Dr David Gaimster
Chief Executive

As Chief Executive David leads on the strategic direction of the Museum ensuring our ongoing relevance, building our capacity as a place of learning and engagement and cementing our status as a leader in the cultural sector.

David is an experienced museum director and academic with extensive knowledge in the museum and cultural heritage economy. His career spans more than 30 years in senior roles in museums and cultural heritage organisations, most recently as Director of The Hunterian, one of the UK’s largest university museum services and the oldest museum in Scotland.

He has also worked in central government policy making on cultural property, and as the CEO of a national Learned Society and conservation charity.
He has organised several major exhibitions that have toured internationally, and has published extensively on historical European archaeology and material culture, museology and on international cultural property policy. He also has experience leading major capital projects in London and Glasgow. 

In 2019 Dr Gaimster was appointed Hon Adjunct Professor in Museum and Cultural Heritage at the University of Auckland.

David Reeves 
Director Collections and Research

David leads the team of curators, collection managers, conservators, librarians and other specialists who contribute their expertise across the wide range of disciplines and subjects represented in the collections.  

Together, they are responsible for the acquisition, care, documentation and research of the 4.7 million taonga we hold in our collections as well as facilitating access to collections and knowledge through numerous channels online and in person.

David joined the Museum in January 2011 after a time at the Alexander Turnbull Library as Associate Chief Librarian, Research Access. David's career also includes roles at the Auckland Art Gallery and at Te Papa managing logistics, storage and documentation of collections.

David brings a range of perspectives on the activities of libraries, museums, galleries and archives, with an interest in how they are responding to and utilising the digital environment. 

David is also experienced in Museum building design and has been involved in a number of building re-developments and collection relocation projects. He holds a Bachelor of Building Science from Victoria University of Wellington and Diplomas in Professional Photography and Museum Studies.

Linnae Pohatu

Tumuaki Director, Māori Projects and Development

Linnae ensures that He Korahi Māori and Teu Le Vā, our Māori and Pacific Dimensions, are vibrant and visible at Auckland Museum. Her team enables the Museum to build enduring, mutually beneficial partnerships with Iwi, Māori and Pacific communities that ensure their access and connection to taonga, collections, research and expertise.   

Linnae’s professional career began within Government as a Parliamentary Officer in the House of Representatives, Private Secretary to the Minister in charge of Treaty Settlements, Policy and Negotiations Analyst at the Office of Treaty Settlements. 

She also spent three years at the National Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa as their Bicultural Policy Analyst and as General Manager Māori at the career planning government agency, Career Services Rapuara. 

Linnae has been a researcher and trustee of the Ngā Taonga ā Ngā Tama Toa (C Company, 28 Māori Battalion) Trust and is a descendent of Ngāti Porou, Ngai Tahu, Rongowhakaata, Ngai Tāmanuhiri and Te Aitanga ā Mahaki.  Born and bred in the Tairawhiti (East Coast/Turanganui-ā-Kiwa) Region, Linnae has Bachelor of Arts with Honours from Massey University. 

Jignasha Patel
Director of Finance and Enterprise


Jignasha is responsible for implementing strategies to drive revenue and business growth and translating financial complexity into business information to drive commercial results.

She is an experienced leader in the fields of commercial development and financial management capability. Jignasha has a track record of achievement as a leader in the corporate and consulting world, having headed up nationally significant projects as General Manager of Air New Zealand Aviation Institute and Air New Zealand Cargo.

She is a strong advocate for driving sustainable business and societal change through focusing on commercial and operational excellence, enhanced customer experiences and a culture of high-performance engagement.

Jignasha also holds a number of governance roles with other organisations. She is a Director for NZ Post and a Board trustee for COMET, an Auckland Council CCO focused on advancing education for Auckland. Originally from Fiji, Jignasha has lived in New Zealand for the past 35 years. 

Brad Clark
Director of Transformation and Development 

As Director of Transformation and Development, Brad leads a portfolio that includes the Capital Works, Building and Infrastructure, and Development teams. 

Brad has a diverse professional background with demonstrated success in the transformation and development areas, with more than 15 years’ experience in senior executive roles as a marketer and fundraiser. Prior to joining the Museum, Brad was Chief Executive of the Starship Foundation, where he led a team to raise funds for several multi-million-dollar capital investment, and research projects for New Zealand’s national children’s hospital.  

As head of this new Museum directorate, Brad and his teams, will help grow revenue and build funding streams, and deliver capital and building transformation projects, to help promote the Museum to new and bigger audiences.

Brad is passionate about bringing together business and the community to deliver transformational change through social impact for New Zealand – an approach that is reflected strongly in the Museum’s vision for growth in a vibrant and world-renowned Auckland cultural sector.

Tim Hart
Director Public Experience

Tim leads the development of our exhibition and public programmes ensuring we provide a world class experience that makes technology an integral part of the Museum experience.      

Tim was Director of Public Engagement at Museums Victoria for six years before joining Auckland Museum in 2017 as Director, Public Experience. He holds a degree in Architecture and Archaeology and has 29 years’ experience in Museums, including in collection management, policy development, information technology and multimedia development.

Tim’s previous roles include National Project Manager of Australian Museums On Line, and Chief Information Officer at Australia’s Powerhouse Museum and he has been an active member of Museums Australia for the last 20 years. 

Tim is passionate about the positive role technology can play in driving change and innovation in museums. He believes it will re-shape our museums and redefine their role within the community.

Megan McSweeney
Director Business, External Affairs and Tourism


To enable the Museum to deliver the ambitious goals outlined in the Five-Year Strategic Plan and to ensure we are ready for the next stage of our longer-term transformation, Megan leads a team responsible for understanding and reaching out to our visitors, communities and stakeholders to share our unique stories.      

With an extensive background in marketing and communications, Megan has held senior executive positions in a number of New Zealand's major companies including SkyCity Entertainment Group and NZ Bus (Infratil). Having worked across a diverse range of customer facing industries including tourism, utilities, education, entertainment and logistics, Megan brings to Auckland Museum expertise in marketing, brand, communications, operations and customer experience.

She is Deputy Chair of CINZ (Conferences & Incentives New Zealand) and holds a board position on ARAFB (Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board). Megan was also a board member for Tourism Industry Aotearoa for six years.

Megan has a Bachelor of Arts from Auckland University and a Postgraduate Diploma in Business from Auckland University's Business School.  

Catherine Smith
Director People and Organisation


Catherine is kaitiaki of our people and our unique Tāmaki Paenga Hira culture.  She is responsible for health, safety and security, visitor services and volunteers and is the executive lead for the Museum’s diversity and inclusion culture.  

Catherine brings wide-ranging experience to Auckland Museum with a background in social work, operational management and well over a decade in Human Resources and organisational development roles.  She is committed to creating a sustainable, high performance workplace where people experience enriching work and are inspired to innovate. 

Before coming to the Museum, Catherine was the Human Resources lead for the NZ Human Rights Commission and held the Workforce and Leadership Capability portfolio at Ko Awatea, Counties Manukau District Health Board. 

Catherine is a trained coach and Independent Workplace Investigator. She holds a Bachelor of Social Work, a Postgraduate Diploma in Business, a Master’s degree in Human Resources and Organisational Development and has won several academic excellence awards for her postgraduate studies. Catherine has held the role of Director People and Organisation since June 2016.


Auckland Museum Trust Board

The following people are involved in the governance of Auckland War Memorial Museum:


Orchid Atimalala



Orchid Atimalala has an extensive background working with local government organisations including the North Shore City Council and Auckland Regional Council. She has a Bachelor of Planning degree and is a full member of the New Zealand Planning Institute as well as being a Certified Independent Hearings Commissioner. Orchid works for two independent consultancies and specialises in community and stakeholder consultation as well as relationship management with local and central government. She has held positions on a number of boards including being deputy chair of the Pacific Peoples Advisory Panel and a member of the In2it Youth Development Trust Board. Orchid is a fluent speaker of Sāmoan and a mentor for the Beatrice Faumuina Leadership Trust.

Tarun Kanji

Deputy Chair


Tarun Kanji has 25 years corporate and consulting experience internationally and in New Zealand comprising time spent with international accounting firms spanning corporate advisory, valuation, finance, litigation support, and recovery and audit disciplines. He currently holds two publically listed company directorships and a range of private and public sector governance roles and was chairman of Bank of India in New Zealand.

Mr Kanji is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand as well as a member of the NZ Institute of Directors and NZ Asian Leaders.

Professor Richard Bedford


Professor Bedford QSO, FRSNZ has had a distinguished academic career for which he holds titles as Emeritus Professor at the University of Waikato and the Auckland University of Technology.  He has recently completed a three-year term as of President of the Royal Society Te Apārangi. 

With wide-ranging experience chairing national governance groups and funding assessment panels, Professor Bedford's expertise will enhance the Board's connections with the tertiary research sector and new research funding streams.

Jo Brosnahan QSO


Jo Brosnahan is presently Chair of Hunter Downs Development Company and Northpower Fibre and was the founding Chair of Leadership New Zealand. She was the CEO of the former Auckland Regional Council from 1996 till 2004. In 1995-96 she received a Harkness Fellowship in Leadership to study at Duke University in the USA and is also a Commander of the Queens Service Order (QSO).

Martin Mariassouce


He honore he kororia ki te Atua, he maungarongo ki te whenua, he whakaaro pai ki nga tangata katoa. Tamaki Paenga Hira is a repository of knowledge, endeavour and the industry of people. It provides insights to the past, stands in the present, and offers pathways to the future. Martin Mariassouce was chairperson of the museum's Māori advisory committee, the Taumata-ā-Iwi, from 2007 to 2013. In October 2013 he joined the Trust Board as the Taumata's representative. As an avid student of 'te reo me ona tikanga' he contributes keenly to the Māori dimension established in the museum’s bicultural and 'He Kōrahi Māori' foundation adding value to museum practice. Martin currently works with Māori micro-enterprises and small businesses to increase productivity and business capability.

Dr Sarah Sandley


Dr Sarah Sandley serves as Advisory Chair for the Katherine Mansfield Society, and is on the Auckland Branch Committee of the Institute of Directors. She is a former Chair of the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival Trust, and was previously CEO of APN Magazine Group. Sarah holds a PHD in English Literature on the work of New Zealand author Katherine Mansfield.

Sir Pita Sharples  KNZM CBE

Sir Pita Sharples is a respected Māori academic and politician, who was a co-leader of the Māori Party, and a minister outside Cabinet in the National Party-led government. Pita has a doctorate in Anthropology/Linguistics and was formerly a Professor of Education at The University of Auckland. Pita is of Ngāti Kahungunu decent, and his father a second generation New Zealander whose family came from Bolton, United Kingdom.

In 1990 Pita was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday list of honours for his services to Māori and has been recognised for his involvement in a great number of initiatives aimed at Māori development. In the 2015 Queen's Birthday Honours he was appointed a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services as a Member of Parliament and to Māori.

Jo-anne Wilkinson  MNZM


Jo-anne Wilkinson is the co-founder and former Executive Director of the Foundation for Youth Development (formerly Project K Trust). The organisation began in 1995 and has grown today to reach 20,000 young people each year through its programmes - Project K, Stars, Kiwi Can, Career Navigator and MYND. Jo-anne remains on the FYD board. With her legal background and through building FYD Jo-anne has gained experience in licensing, research and evaluation, community development, programme development, quality assurance, organisational change, governance and the interface between government, business and the social sector.

Karen Avery


Karen Avery has been involved with not-for-profit community organisations in a variety of roles for over 30 years. She has served on the boards of a wide range of these organisations, the most recent being Second Nature Charitable Trust, which owns and operates the Vodafone Events Centre and Wero Whitewater Park in Manukau.

Karen’s background is in management and finance primarily in the advertising and book publishing industries. She is also a Justice of the Peace.

Mark Binns


Mark Binns is an experienced Director and former Chief Executive, with a background in construction, property development and asset management. 

Mr Binns served as Chief Executive of Meridian Energy for five years, during which time he was responsible for major strategic reviews, and the launch of New Zealand’s largest Initial Public Offering.

Prior to this, Mr Binns career spanned 22 years in both Fletcher Building and Fletcher Challenge, where he was responsible for operations in New Zealand, Australia, South East Asia, India, South America, the United States and the South Pacific. 

Mr Binns joined the Auckland Museum Trust Board in 2018 and holds the role of Chairperson for the Future Museum Capital Programme Committee.