Change the game

Changes to our Board of Directors

8th APRIL 2021, Wellington, NZ

Creative HQ is having a changing of the guards, with Barry Brook stepping down from Chairman of the Board in June 2021. We have had the privilege of having Barry as our Chairman for the past nine years.

Creative HQ is owned by WellingtonNZ. Tracey Bridges, Chair of the WellingtonNZ Board says; “Barry has been an outstanding contributor to the success of Creative HQ throughout his time as Chairman of the Board. We would like to thank him for his deeply considered leadership, experienced strategic thinking, and unwavering support.

He has been instrumental in the governance around a number of the new and bold initiatives untaken by Creative HQ over the years and an extremely steady hand through the unique challenges presented by COVID-19 over the past year and the transition to the new CE. He will be sorely missed.”


Lance Walker will be taking over from Barry on 1 June 2021. Lance has been a Director on the Creative HQ board for the past three years. He is a passionate Wellingtonian and has been a champion of Creative HQ since his time in the CE role at WellingtonNZ. We’re looking forward to him stepping into the role of Chair. 

Lance is currently the CE of Accuro Health Insurance, has a deep understanding of Governance and Creative HQ, and is well respected for what he has achieved. We’re delighted to welcome him into this new role.

In addition to this change we also welcome two new Directors to the table from 1 April 2021, Diana Siew and Trent Mankelow. Diana and Trent both bring vast amounts of knowledge and experience in innovation strategy, research and an entrepreneurial spirit.

Trent is a local Wellington entrepreneur who co-founded Optimal Workshop to build SaaS tools for user experience professionals and spent five years at Trade Me as Chief Customer Officer and Chief Product Officer.

Diana is Auckland based with a background in science and technology commercialisation. She is involved with a number of initiatives and organisations in the MedTech industry, including Cloud9 the Auckland Bioengineering Institute’s start-up space. Diana was previously with Callaghan Innovation and is connected to MBIE as an assessor.

Catherine Jones, CE of Creative HQ said “We are really fortunate to attract people with the depth of experience and passion for Innovation that Diana and Trent will bring. They will each be a huge asset to Creative HQ at a time where innovation and creative thinking has never been more necessary. They will bring valuable insights and experience to our board as we work to showcase the world leading and thriving innovation ecosystem that exists here in Wellington. “

Jones continues, “We look forward to leading the company into an even stronger position for the future, where more companies are supported, larger programmes of innovation are activated within Government Agencies, and individuals are immersed in training to grow capability, confidence and connectedness in innovation.”

Wayne Mulligan and Suse Reynolds will also stay on the board for a second term. John Allen, CEO of WellingtonNZ, completes the Board.


Creative HQ, Wellington’s innovation hub, operates throughout New Zealand and internationally across the Asia-Pacific region with significant work experience in the Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Japan, Hong Kong, India and Australia. They look to build confidence, capability and connectedness throughout their ecosystem while looking to inspire and support the growth of individuals and businesses through the use of design thinking methodologies. This enables the delivery of innovative solutions to their customers.

They are the largest provider of structured innovation programmes in New Zealand. This work includes structured innovation workshops, sprints, programmes and events for government, corporates and startups. Their expertise has developed over a 17-year period of operating in this field.

Creative HQ is wholly owned by WellingtonNZ, a subsidiary of the Wellington City Council and the Greater Wellington Regional Council.

For any press enquiries: Ciara Craig | Mobile: 021 450 209 | Email: