Netsafe’s depth of experience is unique in New Zealand and respected internationally. The team come from the education, government and business sectors and have backgrounds in project management, design, software development, network administration and security, IT sales, marketing, communications, education, policy, mediation and conflict resolution.

The Netsafe’s Senior Leadership Team

Martin Cocker, Chief Executive Officer

As the Executive Director of Netsafe, Martin leads the Netsafe team. He oversees the development of partner relationships in NZ and overseas and can often be seen or heard in the media explaining online challenges for New Zealand internet users. Martin’s knowledge is sought out by many in NZ and beyond.

Sean Lyons, Director of Education & Engagement

Sean is responsible for Netsafe’s work in the Education sector, public education and strategic partnerships. Sean comes from a background in the IT industry and the education sector having spent part of his career as a classroom teacher and school leader. He is incredibly knowledgeable about online challenges and is responsible for Netsafe’s programme to combat child sexual exploitation material.

Helen O’Toole, Director of Operations 

As Director of Operations, Helen is responsible for the contact centre team who receive and assess the reports submitted to Netsafe and help people with a wide range of digital challenges whether they be identifying scams or resolving online bullying and harassment. A former management consultant, Helen’s expertise lies in implementing new organisations, processes and systems and achieving operational excellence.

Neil Melhuish, Director of Policy & Research

Neil is the interface of Netsafe and government partners to explain complicated online challenges in slightly simpler terms. Neil provides expert strategic and operational policy advice on the role of digital technology in the lives of young people, family and whānau and the wider community.

Ben Thomas, Legal Advisor

Ben Thomas is the Legal Advisor at Netsafe. Previously, Ben worked as a Policy Advisor in the Criminal Justice Unit at the Ministry of Justice where he contributed to the development and implementation of the harmful digital communications legislation. In addition to his public sector experience, Ben has worked as a banking and finance lawyer and as a secondary school teacher.

The Netsafe Board

Rick Shera

Chair of Netsafe’s board. Rick is a leading New Zealand IT Lawyer and partner at Lowndes Jordan with expertise in internet, privacy, cybersecurity and intellectual property law. Rick is also a CERT NZ advisory board member. Rick has been the chair since 2002.

Jon Duffy

Jon has been on the Netsafe Board since 2011 and is Deputy Chair. Jon is the Assistant Commissioner (Policy & Operations) at the Office of the Privacy Commissioner. Prior to that Jon spent a number of years as the Head of Trust & Safety at plucky New Zealand internet start up; Trade Me. Jon and is a current member of the Consumer NZ Board and sits on the Cert NZ Establishment advisory Board

Claire Amos

Claire Amos has worked for a variety of schools and educational organisations in her twenty-year teaching career. This has included working at a variety of secondary schools and working on various projects with the MoE, N4L, and NZQA. Claire is a founding member of the Education Council of Aotearoa and is Principal of Albany Senior High Scool. She joined Netsafe’s board in 2013.

Colin James

The Head of Security for Vodafone New Zealand with responsibility for end-to-end security elements across the entire business. Netsafe board member since 2014.

Andrew Cowie

Andrew Cowie has worked for a variety of schools and educational organisations in his fifteen year teaching career. This has included roles at the National Library – Services to Schools, CORE Education, and now as Deputy Principal at Upper Harbour Primary. He joined Netsafe’s board in 2016.

Miriam Walker

Miriam Walker is an independent user experience strategist, educator at Onepoto Playcentre and Tech Futures Labs, and student of te reo and tikanga Māori. She joined Netsafe’s board in 2016.

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