Better by Design welcomes new talent

Auckland, 5 August 2015: Ten of New Zealand's leading design practitioners have joined New Zealand Trade and Enterprise’s Better by Design programme as Design Coaches, to share their expertise in design and business with New Zealand companies.

New coaches

Ben Hawkins, is an industrial designer at Rinnai New Zealand who has worked with Fisher and Paykel Appliances and Valour Fireplace in Vancouver.

Chris Meade, is Managing Director of Foundational who has worked with MetService, Contact Energy and led the thinking behind the RSA’s new brand.

Georgina Clarke, has been a designer with Ideo and Fahrenheit 212 in New York, and has worked with Deloitte, ASB Bank and Air New Zealand.

John Hatrick-Smith, is a design specialist who has worked as an industrial designer for Fisher and Paykel and led design for Kohler.

Mark Buntzen, is a design researcher and strategist, and founder of The Distillery. Previous clients include House of Travel, ANZ Bank and Unitech.

Nico Neethling, is a designer who has worked with companies such as AMP, Skinny Mobile and the Sustainable Business Network

Raul Sarrot, is a strategist and creative director who is Chairman of AUT Design Advisory Committee and has worked with Cossiga and Dole.

Rob Achten, is the former Creative Director for Icebreaker and Wellington design agency Origin Design, he has also worked with Tuatara Breweries and Apollo Foods.

Stephanie Beath, is a systems and complexity strategist who has worked with Land Information New Zealand, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and NZ Inland Revenue.

Vanessa Ceelen, has delivered brand strategy to start-ups and not-for-profits, through to multi-billion dollar companies including TNT Post Group and Fonterra.

"It's very exciting to have such high calibre people joining the Better by Design coaching team. To succeed internationally and stay ahead of competitors, New Zealand businesses need to be constantly innovating, and these coaches will be instrumental in enabling companies to use design to transform," comments Better by Design Director Suzie Marsden.

NZTE’s Better by Design programme helps companies deeply understand the changing needs of their customers so they can add value and grow their sales and profit by design, not by chance. They do this by taking a coach not consulting approach to build the company’s own capability to take on more complex challenges as their design confidence grows.

Better by Design is currently working with around 60 New Zealand companies and those who have already benefited from the programme include Gallagher and Les Mills.

Profiles of all Better by Design coaches can be found at

For more information contact: Kate Palmer NZTE Senior Communications Consultant ph +64 21 518 935.

NZTE is New Zealand’s international business development agency, helping businesses grow in international markets. We offer strategic advice, access to networks and influencers, research and market intelligence, and targeted financial support to help businesses on their international journey, and work to promote New Zealand business overseas. For more information, visit or follow us @NZTEnews.