skip to main content

Our Team

The Water Safety New Zealand team is based in Wellington and is led by CE Jonty Mills. The management team comprises Neil McInnes, Capability and Investment Manager and Sheridan Bruce, Strategic Partnerships and Communications Manager.

Communications and media by Ben Christie, member management, finances and administration by Christine Lim and Michelle Reidy. Executive Assistant to the CE is Sally Walker who manages the office and is secretary to the board. 

Jonty Mills – CEO

Jonty joined Water Safety New Zealand in 2016. Previously he had spent more than 20 years in communications and external affairs leadership, operations and business development roles. He brings expertise in stakeholder management to CEO and ministerial level, with a blend of private and public sector experience.   A long-standing member of BP's Senior Leadership team and media spokesperson Jonty has a background of leadership roles in marketing, operations and business development across commercial and retail business channels.  During his time at BP, he was responsible for managing the company’s community partnerships – including Surf Life Saving New Zealand, Young Enterprise Trust and Royal Society of New Zealand – and has experience in advocacy as the interface between BP and central and local Government. He also helped embed safety as the number one priority and value across the organisation and is a strong advocate for Water Safety New Zealand’s core values and strategic direction.   027 478 1836 

Sheridan Bruce – Strategic Partnerships and Communications Manager

Sheridan Bruce

Sheridan is a marketing professional whose career has spanned working across the charity, small business and corporate sectors.  She has extensive experience in fundraising strategy, planning and implementation and has especially enjoyed working with fundraisers supporting their professional development. At Water Safety New Zealand, Sheridan develops community based social marketing campaigns to address Kiwi attitudes and behaviours around water safety and leads the organisation’s education programmes, specifically with the implementation of Water Skills For Life to reach all Kiwi kids in years 1 – 8 at school.  021 192 8708

George Bulleid – Marketing Coordinator

GeorgeGeorge started working at WSNZ in April 2019 after graduating from Victoria University of Wellington. Since moving to Wellington from Christchurch in 2014, he has worked in a variety of roles, most recently on the marketing team at a local software company. George has a love for New Zealand’s oceans, rivers and swimming holes, citing Pelorus Bridge as his favourite spot. In his spare time George enjoys Wellington’s sporting, musical and culinary offerings.

Ben Christie – Senior Communications and Media Advisor

Ben began working at Water Safety New Zealand in 2016 as communications and media advisor after a ten year career as a journalist across television, radio and print. Raised in Wellington by a father who was a surf life saver and a sailor, water safety and drowning prevention is a subject close to his heart.  Ben lives by the ocean on Wellington’s west coast with his partner and two children. He is a lifelong Hurricanes supporter and a cricket tragic.  He enjoys spending his spare time with his family enjoying the outdoors and all the sporting, culinary and cultural opportunities that come with living in our capital city  021 770 285

Felicity Fozard - Advisor Information and Research (Maternity Leave)

Felicity joined WSNZ in 2010.  Previously, Felicity was a swim instructor, and has spent several years travelling and working in the US. Felicity reached the pinnacle of her swimming career aged 15 representing Wellington once in the Div 2 championships. 


Joanne Kinnaird – Fundraiser

JoJoanne has a passion for the oceans and rivers of Aotearoa. She spent her teenage years living on a yacht with her parents sailing around the country and now lives on the banks of the Hutt river in Upper Hutt.  She has seen first-hand the need for people to have a healthy respect for the water and she hopes that in her role as fundraiser, she will be able to contribute to the success of Water Safety New Zealand in keeping people safe. Joanne has worked for a number of charities including The Salvation Army and Sailability Wellington where she was able to sneak in a sail in occasionally much to her delight. Joanne joined the team in November 2018. 

Christine Lim – Accountant

Christine LimChristine joined WSNZ in 2013.  In her spare time she can be found mountain biking around Wellington with her family.


Ants Lowe – Funding and Relationship Manager

Neil McInnes

Ants joined WSNZ in July 2019 as the Funding and Relationships manager.  Ants has a management background in the not for profit sector and has worked for local and central government agencies in New Zealand and overseas.  Previously, Ants worked as a professional dive instructor, breathing bubbles, in New Zealand and the Caribbean.  Ants has a strong connection to wai (water) and spends his spare time reti ngaru (surfing)  and kaunga (swimming) with his family.   029 770 2181

Neil McInnes – Capability and Investment Manager

Neil McInnesNeil joined WSNZ in August 2016 after a 20 year career in the Public Service in Wellington. Initially focusing on policy roles, Neil has in recent years been involved in organisational strategy, performance and planning in a number of agencies. Growing up in coastal Kapiti just north of Wellington, Neil was a keen beach swimmer and dabbled in surfing and diving in his teens. He now focuses on ensuring his 2 children develop water skills and safely enjoy the beaches of New Zealand. A craft beer enthusiast, Neil samples widely from the range of New Zealand beers that are now available.   029 770 7198

Michelle Reidy – Team Administrator

Michelle is a proud kiwi who has 20+ years’ experience in office administration. From working in Government briefly she has also enjoyed roles in an accountancy firm and a boutique ICT company before joining Water Safety New Zealand. Outside of the Monday to Friday Michelle loves the beach, her animals, sampling good pinot noir and tries really hard to walk and cycle habitually!


Sally Walker – EA/Office Manager 

Sally Walker-SimmonsSally joined WSNZ November 2015. Prior to that she has worked for various organisations ranging from not-for profit, government, and various private companies around the world. Sally is an East London native and moved to New Zealand late 2007. She has kayaked and snorkelled in some of the world’s most amazing places and is still searching for the next perfect lagoon. In her spare time, Sally can be found pumping iron at the local gym, out on her kayak or sweating within an inch of her life at a Bikram Yoga studio. She also volunteers at a local horse charity every weekend.  

Karen Richardson – Policy and Research Advisor

KarenKaren joined WSNZ in 2019 as policy and research advisor. Prior to that she worked in social services advocating for social change and researching social issues in Aotearoa. In her spare time she enjoys boating, fishing and swimming during the summer and tramping then curling up with a good book during the colder months.  


+ Text Size -
Original generation time 1.5142 seconds. Cache Loaded in: 0.0773 seconds.