Our People

TIMBERLANDS draws on a solid foundation of knowledge and experience in the forestry industry. The combined expertise of our carefully selected management team covers the full spectrum of forest information, forest establishment, tending, harvesting, log manufacturing, marketing of logs and wood chips, as well as financial reporting and compliance services. Operational members of our Senior Executive team and many of our employees have spent their working life in forestry and are recognised as experts in their field. TIMBERLANDS Limited (NZ) employs approx 80 staff and manages approximately 750 contractors.

Cable Logging

Members of our Senior Executive Team are:
Ryan Cavanagh Chief Executive Officer
Pauline Van den Kerkhof Chief Financial Officer
Dean Witehira Chief Operating Officer
Krishan Topiwala Transformation Manager
Ian Hinton Technical Manager
Carl Stent Occupational Health & Safety Manager
Colin Maunder Sustainability Manager
Belinda Bird Human Resources Manager
Stuart Hickman Group Legal Counsel

RYAN CAVANAGH, Chief Executive Officer
Ryan joins Timberlands following a very successful tenure with McKinsey & Company. Since 2015, as Senior Vice President, Ryan has been providing leadership and business transformation coaching as a Chief Transformation Officer, working with companies in New Zealand and the wider Asia region as part of the McKinsey Transformation practice. Prior to McKinsey, Ryan spent 17 years in operational leadership and senior executive roles with Rio Tinto working in New Zealand, Australia, UK and Zimbabwe. Ryan has a Bachelor of Engineering (honours) and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Birmingham, UK.

PAULINE VAN DEN KERKHOF, Chief Financial Officer
Pauline has held various accounting positions in the forest industry for over 30 years, including Management accounting, Vessel Management and Accounting and Financial Accounting.  She joined Timberlands in 2003, leaving her previous postion with Fletcher Challenge Forests. Pauline is a Chartered Accountant and a member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

DEAN WITEHIRA, Chief Operating Officer
Dean has worked in and around Kaingaroa Forest for over 30 years. As COO he is responsible for leading Timberlands’ Genetics, Tree Crop, Harvesting and Marketing Operations. Dean graduated from the University of Canterbury with a BForSc (Hons), holds a New Zealand Certificate in Forestry (NZCF) and in 2019 completed the General Management Program at Harvard Business School. Ko whakapapa ia no Ngai Tawake, Nga Puhi.

KRISHAN TOPIWALA, Transformation Manager
Details to come.

IAN HINTON, Technical Manager
Ian has over 30 years of industry experience with a career focus in resource modelling, forest valuation, research and development (R&D) and land management. Ian currently leads the team responsible for managing TL’s strategic planning, R&D, valuations, and resource management as well as leading our digital transformation. Ian has a BForSc (Hons) from the University of Canterbury, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Management from University of Waikato and is a member of the NZ Institute of Forestry.

CARL STENT, Occupational Health & Safety Manager
With a wealth of experience from the civil construction, transport, environmental management, and service sectors, Carl brings a dedicated occupational health and safety leadership resource to Timberlands. Having held several senior management roles over the past 20 years as well as running his own risk management consultancy business, Carl brings a fresh perspective to the senior management Team. Partners in safety is his creed and stand to improve safety performance at Timberlands.

COLIN MAUNDER, Sustainability Manager
With over 25 years' experience in most aspects of forest management, Colin specialises in forest risk management including environmental safety, fire and security management of plantations. Colin graduated from University of Canterbury with a BForSc and an MSc in Environmental Sciences.  He is a member of the NZ Institute of Forestry and the Environmental Institute of Australia and New Zealand.

BELINDA BIRD, Human Resources Manager
Belinda has worked in a range of primary industries during her career, including dairy, kiwifruit and water industries, as well as having held positions in both OSH and ACC where she undertook consultancy work in injury prevention and health and safety management. This broad experience is incorporated into her current role with Timberlands. Belinda holds a Graduate Diploma in Health & Safety from Massey University.

STUART HICKMAN, Group Legal Counsel
Prior to joining Timberlands in 2017, Stuart held legal positions in both private practice and inhouse. Stuart has broad experience in the property, commercial, and environmental law fields. Stuart has an MA(hons) and LLB from The University of Auckland.

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