Our People

Our People

Research Staff

Anna Hart
Chief Financial Officer

Anna has an extensive career in financial business management and has completed several management accounting and governance leadership courses. She is also a Councillor on the Westland District Council and a member of Westland Milk Products’ supplier committee. Her experience includes 20 years in accountancy, mainly in the agricultural industry. Roles have included accounting technician and financial controller in corporate practice, and dairy operations.

Anna and her family relocated to the West Coast from South Canterbury after purchasing a dairy farm near Hokitika. Anna and her husband have been farming for over 20 years as farm managers and owners.

Dr Shaun Hayton
Senior Business Analyst

Shaun has worked in a variety of exploration, research and management roles within the petroleum and minerals industries, within New Zealand and internationally. After completing a BSc, MSc (Hons: Skeletal composition and diagenetic aspects of non-tropical Cenozoic limestones, South Island, New Zealand) and PhD (Sequence Stratigraphic, paleoenvironmental and chronological analysis of the late Neogene Wanganui River Section, Wanganui Basin) at the University of Waikato, he started his professional career as an exploration geologist at GeoSphere Exploration. GeoSphere Exploration was a Lower Hutt based combined consulting and petroleum exploration company where he was involved in a wide range of hydrocarbon exploration activities across New Zealand and consulting projects associated with New Zealand’s oil and gas industry and energy markets.

Shaun then moved to Christchurch to become general manager South Island Operations for CRL Energy Ltd. In addition to the senior management functions associated with this role, he maintained an active consulting role in petroleum and coal seam gas exploration. In mid-2007 Shaun took up a role with Saudi Aramco in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, initially with the Upstream Ventures Department working in the Rub’ al-Khali, then the fledgling Unconventional Resources Assessment Division (later, the Unconventional Resources Business Line), and spent the final 6 years at Saudi Aramco as a subject matter expert in Geology Technology Division, EXPEC-Advanced Research Centre.

Shaun returned to New Zealand with his family at the start of 2019, and subsequently took up a position at NZIMMR on the West Coast where he provides support for research project planning and development, develops business conceptual models, and gives support to geologically-focused activities.

Dr Ben Hang Yin
Research Scientist

Ben started his career as a chemical engineering researcher at the National University of Singapore, followed by post-doctoral research in Saudi Arabia, and leading product R&D projects in China. He then returned to New Zealand with funding from the MacDiarmid Institute and worked at Massey University in Palmerston North.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Dalian University of Technology, China; a master’s in chemical engineering from the National University of Singapore, and a PhD in chemical engineering gained at the University of Canterbury.

Research interests span the creation of inorganic and organic materials and their applications in the environmental and energy industries. This includes polymeric, microporous and mixed matrix membranes and their separation processes, metal-organic frameworks, zeolite applications, and carbon-based materials.

At the NZIMMR, Ben is researching advanced applications for New Zealand’s mineral resources. He is co-supervising a PhD student on membrane technology.

Dr Nancy Garrity
Ngāti Pāoa and Ngāti Hine
Research Scientist

Nancy has a background in materials science and polymer chemistry research. Her professional career started in metallurgy, investigating the extraction of titanium and its alloys from industry-produced smelter slag. Then followed 12 years working at the Crown research institute Scion in Rotorua, researching and developing bio-based plastic and polymer composite materials from forestry and industry by-products.

She completed undergraduate and master’s degree studies at the University of Waikato in materials science. While working at Scion, she also completed a bachelor’s degree at Te Wananga o Aotearoa in iwi environmental management, and a PhD at the University of Auckland in polymer chemistry.

Nancy focus includes green chemistry methodologies, bio-based and bio-synthetic polymer hybrids as alternatives to plastics and advanced adhesives and traditional uses of indigenous fibres and their development into fibre-reinforced composites. One project was the fermentation of fungal species as an anti-microbial colourant for surface coatings. Current work includes developing advanced, functional, high-value materials from New Zealand’s low-value mineral resources.

Her research interests stem from her cultural connection with the land and her environment. Her understanding of mātauranga Māori and Te Ao Māori has, and continues to influence her research and her working relationships.

Thomas Trott
Research Metallurgist

Thomas joined the NZIMMR team in March 2020. He completed a degree in chemical and process engineering at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch. He started his engineering career at the New Zealand Aluminium Smelter as a graduate process engineer in 2008. While at NZAS Thomas worked in the potlines supporting the production of the world’s highest- purity aluminium. In 2010 he was promoted to process control engineer on potline 4. In 2011, Line 4 was recognised as the best performing potline at Rio Tinto, achieving an aluminium recovery of more than 96%. In 2012 he relocated to a copper mine in Parkes, NSW, Australia, as a plant metallurgist. Over the following eight years he worked in a variety of roles including: project metallurgist, senior plant metallurgist, and production superintendent. In these roles, he contributed to a variety of projects which improved both the mine’s production and copper recovery.

Thomas has a wife and three young daughters. He is a passionate outdoors person who enjoys the wealth of activities available on the West Coast.


Jamey Miller
Executive Assistant

Jamey Miller has over fifteen years of experience in professional office executive assistant positions along with event management and project co-ordination.