Leadership team

Read about the leadership team at Toitū Te Whenua.

Te Tumu Whakarae Secretary and Chief Executive:
Gaye Searancke

headshot of Chief Executive Gaye Searancke

Gaye has been with Toitū Te Whenua since mid-2019, bringing with her a broad range of senior leadership experience from across the public and private sectors.

Toitū Te Whenua is a kaitiaki pārongo whenua (guardian and custodian of New Zealand’s land information) and a key focus for Gaye is to ensure our products and services deliver increasing value to Aotearoa New Zealand. As such, she is leading an organisation-wide shift that has already taken significant steps toward becoming more outward-looking and customer-centric.

Before joining Toitū Te Whenua, Gaye was a Deputy Commissioner at Inland Revenue, focused on improving customer experience and building a stronger customer-focused culture.

She has held senior leadership roles at ACC, the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. In these roles, she led governance, privacy, corporate and legal disciplines, as well as policy responsibilities in labour and employment law, business law, competition, trade and investment. Gaye started her career as a lawyer and has worked as a Crown prosecutor and as senior counsel for the Commerce Commission.

Notable highlights in her career include enhancing the capability and capacity of New Zealand’s Labour Inspectorate, and undertaking extensive financial, labour market, and health and safety reforms, including establishing WorkSafeNZ.

Kaihautū Digital Delivery: Murray Young

headshot of Kaihautū Murray Young

Murray joined Toitū Te Whenua in November 2019 and his focus is ensuring we’re a digitally-led, agile organisation that puts customers at the centre of what we do.

Central to his role is overseeing the modernisation of Landonline – the system used for managing New Zealand’s property surveys, titles and transactions. He also provides governance and direction on how we use technology to ensure the data we hold is easily accessible.

Prior to Toitū Te Whenua, Murray held a number of senior leadership roles across the public and private sectors that encompassed operations, strategy, finance, change and information.

Kaihautū Organisational Effectiveness: Claire Richardson

headshot of Kaihautū Claire Richardson

An experienced, innovative, people-focused leader, Claire is skilled at building quality relationships and partnerships, and delivering on ambitious goals.

She is a champion of diversity and inclusion, and is highly experienced at leading complex operational, commercial and corporate functions.

Prior to Toitū Te Whenua, Claire held senior leadership roles at Wellington City Council, the Ministry for the Environment and Auckland Council. Her networks and knowledge of local government, working in partnership with mana whenua, are invaluable for our work across Aotearoa.

Kaihautū Customer Delivery: Jan Pierce

headshot of Kaihautū Jan Pierce

Jan was appointed Kaihautū Customer Delivery in August 2021. 

She joined Toitū Te Whenua as Deputy Chief Executive Location Information in 2009 and then as Deputy Chief Executive Location Information, Policy & Overseas Investment. 

Over the past 10 years, Jan has represented New Zealand at many international forums including the United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management Committee of Experts, International Hydrographic Organisational General Assembly, Geospatial World Forum, Australian and New Zealand Spatial Council, and the Cambridge Conference.

Jan chairs and has participated in many groups across central and local government, including the LINZ Resilience Board, Provincial Growth Fund Elevation data programme, Māori Land Service project, and the Natural Resources Sector Leadership Group.

Jan is the New Zealand lead for the Australia and New Zealand Satellite Based Augmentation System programme in partnership with GeoScience Australia.

Before joining Toitū Te Whenua, Jan spent eight years as a member of the senior leadership team of rural financial services company Farmers Mutual Group. She started her career in the banking sector, followed by several years in the health sector, where she was the Human Resources Manager of a large Crown Health Enterprise.

Kaihautū Māori Crown Relations: Kathy Mansell

headshot of Kaihautū Kathy Mansell

A member of our Kaihautū since 2017, Kathy affiliates to Ngāi Tūhoe and has had a diverse career in the public sector that spans 40 years.

Her current role reflects our commitment to developing, maintaining and growing meaningful Māori-Crown relationships and meeting our Te Tiriti o Waitangi obligations. The core focus of her role is to provide strategic advice and insight to the Kaihautū and other senior leaders on engagement with Māori and related advisory and governance groups.

Kathy moved to Toitū Te Whenua from the Ministry of Social Development where she was Operations Director within the Children’s Action Plan. Before that, she held numerous senior leadership roles across the public sector, meaning she has a brought a wealth of central government experience, knowledge and connections to her role.