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

www K Poutasi 2Dr 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.

In May 2019, Karen was appointed Commissioner of the Waikato DHB. She splits her time between the DHB and NZQA.

Alex Bidois - Deputy Chief Executive

Office of Deputy Chief Executive Māori

www A 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.

Tim Bowron - Deputy Chief Executive

Strategic and Corporate Services

Tim Bowron joined NZQA in December 2019. WWW T BowronHe has worked across both the public and private sectors, including roles at the Civil Aviation Authority, Treasury and in the justice sector where he was part of the inaugural leadership team of the Legal Services Agency..

Tim is a qualified accountant, a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors, and holds a Bachelor of Business Studies from Massey University.

Andrea Gray - Deputy Chief Executive

Digital Assessment Transformation

www A 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

www K 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.

Eve McMahon - Acting Deputy Chief Executive

Quality Assurance Division

www E McMahon

Eve joined NZQA in 2007 to implement a new quality assurance framework and lead improvements to the qualifications system and framework. She was appointed to her substantive role as Manager Quality Assurance Strategy in 2016.

Eve has been Acting Deputy Chief Executive since the beginning of January while Dr Grant Klinkum is seconded to the Ministry of Education.

She has held a range of positions primarily across the health and education sectors. She holds a bachelors degree from Canterbury University and a masters degree in education from the University of New South Wales.


View NZQA's brochure (PDF, 631KB) introducing the Strategic Management Team and the organisation chart (PDF, 109KB).

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