Our People

Our People

Mike Meehan
Chief Executive Officer

Mike Meehan joined NZIMMR in July 2020 in the position of Chief Executive Officer.  Mike says “NZIMMR has a strong team and is positioned well to undertake future-focussed minerals to materials research to add value to New Zealand and assist in the transition to a prosperous low carbon emission economy .”

Prior to joining NZIMMR, Mike was the Chief Executive of the West Coast Regional Council from 2016-2020. In this role, he held positions on the Local Government New Zealand Policy Advisory Group, Chaired the Civil Defence Co-ordinating Executive Group and was involved in many other nationally focussed workstreams. Mike is the current Chairman of the West Coast Rugby Union, holds commercial director appointments and has recently been appointed the independent chairman of the newly formed Kotahitanga ki te Uru Alliance.

Mike has a wide range of connections across iwi, government, industry and locally through his previous roles. One of the highlights of his career is the work he led to bring together the first Mana Whakahono ā Rohe (iwi participation agreement) in New Zealand. This agreement sets the foundations for how we work with iwi in partnership and ensures that it is a true partnership into the future.

Mike is driven to lead transformational change through NZIMMR’s work focussed on:

  • Ensuring Vision Mātauranga is a fundamental part of the culture of our organisation by building strong partnerships with Iwi and Rūnanga throughout Aotearoa.
  • Revitalising the West Coast and New Zealand economies by attracting investment and identifying innovative and environmentally sustainable ways to add value to mineral resources, creating new high value and sustainable jobs.
  • Emerging as industry’s number one ‘go-to’ provider of research in the minerals to materials field, building strong local, national and international relationships.
  • Being Internationally recognised for science excellence in minerals to materials research.

Prof Paul Hoskin
Chief Science and Research Officer

Paul Hoskin joined NZIMMR in mid-October in the position of Chief Science and Research Officer.  Paul says “I’m thrilled to be on-board and to have joined a strong team with a clear mission to contribute to the economy of the Coast and the country and to be a part of the national effort to add value to our natural resource commodities and transition the economy into a strong and sustainable future.”

 

He joins the NZIMMR team from GNS Science where he was based in Wellington.  He is a professor of mineralogy and petrology and has a professional background in research, technical consulting, R&D team management, and commercialization.  He has helped organizations in several countries win strategic funding for fundamental research and to support key stakeholder partnerships.  He has a wide network in New Zealand and Asia and has consulted on new product development, market-entry, and IP strategy to companies including Air New Zealand, AirAsia, and LanzaTech, as well as companies in the mining and minerals industries.

 

He is passionate about Sustainable Development Goals and the role of science and technology working in partnership with policy development.  In 2017, Paul served on the Leadership Council of the UN’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network and worked to develop public-private partnerships in ASEAN to advance SDG implementation.  Paul’s kids are Ngāti Porou and Ngāti Kahu and community aspirations and Maoritanga are important in his work and approach to collective kaitiakitanga/stewardship of our land and resources.

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.

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.