating a boutique 5-star accommodation property (Bluestone on George in Dunedin), Neville is still relishing that change. He has always strongly believed in the support structure offered by industry groups, and has been actively involved from the time he joined the accommodation industry.

Neville has been involved on local executives and committees, including being a board member of the National Motel Association of NZ (since 2009), and taking an active part in local body issues affecting our industry. He was also involved in the implementation of the amalgamation between the Motel Association of New Zealand and Hospitality New Zealand, which was the culmination of a great deal of effort. Neville is excited by this initiative as it ensures strong advocacy and support for all the hospitality sectors in a challenging environment.


John Hellebrekers - Board Member

Hospitality has always been in John's blood. His parents were hotel owners and his career began at the bottom of the food chain as a trainee. He slowly worked his way up through a variety of management positions until he opened his first bar in Auckland, Degree Gastrobar, which, 18 years later, is still a success.

After a late-night casino meeting in Las Vegas, the seed had been planted for the model that was to become Barworks Hospitality Group. Ten years ago, John and his business partners officially joined forces with DB Breweries and formed Barworks (now Joylab), a group that now operates 22 successful bars and restaurants in Auckland, as well as the function venue Five Knots. It is John's willingness to take a chance on people and recognise their character that holds him in high regard within the group. John's passion, commitment and drive ensured steady growth within the Joylab Group, which has a unique and highly successful business model. For John, it is all about the people. "Taking someone from employee to business owner is the best part of the job - when you are changing peoples’ lives."


Kevin Schwass QSM JP - Board Member

When applying to join Lion Breweries as a trainee manager, the only formal qualification Kevin could offer was as an Artificial Breeding Insemination Technician!

Obtained whilst growing up on a Manawatu dairy farm, Kevin left the farm in 1971 to join the NZ Police wherein he spent most of his career as a detective in the CIB.

In 1980, a career-change saw him become part of an industry he really enjoyed – hospitality.

Kevin went on to lease and manage either in his own right or in partnership a number of iconic licensed entities in Drury, Napier, and the Auckland CBD and for ten years the Poenamo Hotel, the spiritual home in those days of the All Blacks; along with virtually every other international rugby or sporting team to visit Auckland.

In 1996, Kevin opened the R’toto Pub & Café along with the Rangitoto Brewing Co, one of the first NZ bars at the time to specialise in craft-beers; establishing Takapuna as a burgeoning hospitality precinct.

In 2002, he opened the Blankenberge Belgian Beer Café, officially opened by their Highnesses the Prince and Princess of Belgium. In subsequent years Kevin created Florrie McGreal’s Irish Pub and in partnership converted R’toto into a Macs Brew Bar.

Frustrated with local body politicians, in 2004 Kevin was elected onto the North Shore City Council where he served two terms as a Councillor followed by one-term as Deputy Chairman of the Takapuna-Devonport Local Board, part of Auckland’s new super-city.

In 2004 Kevin was awarded HANZ’s "Personality of the Year" and in 2010 was honoured for his services to hospitality and the community, being awarded a Queens Service Medal. In 2012 he became a Justice of the Peace.

Kevin has been the Auckland Branch President and a Board Member of Hospitality NZ.


Kristy Philips - Board Member

Kristy grew up in Albany, Western Australia, and took her first restaurant job at the age of 16.  While a starving student in Perth, she worked in a pub and restaurant where she met Grant, her now husband. Grant was the chef who kept her fed (and still does)!  He brought Kristy back to New Zealand in 1999 “for a look” and she’s been here ever since.

She began working in her own massage therapy business doing treatment, rehabilitation and injury work, from which she applies the same principles of “mind, body, spirit” to her guests’ experience at Zest, the restaurant she and Grant have co-owned for the past nine years.

Kristy loves to watch the growth and development of her employees, knowing that they are providing a consistent, quality product and experience for their guests.

She has been a “certified” kiwi since December last year – “so if I get arrested now, they can’t kick me out!”.


Seaton Read - Board Member

Seaton is a Christchurch-based lawyer with many years of experience advising individuals and businesses from all areas of the hospitality industry. He is also a trustee shareholder in a multi-site food and beverage business, and a director in a hospitality-based company. Through his industry experience, Seaton is aware of the challenges facing operators in today's climate. He has developed strong views of what he perceives to be an uneven playing field for operators, in both the accommodation and food and beverage sectors of the industry. He believes that, only through concerted action and a commitment to a vibrant and healthy hospitality organisation, will the industry be best able to meet these challenges.

Seaton enjoys the opportunity to contribute his skills for the benefit of Hospitality New Zealand and its members.


Nick Keene - Board Member

Nick owns Schnappa Rock Restaurant and Core Fitness in Tutukaka, as well as Wahi at Oceans. He has been in hospitality and tourism throughout his working life, including a 3-year stint as a dive charter skipper and guide.

Nick studied for a hotel and catering administration diploma from AIT and once he had that, he moved to London where he worked for Conran Restaurants, then spent 3 years working in Australian restaurants before returning to New Zealand in 2001. In 2006 he purchased Schnappa Rock.

Nick sees an exciting time ahead for our industry. There is an industry-wide acknowledgment that growth is coming and we are under-prepared. He would like to be involved in shaping the way we manage high visitor numbers, while maintaining the integrity of our offerings. Initiatives around waste management, recycling and use reduction are important to him, as is the training and formation of a strong and capable hospitality workforce.

Chris Buckley - Board Member

Chris Buckley grew up in a small rural town in North Canterbury, where his family ran the local Tavern. Whilst he was growing up, his family operated many bars.  When the opportunity arose, Chris took the chance to operate Pub on Wharf in Queenstown. This was at the beginning of the global financial crisis, so it was a trial by fire which, as many operators would understand, took many long hours and a mammoth effort. 

Recently Chris and his wife Lauren purchased and redeveloped an old nightclub in Queenstown, now renamed 'Muskets and Moonshine'. Chris has a lifelong passion for the industry, and spends many hours with policymakers on local and national issues to try to get better outcomes for all operators in our industry.

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