The Amanti executive management team is supported by a team of experienced marketing and financial staff
Andrew Te Whaiti
CEO and founding Shareholder
After playing professional rugby in New Zealand and 3 seasons in Italy, then graduating with an MBA from Massey University, Andrew embarked on his career in tourism, prior to founding Amanti Tourism Limited.
As the former CEO of Te Puia, Rotorua, New Zealand’s pre eminent Cultural Tourism Experience, he led a $20 million redevelopment programme which resulted in the creation of one of New Zealand’s leading tourist destinations.
Andrew has developed and operated Tourism Experiences around the World, including many experiences for Indigenous Groups, developing stories of the land and people into world class visitor experiences. Andrew lived and worked in Hawaii for two years developing tourism experiences from the lands of Hawaii.
Chairman of the Board
Tom turned his knowledge and experience as a partner in KPMG in turn around management and “Business Profit Builder” to founding and building highly successful businesses and generating wealth for Shareholders. As Founder and Managing Director of Radius Health Group, Tom helped build a business with over $200 million in revenues and 3,000 staff in five years. This included 42 Pharmacies and 19 Medical Centres. He has been National President of Export Institute of New Zealand and was also Managing Director of Satara Limited Co-operative Group (Listed NZX).
Tom sits on the Boards and Advisory Boards of the following Companies:
Pelco Limited (Chairman)
BR and SL Porter Limited (Chairman)
Aquasplash Limited (Chairman)
Tauranga Bridge Marina Limited (Chairman)
Regal Haulage Limited (Chairman)
Amanti Tourism Limited (Chairman)
Asset Finance Limited (Reserve Bank approved)
It is noted that during the foundation stages of Amanti Tourism USA Limited, Tom will have executive responsibility for providing support at Brand Tourism pitches, and Project Experience contract negotiations through to contract execution.
Chief Commercial Officer
Russ grew up in the Bay of Plenty before heading to Waikato University and completing a Bachelor of Management Studies in 1991. Since completing his degree, Russ has gained 27 years of accounting experience in a range of private and public sector roles.
Prior to 2006 Russ worked within large multinational companies in New Zealand, Australia and London. During this time he developed a strong skillset in commercial analysis, reporting, planning, due diligence and cash flow management. These skills were developed across a range of industries including agriculture, shipping and logistics, healthcare and ultimately a strong focus in tourism. A passion for strong commercial thinking and support has seen Russ presenting regularly on how to commercialise opportunities as well as tourism activity from start up to rejuvenation.
Russ brings a sound commercial background and skillset, inclusive of due diligence, strategic thinking, performance evaluation and business planning for success.
Russ and his wife have two children and are based in Matua where they have both been heavily involved in a range of school and sporting community roles.
Mike has spent most of his life working out what makes people tick and figuring out what they want and why.
He co-founded leading advertising agencies; Colenso BBDO and Hutcheson Knowles Marinkovich, and culminated his advertising career in Auckland as Managing Director of Saatchi and Saatchi.
He was also a director of a family building company and in the early 80’s set up
Replica Homes, with franchises throughout New Zealand.
In 2003 he launched The Lighthouse Ideas Company and in 2008 he helped undertake a management buyout of Image Centre; multi-channel communications group, with interests in digital and offset printing, publishing, video-production, retail advertising and web development. He set up Scarborough Fair, a Fair Trade organic coffee and tea marketing company, planted Lonely Cow vineyard on Waiheke, and has interests in a wine distribution company operating through Nashville, Tennessee.
Mike has written four books, and has been a regular television guest and commentator. He writes an Innovation column for Idealog magazine, one of his company’s portfolio. In 2012 he was named Business Columnist of the Year in the Magazine Publisher’s Awards. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and has a Master of Philosophy degree (with 1st Class Honours) his thesis was on the alchemy of innovation in New Zealand business. He has recently been appointed an Adjunct Professor at Auckland University of Technology.
After finishing University, Matanuku worked at Simpson Grierson, one of NZ’s largest law firms. This was followed by a 4 1/2 year role as the in-house counsel at the then Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission. During his time at the Commission he was heavily involved in litigation concerning the allocation of assets obtained through the Māori fisheries settlement. The Commission also made a number of quota and business acquisitions and was involved in a variety of Fisheries Act reforms.
In 2003 he established the firm Kahui Legal which has a focus on advising Māori clients on a wide range of matters ranging from Treaty of Waitangi claims and settlements through to commercial issues.
Matanuku also has various board roles including the chair of the Ngāti Porou Holding Company. Since May 2012, he has chaired a Ministerial panel reviewing the Maori Land Act 1993. The final recommendations of the panel are due for release in August 2013.
Ms. Diana Puketapu, NDA, CA served as the Chief Financial Officer at Ngati Whatua o Orakei Corporate Ltd which manages substantial land and business interests in central Auckland. Ms. Puketapu has held a number of Chief Financial Officer roles, both in New Zealand and overseas. She serves on the boards of Auckland Council Investments Ltd, World Masters Games 2017 (Auckland), the Unitec Advisory Board for Accounting and Finance and Aotearoa Credit Union. She served as a Director of Public Trust since November 1, 2013 until November 3, 2016. Ms. Puketapu is a Chartered Accountant.
Hugh Mullane has extensive experience in Architectural Design and Commercial Interior Design working on Commercial Offices, Hospitality, Retail and a large number of Airline Lounges. He has also been involved with Heritage Buildings, and team building along with company and team start-ups. Hugh was the founding and also a second term President of the Designers Institute of New Zealand and is a Fellow Member of DINZ. Hugh enjoys identifying key personnel, team building with sub-contractors, professional service providers, interfacing with local authorities along with and building owners and/or their representatives.
Jacque grew up in sunny Tairawhiti Gisborne. After finishing university with a Bachelor of Commerce from Victoria University, she followed her passion for travel and tourism and lived and worked in various commercial roles in the UK and Europe. A highlight from the international stint was setting up and managing a large team of business analyst’s in the Czech Republic. With a strong project management background and passion for Tairawhiti, Gisborne, she returned home and delivered several key regional economic development projects. She brings sound commercial, project and general management experience to the Amanti team to ensure smooth delivery for our clients. She is passionate and highly motivated, who loves working with people!
After 10 years as one of the East Coast’s most successful tourism operators, I launched East Bro, East Cape Tours. This was about reconnecting with my whakapapa and my turangawaewae - becoming familiar with the local stories, the people and the land.
A hop on-hop off venture which went around the Coast two to three times a week my tour tapped into all the best places on the East Coast, engaged in unique East Cape experiences and stayed at some of the East Capes premium beachfront locations.
Committed to supporting East Cape tourism I bring a wealth of New Zealand and East Cape industry knowledge, industry connections, strong work ethics and a background in tourism business with emphasis on product development, customer experience and business management
Regional director UK and Ireland
Michelle has a strong commercial background from working with New Zealand companies targeting business opportunities in Ireland. Having recently relocated to her home town, she is excited to be joining the Amanti Team.
Michelle is passionate about business and believes a deep understanding of your customer is key to success. Specialising in business development, market insights and project management Michelle has a proven track record in strategic growth.
With a career in a multinational financial organisation in Ireland and a government trade agency in New Zealand, Michelle has worked with hundreds of companies across numerous industries achieving international success.
Michelle holds a BA from University College Dublin. She has qualifications in Sales, Marketing and PR and is also an accredited Financial Advisor.