RITANZ – Board Members

RITANZ is run by a Board of elected volunteers from the professional services sectors operating within or closely associated with the industry.

John Fisk

Chair of the Board (Wellington)

John is the Wellington Managing Partner and the National Leader of Restructuring for PwC in New Zealand and has over 25 years of experience providing business recovery services and advice on a broad range of insolvency, restructuring and monitoring assignments both in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

He has been the convenor of the Wellington Branch of RITANZ (or the Insolvency Special Interest Group, as it was previously known) since 1995 and was elected to the Board of RITANZ in 2015. John was appointed to the Corporate Insolvency Working Group established by the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs in 2015 which reported on a range of insolvency law reforms, including the regulation of insolvency practitioners.

John is a member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and a Fellow Chartered Accountant. He is also a RITANZ Accredited Insolvency Practitioner.

Matt Kersey

Vice Chair

Matthew Kersey is the National Practice Group chair for Russell McVeagh’s Litigation group and leader of the Restructuring and Insolvency team. He is a member of the RITANZ Board. He has been specialising in restructuring and insolvency for over 20 years.

Matt recent experience includes acting for the receivers of the Pumpkin Patch retail group, senior secured creditors in respect of the NZ recognition proceedings for UCI Holdings and on the Insolvency Act proposal for Allan Hubbard’s estate.

Liz Gellert

Board Member

Liz is qualified lawyer with over 15 years’ experience in banking and finance litigation. She manages the disputes and corporate advisory legal team at ASB Bank Limited, providing guidance and trusted advice in relation to ASB Group’s contentious litigation, disputes, and in respect of regulatory change and implementation.

Prior to that she was a private practice specialist litigator at leading Auckland law firms. She acted for financial institutions, banks, liquidators, corporates, and creditors in contentious and non-contentious matters relating to insolvency and restructuring issues. She was involved in a number of significant insolvency and restructuring matters and has a broad range of experience in all aspects of complex asset recovery, including cross-border recovery, priority issues, voidable preference claims, security realisation, creditor’s proposals, restructuring, and mortgage law.

Prior to becoming a lawyer, Liz’s first career was with Westpac New Zealand Limited. Liz understands the needs and drivers of banks and financial institutions, which gives her an additional breadth of understanding of the issues faced in the insolvency industry. She has a practical, common-sense approach to dealing with conflict, strategic decision making, and risk assessment.

Mornet Van Der Merwe

Board Member

Mornet brings more than 20 years experience in the banking industry, including ASB, Kiwibank and Heartland Bank Ltd. Mornet has a deep understanding of banking and has led a variety of teams including specialist recovery, collections, turnaround, internal asset review and credit portfolio management teams. Mornet hails from South Africa where he completed a law degree at the University of Pretoria.

Mornet has a particular interest in working with SMEs to help with cashflow planning and general risk management. Mornet is father to three young children and counts kayak fishing, family and football as his personal interests.

David Webb


David is a Partner with Deloitte and is the National Head of Restructuring and Turnaround. David has over 20 years’ experience assisting a range of businesses, financiers and organisations and has worked many of the leading banks and law firms across New Zealand and Australia.

David is passionate about the restructuring and insolvency industry and enjoys working helping businesses break through the barriers that may hinder their success – whether they need to optimise the value of a business, think differently about how a company is structured, or are in financial distress.

Prior to joining Deloitte, David has held senior positions with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Australia, PPB Advisory in both Australia and NZ, and Director of DSW Advisory. David was appointed as a Board Member of RITANZ in September 2015 and has held the position of Treasurer since his appointment.

Kelly Paterson

Board Member

Kelly is a partner at Buddle Findlay and specialises in commercial litigation.

She advises on a wide range of commercial litigation issues, including contract disputes, insolvency and credit recovery, local government issues, property law disputes and security enforcement.

Colin Gower

Board Member

A qualified insolvency practitioner, Colin has more than 20 years' experience in business recovery and consultancy in both the UK and New Zealand. Originally from London, Colin immigrated to New Zealand in May 2004.

Colin commenced his career at Deloitte’s London practice before joining a leading second tier UK accounting firm to specialise in corporate insolvency.

Colin’s experience includes receiverships, administrations, turnaround management and debt restructuring, forensic accounting, and both solvent and insolvent liquidations.

Colin leads the BDO Christchurch Corporate Advisory Services division which comprises Business Recovery and Insolvency, and Corporate Finance Divisions.

Chris McCullagh

Co-opted Board Member

Chris is an Accredited Insolvency Practitioner and Chartered Accountant. He is the director of PKF Corporate Recovery & Insolvency (Auckland) Limited, and has almost 20 years of specialist industry experience, having worked in the firm since 1998.

Chris has extensive experience in receiverships, liquidations, voluntary administrations, creditor compromises (company and personal), forensic accounting analysis, independent business reviews, debt negotiation, expert evidence and litigation support. He has undertaken assignments in a broad range of industries including; hospitality, property development, building and construction, civil contracting, wine production, foreign exchange, crypto currency trading, mining and engineering.

Chris has been member of RITANZ since its inception. He ardently believes in the education and upskilling of its members to improve the standard of the industry and promote trust and confidence in the brand. He brings to the Board a wealth of practical experience working at the coalface of SME failures.

Kare Johnstone

Board Member

Kare is a partner at McGrathNicol and has over 20 years’ experience in providing restructuring, insolvency and forensic advice. Her experience has covered a wide range of industries, including retail, property & construction, finance and manufacturing. Kare managed the sale processes of the major subsidiaries held by South Canterbury Finance (Helicopters NZ, Dairy Holdings and Scales Corporation). In addition to many restructuring and insolvency engagements, she was also the Voluntary Administrator of Dick Smith Electronics and Receiver of Nando’s.

Prior to joining McGrathNicol, Kare worked at a big four accounting firm for 15 years, including 10 years in London.

Kare is a member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and an Accredited Insolvency Practitioner.

Ping Liu

Board Member

Ping is currently Head of Lending Services Credit, NZ at ANZ. She has extensive experience in restructuring and insolvency as a lender, having worked on a number of NZ’s most complex restructuring transactions at ANZ and BOS (International) Australia.

In her current role, Ping oversees the credit risk management function for ANZ’s Lending Services nationwide. This role involves in management and strategic oversight of the Bank’s higher risk exposures at portfolio and individual account levels.

Ping brings to RITANZ the lender and creditor perspectives, ensuring the organisation and its members continue to develop in line with the fast evolving banking industry both in NZ and Australia.

Rees Logan

Board Member

Rees is the joint leader of EY’s national corporate restructuring team. Rees has over 17 years’ experience working in the restructuring and insolvency sectors as part of Big 4 accounting firms.

Rees has been an active participant in the RTANZ board committee that has been working to implement the Code of Conduct.

Richard Gordon

Co-opted Board Member

A litigation partner at MinterEllisonRuddWatts and member of the firm’s Band 1 Insolvency team, Richard is a well-known and trusted advisor to trading banks and key New Zealand insolvency practitioners. In addition to his expertise in the resolution of civil and commercial disputes, Richard has a particular background and experience in banking and securities law and insolvency.

Richard has acted on some of the most significant corporate insolvency cases in recent years, including for the receivers appointed to Capital + Merchant Finance, and for the Crown (Secretary to the Treasury) on various matters arising out of the collapse of South Canterbury Finance and the wider Crown Deposit Guarantee Scheme. A particular niche insolvency expertise of Richard’s is advising on voidable transactions, where amongst other cases he was the successful counsel in two significant precedent-setting Court of Appeal decisions in recent time – Timberworld v Levin and Ebert Construction v Sanson.

Richard is the author of the Morison’s Company Law chapter on voidable transactions, and also the LexisNexis Practical Guidance publications “Corporate Insolvency” and “Personal Insolvency”.

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