Rau Paenga is a Crown-owned company with an independent Board. Formerly known as Ōtākaro Limited, the company was established in April 2016 to deliver anchor projects in Christchurch. The goal was to operate like a commercially focused project management company.
In late 2022, the Government decided to capitalise on the experience and capability Ōtākaro developed building major assets during a challenging period for the construction sector by repurposing the company to meet a new mandate.
The company was tasked with supporting and delivering infrastructure around Aotearoa for other Government agencies, particularly those that don’t routinely build things.
Many of these agencies have looming infrastructure needs so Rau Paenga is working with them to support or deliver their projects.
With a nationwide focus, the company name was changed from Ōtākaro (the Māori name for Christchurch’s Avon River) to Rau Paenga (which means ‘many places’) in March 2023.
Our Chief Executive, John has overseen the delivery of the company’s major anchor projects in central Christchurch. An experienced chartered professional engineer, John has been involved in the Christchurch earthquake recovery for the past 12 years. His programme leadership includes complex stakeholder-driven infrastructure developments, diverse and challenging political interests, skills in vertical building design and construction, as well as balancing commercial outcomes against the Crown’s objectives. John’s skills and his ability to balance consultation with decisive action, are well known and respected. John has been passionate about the rebuild of Christchurch and is pleased to see the work of his dedicated team now being enjoyed by residents and visitors.
General Manager People and Safety
Sue oversees the development, design and delivery of the People and Capability strategy, including recruitment and change management, to ensure the company is fit for purpose. Sue is also responsible for the company’s Health Safety and Environment team, which works with both staff and external contractors on site. Sue had over 20 years’ experience in human resources positions with large organisations such as Westpac, Meadow Mushrooms and most recently Lincoln University, before she joined Ōtākaro during its establishment in 2016. Sue lives in Christchurch with husband John. She is passionate about developing and nurturing people, and wellbeing. In her spare time she can be found around the Port Hills either on a bike or on foot, or browsing around interior design shops.
General Counsel and Company Secretary
Sam has 20 years’ legal experience in New Zealand, Ireland and the UK. He is a leading construction and commercial lawyer and for the last 15 years has worked in-house for energy and construction companies, at EDF Energy in the UK and at Genesis Energy and Fulton Hogan in New Zealand. Sam was Fulton Hogan’s first New Zealand-based lawyer and over his eight-year tenure, he developed and led a team of senior lawyers supporting Fulton Hogan’s large and diverse New Zealand business. Sam joined the company in November 2022 as General Counsel and Company Secretary. Sam lives in Auckland with his wife and two young children. He is passionate about construction, infrastructure, and health and safety, and in his spare time is actively involved with youth cricket and football.
General Manager Te Pae
Kirstie has a background in retail management with over 20 years’ experience working in corporate retail environments. Kirstie spent 10 years at Scentre Group with her most recent role being the centre manager at Westfield Riccarton, where she gained extensive experience in major asset management and marketing. Kirstie and her team are responsible for overseeing the owner relationship with the venue operators, ASM Global, at Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre. A born and bred Aucklander, Kirstie now calls Christchurch home. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her husband and teenage sons exploring the beautiful South Island.
Director Corporate Services
Ken is a chartered accountant, director and senior executive with leadership experience in the construction, wholesale/distribution, agribusiness and engineering sectors. Auckland-based, Ken spent many years in Christchurch and is excited to support the company to turn a Christchurch success story into a nationwide one. Leading the newly formed Corporate Services unit, comprising Project Services, Finance and IST, Ken brings significant systems and business transformation experience. In his spare time he enjoys track walking, mountain biking and watching football.