Our team

The Board comprises three Commissioners, with scope to move to four members over time at the discretion of the Minister of Finance.

In addition to core governance responsibilities, the Commissioners lead our inquiries. The Commission has around 15 staff, with scope to grow to 20 depending on what we determine the best mix is of permanent roles, contractors, consultants and secondments. Nearly all of our staff are focused on core operational work, given many of our corporate services are provided under contract by Inland Revenue.

The Board

Murray Sherwin CNZM, Chair

Murray is an economist with over 35 years' experience across a wide range of public policy roles.

His previous roles include: Chief Executive and Director General of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry; Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand; Chair, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Commission; member of the Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank in Washington DC; member of the Prime Minister’s Advisory Group; and a member of the Advisory Board of the New Zealand Debt Management Office. Murray is a Charter Member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors and a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management.

Other current roles include: Member of the Review Panel for the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority; Chair, Strategic Risk and Resilience Panel - advising the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet on national risk issues; and Chair, Innovation Partnership – a group of private and public sector entities supporting smart use of internet technology.

Professor Sally Davenport

Sally is Professor of Management at Victoria Business School where she teaches innovation and entrepreneurship. She has an extensive research and evaluation background, focusing on commercialisation, innovation and productivity. Until 2012 Sally was leading a research project; ‘Building Our Productivity: Understanding Sustainable Collective Productivity in New Zealand Firms’, which was centred on understanding firm-level processes in the food and beverage sector and biotechnology sector. In early 2017, Sally became Director of the 'Science for technological Innovation' National Science Challenge.  She is also a member of the Institute of Directors and a Fellow of the International Society for Professional Innovation Management (ISPIM). Sally’s experience brings strong linkages between science, technology, innovation and the business sector.

Dr Graham Scott

Graham is the Executive Chair of Southern Cross Advisers Ltd, a company specialising in advising on public sector reform globally. He is also a Consulting Director in the Sapere Research Group. He has worked for a wide range of clients in New Zealand and internationally, including The World Bank, The IMF, and various Australian and New Zealand Government agencies. His engagements have included the position of Chair on a Government Taskforce established to advise on the Regulatory Standards Bill and he also Chaired the 2010 Review of Expenditure on Government Policy Advice.

Graham was Chair of the Advisory Group to the Electricity Authority on Transmission Pricing in 2010 and was Chair of the Panel of Expert Advisers to the Gas Industry Company in 2012. He was Secretary to The Treasury from 1986–1993 and Chair of the Health Funding Authority 1997-2000.

Management team

Daiman Smith, General Manager

Daiman is an experienced public sector manager with a background in strategic policy, governance and assurance. As Group Manager, Corporate at the Independent Police Conduct Authority, he was responsible for strategy and corporate issues. He has held management roles at the Ministry of Justice, worked on advising and monitoring Crown-owned entities at Treasury/CCMAU and held strategic analysis and policy roles with a focus on capability development  and relationship management in the Ministry of Defence and the NZ Defence Force.

He has a Bachelor of Arts with Honours and Master of Arts in History from Massey, and a Master of International Relations from Victoria. 

Paul Conway, Director Economics & Research

Paul leads the Commission’s work on understanding the broad drivers of New Zealand’s productivity performance and the role of policy in improving it. He is also Chair of the Productivity Hub, a cross-agency collaboration of productivity researchers in the New Zealand public sector.

Paul is an economist with extensive international experience and has previously worked with the OECD, the World Bank, Westpac and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. His work has included published studies on the impact of regulation on competition and productivity in New Zealand, China, Russia and India, as well as broader OECD-wide analysis. Much of Paul’s recent work with the Commission has focused on understanding productivity at the level of New Zealand firms.

Paul has a Master of Commerce and Administration (Economics), First Class, from Victoria University and a Bachelor of Commerce (Economics) from Otago University.

Judy Kavanagh, Inquiry Director (Tertiary education)

Judy is an economist with twelve years’ experience in the public sector, including roles in the Ministries of Health and Education and four years with the Productivity Commission. Before joining the public service, Judy spent fifteen years undertaking teaching and research at Canterbury University and Victoria University of Wellington, in the areas of microeconomics, experimental economics and economic psychology, and the organisation of health systems.

As a Principal Advisor at the Commission she has worked on inquiries into using land for housing (2015), regulatory institutions and practices (2014), toward better local regulation (2013), and housing affordability (2012).    

Judy has a Master of Arts in Economics from the University of Canterbury, a post graduate diploma in Health Economics from the University of Tromso (with distinction) and a College Diploma and Diploma in Teaching from the Christchurch Teachers College and the Department of Education (with distinction).

Steven Bailey, Inquiry Director (Urban planning)

Steven is an economist with extensive public sector experience in New Zealand and abroad, including four years with the Australian Productivity Commission, where he was Inquiry Manager, and policy advice roles with both the Ministry of Economic Development and the New Zealand Treasury. Steven’s private sector experience includes roles with Telecom New Zealand and before joining the Commission he was Director Government Relations with the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Steven led the Commission’s inquiries into using land for housing (2015), regulatory institutions and practices (2014), toward better local regulation (2013), and housing affordability (2012).

Steven has a Master of Science (Regulation) from the London School of Economics and Political Science, a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) in Economics from Lincoln University, and a Bachelor of Commerce degree (Economics) from Otago University.