Programme Team

The New Southern Sky Programme team are based at the CAA head office in the Asteron building in central Wellington. 

Governance Group

The purpose of the New Southern Sky Governance Group is to provide strategic guidance and oversight of the National Airspace and Air Navigation Plan through New Southern Sky, the implementation programme.

Members of the Governance Group, which is chaired by the CAA, include the Ministry of Transport and the Airways Corporation.  Director New Southern Sky sits on the Governance Group  and an independent member.

Working Group

The New Southern Sky Working Group (NSSWG) is a cross-agency group comprising representatives of the agencies involved in the NSS programme. The NSSWG, chaired by the Director NSS (CAA), is responsible for providing advice to the programme project leads, and to the NSS Governance Group to enable that group to fulfil its role.

The membership of the Working Group is:

  • CAA (Chairman – Director NSS)
  • Airways Corporation
  • Ministry of Transport
  • MetService
  • Aeropath
  • Air New Zealand
  • Qantas Group
  • Land Information New Zealand
  • Airports Association
  • Aviation Community Advisory Group
  • Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
  • Ministry for the Environment
  • New Zealand Defence Force
  • Aviation New Zealand
  • IFR Helicopters
  • Virgin Australia
  • UAV New Zealand

To find out more about the representatives on each of the teams, please scroll down.

Head Office


Level 15, Asteron Centre
55 Featherston
Wellington 6011


PO Box 3555
Wellington 6140
New Zealand

Phone & Email

+64 4 560 9400
+64 4 569 2024

NSS Programme Team

Steve Smyth

Director New Southern Sky

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Steve Smyth is originally from the UK. He was an RAF officer, and flew Phantoms and Tornado fighters as a navigator. In his last RAF role Steve was responsible for the RAF’s operational test and evaluation programme, which included preparing Typhoon fighters ready for service.

In 2006, Steve was recruited by the RNZAF as a civilian to manage the Introduction Into Service programme for the upgrade or replacement of every operational aircraft and supporting system.

In July 2014, Steve was recruited by the CAA, as Director – New Southern Sky.

Steve’s role is to bring together all aspects of New Southern Sky, both internal and external, through coordination of the New Southern Sky stakeholder group. He chairs the Working Group and is a member of the Governance Group to which he reports.

Angela Leamy

Senior Administration Officer

DD: (04) 560 9661

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Angela joined the Civil Aviation Authority in January 2018, and is Senior Administration and Event Coordinator for New Southern Sky team at the CAA.

Angela's background is in administration, event management and adult education. Angela's role in New Southern Sky is event coordination and administration support.

Sean Rogers

Manager Aeronautical Services Unit

Dave Harrison

Principal Aviation Examiner

Kate Madden

Aeronatical Servcies Officer

Shaun Johnson

Manager Airworthiness

Kelly Telfer

Senior Advisor Programme Management

Tom Gormley

Project Coordinator and Project Lead

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Tom joined the NSS team in August 2019 following 2 years as the Senior Administration Officer for the Airworthiness Unit at the CAA.

Tom’s role in New Southern Sky is Project Coordinator and Project Lead, with a focus on the Surveillance workstream.

Originally from the UK, Tom has a background in Property Law, Live Sound Engineering and, unsurprisingly for a Brit, football.

Anna Shaw

Project Portfolio Coordinator and Project Lead

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Anna joined the NSS team in August 2019 following a near 19 year career in the RNZAF as a rotary wing pilot and Qualified Flying Instructor on the mighty Huey and the A109.

In recent years, Anna has undertaken roles in Operating Airworthiness, Operational Test and Evaluation and interoperability with the Air and Space Interoperability Council and NATO Helicopter Interservice Working Group.

Anna has a strong background in flying safety and supervision, compliance, flying training, aviation risk management, personnel management, development of orders, instructions and procedures and Introduction Into Service of new aircraft, technology and capabilities.

Paula Acethorp

Chief Meteorological Officer

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Paula is the Chief Meteorological Officer at CAANZ and is the current Lead for the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) MET Panel Meteorological Operations Group – Volcanic Ash work stream and sits on various other ICAO MET Panel and the Asia Pacific Air Navigation Planning and Implementation Regional Group (APANPIRG) MET working groups. Prior to this, Paula spent 14 years at MetService as a meteorologist and later, held the roles of Manager Aviation Weather Services and the Manager VAAC Wellington.

Blake Crayton-Brown

Senior Communications Advisor

Peter Mee

Principal Policy Advisor

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Peter has worked in public policy roles across the public sector in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. He is on his second stint at CAANZ, having previously worked for the UKCAA in London and the New Zealand Ministry of Transport. From 2017 – 2019, he was a Transport Private Secretary in the office of the Minister of Transport, Hon Phil Twyford.

Stuart Worden

Senior Policy Advisor

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Stuart is a Senior Policy Advisor in the International and Regulatory Strategy team and is the policy lead on the PBN Regulatory Framework project. Prior to joining the CAA in early 2018, he worked for the NZ Transport Agency developing and implementing vehicle standards and safety programs. He has a degree in Mechanical Engineering, and a particular interest in the technical side of the aviation sector.

David Oliver

Helicopter Inspector

Joe Franklin

Air Transport Inspector

NSS Governance Group

Mark Hughes

Deputy Director - Air Transport and Airworthiness - Civil Aviation Authority/NSSGG Chairperson

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Mark is the Deputy Director Air Transport and Airworthiness for the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand. Mark leads a Group which is responsible for the safety oversight of New Zealand airlines and supporting maintenance, design, and manufacturing organisations. The Group also provides safety oversight of foreign airlines flying to and from New Zealand. Mark is the CAA Sponsor for the New Southern Sky (NSS) programme, a collaborative initiative to modernize New Zealand’s airspace and air navigation.

Mark’s early aviation career included roles as a military pilot for both the Canadian Armed Forces and the RNZAF. Before joining the CAA he had an extensive career in commercial aviation, flying a range of aircraft including the A320, A330, B757, and B737-800. He has held roles as an Instructor, Flight Examiner, Human Factors Specialist, Chief Pilot, and Director of Flight Operations.

Mark has experienced the evolution of aviation safety first-hand, including significant changes in technology and training, and greater focus on organisational and system factors. These changes have required aviation regulators to adopt new ways of engaging with industry to achieve desired safety outcomes. The implementation of Performance Base Regulation and the coordinated introduction of new technology are integral to these efforts.

Kirstie Hewlett

Deputy Chief Executive, Regulatory & Data, Ministry of Transport

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Kirstie brings strong policy, regulatory and strategy experience to the Governance Group, having worked in a number of leadership roles across the public sector.

Kirstie joined the Ministry of Transport from WorkSafe NZ, where she was General Manager Strategy and Performance. Prior to this, she led policy, strategy, and research and evaluation functions covering financial sector reform, telecommunications strategy and infrastructure, industry and regional development, employment, and health and safety.

Kirstie has also held senior roles to improve regulatory frameworks and regulatory systems in the public sector.

Quentin Hay

Commercial Barrister

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Quentin Hay is a commercial barrister practising in Wellington, and a legal adviser in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. His practice includes infrastructure, utilities, regulation, commercial contracts, financing, merger and acquisition and transactions involving governments. Quentin also has considerable governance experience: currently he is also a trustee of Chamber Music New Zealand and of the Hurricanes Alumni Foundation.

Quentin’s role on the Governance Group is to provide independent governance oversight.

Tim Boyle

GM Air Traffic Systems, Airways New Zealand

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Tim was appointed General Manager Air Traffic Services in January 2018.
With 32 years’ experience in the aviation and air traffic management industry, Tim has held senior positions within Airways and Dubai Air Navigation Services (DANS). Previously he was Head of Air Traffic Services and Head Customer and Stakeholder Management for DANS, and Airways Head of Auckland Operations.

NSS Working Group

Ian Andrews

Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA)

Wayne Blythe

Manager ANS Development - Airways New Zealand

Ashok Poduval

Aviation New Zealand

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Ashok Poduval is currently the CEO of Massey University School of Aviation based in Palmerston North, New Zealand. He has been a training captain with Indian Airlines and Gulf Air on B-737 and A-320 aircraft, and has over 12,500 hours of airline jet flying experience. He holds a current New Zealand Airline Transport Pilot’s Licence, as well as ATP licences from India, Oman and Canada.

Ashok has held various senior management positions in the aviation industry, including Manager Human Factors Program, Head of Human Resources, Corporate Training and Development with Gulf Air, Bahrain, and Director of Flight Operations and Safety Services with IATA based at Montreal. He has written and presented a number of papers on aviation operations, training and safety at various international conferences, and has been on numerous IATA and ICAO technical panels and working groups.

Ashok has tertiary qualifications in business administration and aeronautics, and a Master of Management degree from Massey University. He is the representative on the NSSWG for the Aviation Industry Association (Aviation NZ)

Mike Haines

Head of Policy, Standards and Safety Improvement Airways New Zealand

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Mike Haines has over 20 years aviation experience including operational management roles at Christchurch International Airport, the Civil Aviation Authority and Airways New Zealand. Mike holds a private pilot licence – aeroplane, Bachelor of Aviation and a Masters of Aviation.
Whilst at the CAA Mike established and managed the Airspace and Environmental Policy Unit which among other tasks developed the New Zealand Performance Based Navigation Plan. He oversaw development of the National Airspace and Air Navigation Plan based which is now being implemented as the New Southern Sky Programme.
Mike has been involved in various International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) meetings and groups including the Asia Pacific Air Navigation Planning and Implementation Regional Group (APANPIRG) and as co-chair of the ICAO Asia Pacific Seamless Air Traffic Management Group which developed the regional Seamless ATM Plan.
Mike is currently Head of Policy, Standards and Safety Improvement a role that ensures Airways compliance with Civil Aviation Rules, sets operational policy, coordinates ICAO matters and assesses the implementation of new technologies for operational use. Mike is on the NSS Working Group and NSS Swim Sub-Group.

Russell Brown

Senior Adviser - Aviation & Security - Ministry of Transport

Qwilton Biel

Aviation Community Advisory Group (ACAG) - Deputy Chairman

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Qwilton has 30 years involvement in management of GA helicopter and fixed wing operations. He have recently taken on the role of Deputy Chairman of ACAG as well as being the Coordinator for Auckland Airspace Users Group.
Qwilton is also involved as industry representative on initial drafting of the Civil Aviation Rules.
Qwilton has a CPL(H) and Skipper Restricted Limits, which he enjoys using on the rare occasions he is allowed away from his desk.

Garry Goodman

NZ Airports Association

Kevin Alder

Manager, Meteorological Data Services - MetService

Steve Kelly

Manager Flight Operations Regulatory Affairs - Air New Zealand

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Steve Kelly was born, raised and educated in Auckland. After university he joined the RNZAF and flew as a P3 Orion Navigator and Tactical Coordinator.
Steve emigrated to the United Kingdom in the early 90’s and spent 6 years in London working in various flight planning and flight operations roles with Jeppesen U.K. and Shell Aircraft’s corporate flight department.
Returning to New Zealand in 1997 to a job with Air New Zealand, Steve has been involved with Navigation Services and latterly with Flight Operations Regulatory Affairs.

Kurt Frauenstein

Virgin Australia Pilot

Matt Amos

National Geodesist - Land Information New Zealand

Matt Day

Manager Aeronautical Information Management - Aeropath

Mark Cook

IFR Helicopters (Helicopter NZ)