Winners of RiskNZ 2021 Awards of Excellence announced

Nigel Toms, Acting Chief Financial Officer at Watercare has been named as the RiskNZ 2021 Risk Professional of the Year, and Regan Smith from Hastings District Council was named Emerging Risk Practitioner of the Year.

David Sutherland (formerly New Zealand Defence Force, now Ministry of Health) was named winner in the category of ‘Governance and Leadership in Risk Management’. Raj Hit from LottoNZ took the award in the ‘Developing Capability in Risk Management category’, with Chris Kumeroa of Global Risk consulting winning in the “Cov-innovation” – Managing Risk during times of significant change category.

There were 3 additional accolades with Anu Ileperuma from Hastings District council being commended in the Developing Capability in Risk Management category; The Public Sector Risk Forum being commended in the Networking and Partnerships in Risk Management Category, and Kristin Hoskin from Advisian being named as finalist in the Risk Professional of the Year category.

All awards were presented on Tuesday 13 th April at the RiskNZ 2021 Conference in Wellington.

RiskNZ is the leading professional body in New Zealand aiming to bring together people and organisations managing risk. It embraces the vision that New Zealand prospers because risk is well managed. With over 800 members across a range of sectors, RiskNZ is delighted its award winners represent both public and private entities.

The awards judging panel (Jacqui Lyttle, University of Canterbury; Fiona Carrick, Fonterra; Janine Foster, NZ Customs Service and Willie Loh, Land Information New Zealand), were delighted with the quality of nominations for this year’s awards.

The Risk Professional of the Year Award presented to Nigel Toms recognised the significant contribution made by him in the field of risk management over a period of more than 12 years. Nigel’s work includes authoring Watercare’s pandemic plan (released under a creative commons licence), with the aim of helping other utilities to plan for pandemics, and the British Standards Institute standard on Enterprise Risk Management for Utilities.

Regan Smith received the award for Emerging Risk Professional of the Year recognising his skills in organisation and planning, influencing and negotiation and excellent communication skills which are all important elements for aspiring risk managers. His work to support Hastings District Council building its capability and developing approaches to risk appetite were commended by the Judges.

The Governance and Leadership in Risk Management award presented to David Sutherland recognised the tenacity needed to transform risk practice within the NZ Defence Force. Given the complexity of the business, David has been able to strengthen governance practice around risk, and lift understanding and capability amongst NZDF’s most senior leadership.

Raj Hit from LottoNZ took the award in the Developing Capability in Risk Management category, impressing the judges with the efficacy of its risk partners model. They noted the gains in deepening risk capability across the business, and strengthening performance both financially and operationally.

Chris Kumeroa from Global Risk Consulting received the award in the category “Cov-innovation” – Managing Risk during times of significant change. This award, focused on the innovative practice developed during the Covid19 pandemic, and celebrated the innovative support provided by Chris to the Iwi Chairs Forum during the height of the pandemic in New Zealand. The judges commended his work in leading a multi-agency effort that supported the Covid19 Operational Command Centre through the development of a geospatial user interface enabling more effective support to Maori economic recovery work.

RiskNZ Chair Jane Röllin said she was proud that so many of the awards went to RiskNZ members, “it recognises the fantastic work our members do within their own organisations”. She also noted that having the awards presented at the “Reflect and Reconnect” Conference was very fitting. “Much of the discussion at the conference was reflective of what we have been through as a country during Covid19, but also hopeful for the opportunities it presents us with now. Being able to celebrate with the Award winners has been really energising”.

The Awards of Excellence 2021 were announced at the conclusion of the RiskNZ Reflect and Reconnect conference 2021 held at the Wellington Club on Tuesday 12 April. Over 100 participants joined together to hear from a range of expert speakers, panel discussions and mini-workshops.

The RiskNZ conference and Awards were supported by Marsh; SAI Global; Axenic, Bryan Whitfield Safety Associates and BB IT Solutions.


About RiskNZ

RiskNZ is the leading sector and professional body in New Zealand bringing together those people and organisations managing risk. It embraces the vision that New Zealand prospers because risk is well managed.

Established in 2000, the organisation delivers services and activities for its members that support strengthening New Zealand’s capability to manage risk. Today RiskNZ is connected to a wide range of industry sectors, central and local government, many professional bodies and non-governmental organisations, and the tertiary education and academic sector.

The organisation’s focus is regular connection to share knowledge, build networks, encourage research, facilitate professional development, inform public thinking, and influence government, regulatory and business processes to achieve risk management best practice.

For further information, please contact RiskNZ’s Managing Director David Turner; [email protected], 021 1239553 or visit