Our structure

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) is headed by a Board, which is appointed by the Minister of Education. The Minister approves all policy matters relating to education in New Zealand.

NZQA is led by its Strategic Management Team, which comprises of the Chief Executive and five Deputy Chief Executives.

NZQA is organised into three divisions:
Quality Assurance
Strategic and Corporate Services

and the offices of the:
Chief Executive
Deputy Chief Executive Māori
Deputy Chief Executive Digital Assessment Transformation.

Dr Karen Poutasi - Chief Executive

Karen PoutasiDr Karen Poutasi was appointed as Chief Executive in 2006. Previously she was the Director General of Health and has worked in senior management roles across the health sector.

Karen is a medical graduate and her area of specialisation is public health. She holds both Otago and Harvard University management qualifications.

Karen is the Chair of the New Zealand Committee for Harkness Fellowships, and is a Director on the Board for the Network for Learning. She received a CNZM for services to health in 2006.

Dr Daryn Bean - Deputy Chief Executive

Strategic and Corporate Services

Daryn BeanDaryn Bean joined NZQA in 2009 as Deputy Chief Executive Māori. He has extensive public sector experience at the interface of Māori development and brings high level relationship management skills, strategy and leadership development capabilities in the areas of education, international business and community development.

From Te Arawa, Daryn holds a doctorate in Māori leadership practices in public administration. He holds a post-graduate degree in management and a Bachelor of Business Studies degree from Massey University.

Alex Bidois - Deputy Chief Executive

Office of Deputy Chief Executive Māori

Alex Bidois

Alex joined NZQA in February 2007 as the Internal Audit Manager. He later became the Strategy, Planning, and Performance Manager before accepting his role as Deputy Chief Executive Māori in April 2019. 

Alex Bidois is of Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāi Te Rangi and Te Arawa descent. His experience within the public sector has been in education, having spent 16 years in business and financial roles with the Ministry of Education. Alex also holds a Bachelor of Management Studies from the University of Waikato.

Alex has a strong passion for advancing Māori development through lifelong learning.

Andrea Gray - Deputy Chief Executive

Digital Assessment Transformation

Andrea GrayAndrea joined NZQA in April 2016. Her previous role was as the inaugural General Manager, Emissions Trading Scheme in the Environmental Protection Authority from November 2011. She was at the Department of Internal Affairs prior to that and was responsible for the initial development of the RealMe services.

Her career has been built around information and web-based services with a focus on users and uses of information.

Kristine Kilkelly - Deputy Chief Executive

Assessment Division

Kristine KilkellyKristine joined NZQA in March 2015 from the Ministry of Education as the Deputy Secretary of Corporate and Governance. As part of the role Kristine also had the opportunity to contribute to wider education initiatives.

She has also held corporate and change roles in the health sector.

Kristine has a Bachelor of Arts from Otago University.

Dr Grant Klinkum - Deputy Chief Executive

Quality Assurance Division

Grant KlinkumGrant joined NZQA in early 2014, following seven years at the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) in senior management roles. During that time at TEC, Grant led engagement with the tertiary education sector as General Manager of Tertiary Investment. Prior to the TEC, Grant worked as Deputy Chief Executive at an Institute of Technology and Polytechnic and has worked as a Dean of Faculty at two tertiary education organisations.

Grant has a PhD in Political Science from Victoria University of Wellington, a Master’s in Education Administration from Massey University and a Master of Arts degree from the University of Canterbury.


View NZQA's brochure (PDF, 1.6MB) introducing the Strategic Management Team and the organisation chart. (PDF, 117KB)

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