Connecting business leaders in Christchurch and Canterbury

Executive Team


Nigel Babbage

Nigel Babbage is a local, passionate businessman with many varied business interests.  Graduating with a BCom BSc (Hons) at the University of Otago he spent 30 years in international finance with stints in Melbourne, London and New York.  In 2006 he returned home from abroad.

From managing a Christchurch investment company, Mōhua Investments Ltd, to running a local storage unit business, Westpark Self Storage, Nigel is a busy man.  He is also an independent Director on the Board of the New Zealand Stock Exchange.

Nigel is an ardent conservationist and conversationalist who lives on the Port Hills with two adult sons, a dog and two cats.


Katie Foote

Katie is an Associate Director at Graham Consulting managing the Christchurch office whilst also specialising in South Island based Management & Executive level positions placing a significant number of candidates in sales, branch, operations and general management appointments.

Immediate Past President

Warren Head

Warren is Managing Director of Head Consultants Ltd, providing services in business development, capital raising, financial public relations for listed and private equity businesses, media relations, and government relations.

He is also Chairman and Executive Director of MG Publications, a business media publisher in commercial and legal data, shipping & trade, investment, and current affairs. He is an award-winning financial writer and commentator


Secretary & Digital Communications Officer

Michelle MacWilliam

A specialist in the areas of developing business relationships, particularly in the local domestic market and between New Zealand and China, she is experienced in strategic planning, executing events and projects and in building long term relationships across cultures via her business Duo Communication Ltd.

Michelle also works alongside SME business owners under the brand Michelle Mac in the areas of business process re-engineering & crisis management whilst ensuring that focus is retained on sales and marketing so as to ensure desired outcomes are obtained.

In 2014 was a finalist in the North Canterbury Business awards, professional section and was a national category finalist for local and regional/influencer in the New Zealand Women of Influence awards.

Michelle is currently the South Island executive committee member for the New Zealand China Trade Association. Chair of the Christchurch City China Sister Cities Committee and  several other China-related committees based in Christchurch and serves on the board of governance for one of the Christchurch Women’s’ Refuge centres.


Colin Ross

Colin has significant banking expertise, market knowledge and connectivity gained over 38 years working for ANZ and HSBC in Wellington and Christchurch.

Senior Global Relationship Manager at HSBC for the last 20+ years, my responsibilities covered the management of a vast portfolio of import/export middle market and large corporate customers in the South Island across a diverse range of industries. Facilitating working capital, trade finance, foreign exchange and transaction banking.

He is passionate about helping and supporting NZ businesses to grow and succeed. He is excited to now transfer his banking skills to help and ensure businesses receive the most beneficial solutions and finance needed from its bank to grow, while saving managements teams productive time by preparing and negotiating with banks on the company’s behalf.

Reviewing and assessing financials to prepare new funding applications, annual reviews or debt consolidations to the bank will help businesses as a client and the banks as the funder to save time, money and make the process easier.

 Independent, expert, affordable banking advocacy working for the client to deliver across-the-board banking expertise.


Committee Member

Mark Phillips

Mark is director of Nikau Capital Ltd involved in financial services, and director of Pounamu Productions in film production and BTL Global, a property development company. His prior business experience includes an associate directorship at Bears Stearns in Singapore and Head of Fixed Income, National Australia Bank, London.

Committee Member

Michael Durie

Michael Durie is a professional marketer and business mentor who recently returned to Christchurch following 11 years in Sydney working with Australia Post in a senior sales and marketing role.

Since his return, Michael has built up a business development and strategy / ideas consultancy called ‘Durie Hill’, helping new venture start-ups, technology & data firms, and exporters. He has worked more than 40 years in the advertising, publishing, PR and direct marketing sectors (across telco, magazines, postal services, automotive and corporate banking) and owned various marketing and PR agencies in that time.

A current NZ Marketing Association committee member and former chair, he also has strong Trans-Tasman and NZ aligned business connections in Australia following 7 years as NSW chair of NZ expat association, Kea Global network and data council member of the Australian Direct Marketing Association.

He is a ChristchurchNZ business mentor and participant in many initiatives to help Christchurch grow and thrive as a ‘smart city’ global destination. In 2017, Michael taught strategic marketing and planning to students at ARA Polytechnic and is a mentor and event judge for graduates of the University of Canterbury Entrepreneur (UCE) school.

Married to Kristine a florist, with 2 adult daughters, Michael is proud to lead the 2018 CBC committee & help create the most successful professional business club in NZ.

Committee Member

Glen Rutherford

Glen Rutherford’s background includes a unique mix of multi-national business leadership, operational leadership and education experiences. His purpose is to develop others and he brings this passion to support small and medium business leaders to be the best they can be and help them create successful organisations.

After graduating at University of Canterbury he started his professional life as a High School teacher of maths and science, then branched out as an Agronomist, Sales Manager, before moving to the Human Resources function. Recently, he served more than 12 years as Asia Pacific Human Resources Director for Dow AgroSciences; a multinational with $1.2B sales and 1000 employees. He now heads Discover New Pathways, which provides a complete HR service for business owners including executive coaching. He chairs a TEC (The Executive Connection) group of CEO’s and business owners and mentors and coaches many business owners with NZ Business Mentors.

He is married to Helen and lives in Merivale. He loves spending time with his family and grandchildren. He enjoys the outdoor activities that Canterbury provides, as well as the many theatre and social opportunities.