Our Team

Alan Pettersen

Managing Director

Coming from a successful HR career in large organisations, Alan founded Positive People in 1994 and since then has assisted and supported a range of different sized companies across many industries. Alan’s strengths lie in his experience and ability to identify the specific HR interventions needed for each organisation to optimise their people contribution. This may take the form of organisation development, cultural change, performance improvement, employment relations or conflict resolution. He has the knowledge and experience to help organisations be successful.

Alan drives the quest for client satisfaction through Positive People always delivering a quality service with urgency and commitment.

Alan is a chartered member of the Human Resources Institute of New Zealand

Telephone 09 445-1077 and 021 184 5661

Toni Jacka

General Manager & Consultant

Toni’s background is as an HR generalist, with a strong focus on organisational development. She has her Graduate Diploma in Strategic HR management, and is a qualified NZQA workplace assessor. Toni has worked in both green-fields HR roles, as well as with medium and large NZ businesses in both operational and strategic roles. This breadth of experience has helped her develop an ability to support managers to build high performing teams and workplaces, understand workplace dynamics and introduce people initiatives that produce results. She enjoys working alongside business leaders to help them align their people to their vision, and getting in on the ground floor to support managers and their teams to do their jobs well.

Telephone 09 445-1077 and 027 455 4715

hr consultant 1

Chanel Finnigan


Chanel has over 12 years’ experience leading projects and day-to-day management across Human Resources, Learning & Development, Supply Chain and Logistics, in the UK and New Zealand. Coupled with a Bachelor of Business Management Studies, she brings her practical HR generalist and line management capability to any organisational issue or opportunity.

Chanel’s strengths lie in her ability to listen and tailor solutions to her clients’ needs. She is naturally drawn to performance management, learning & development, and coaching and recruitment. She gains huge satisfaction seeing organisations and individuals grow to realise their true potential and the flow on effect to the business’s bottom line.

She works with Managers in a collaborative style to get the best results for both the individuals and the business.

Telephone 09 445-1077 and 022 153 6110

Casey Armstrong


Casey has a strong HR generalist background in both sole charge roles as well as larger HR teams in Ireland, London and New Zealand. She has also worked in senior operational and people management roles in New Zealand. Casey enjoys building strong, collaborative working relationships with clients, focusing on identifying and resolving issues and adding value to organisations. She has a wide breadth of experience across employee relations, performance management, change programmes, leadership development, training design and delivery, recruitment, policy work and employee wellbeing. Casey is particularly passionate about nurturing highly engaged and high performing teams and delivering long term, cultural change.

Telephone 09 445-1077 and 021 401 456

Kelly Goodacre Consultant-Positive-People

Kelly Goodacre


With a background in both HR consulting and internal HR business partner roles, Kelly brings comprehensive generalist experience spanning professional services, SMEs, engineering, not-for-profit and regulatory environments.

Approachable and a good listener she enjoys building relationships and working collaboratively to find solutions to her clients’ unique challenges. Kelly’s strengths lie in Employee Relations, from talent development and performance improvement through to change management and disciplinary processes, and in advising, drafting or reviewing policies and procedures to make them a best-fit for the culture and needs of an organisation.

Additionally, Kelly is a Myers & Briggs (MBTI) Qualified Assessor, enabling her to conduct individual or team assessments and also run workshops within organisations.

Telephone 09 445-1077 and 021 150 2628

Nicola Robertson Consultant Positive People

Nicola Robertson


Nicola is passionate about people, believing that a business thrives when it has the right people doing the right things for the right reasons. She has solid experience across the full HR remit, including recruitment, retention, remuneration, employee relations, organisational development, cultivating culture, and HRIS design and implementation. Nicola delights in learning about each business she works with and has worked across the full organisational spectrum, including SMEs, non-profits and with large corporates. This gives her a rounded perspective and she is adept at tailoring her People approach to suit the needs of each business and its employees. Nicola is also committed to giving back to the community and volunteers in a number of roles. These roles enable her to connect with people in the community and develop skills in areas outside of HR.

Nicola brings positive energy, sound reasoning and compassion to everything she embarks on.

Telephone 09 445-1077 and 022 195 0850

Positive People Leanne Cranefield

Leanne Cranefield


Leanne has over 18 years HR generalist experience, working across the full HR remit. With a background in law, she has extensive knowledge of NZ employment law with a strong focus on employment relations and change management. She has worked as an HR Advisor for large companies and more recently as an HR consultant for small to medium sized businesses. She has managed large scale restructures, has extensive experience dealing with disciplinary issues, performance management and personal grievances as well as drafting and reviewing employment agreements, policies and procedures.

Leanne enjoys getting to know her clients and their business, is quick to build strong working relationships, and works to provide straight forward advice and solutions. She wants to make a difference by supporting managers to understand and negotiate the complexities of employment law, workplace dynamics and how to motivate and get the best out of their team.

Leanne is a licensed Private Investigator registered with the Department of Justice. This allows her to credibly and independently investigate complex in-house employment matters for our clients.

Telephone 09 445-1077 and 021 311 148

Zona Quinton Consultant Positive People

Zona Quinton


Zona has enjoyed working collaboratively with people in the workplace for over three decades across various industries in numerous countries. She holds a Bachelor of Business degree and has a strong HR generalist background with solid experience across the full HR remit including employee relations, performance management, recruitment, retention, training, engagement, remuneration and change management.

Zona is a real people person and thrives on working with organisations to facilitate best people practices in line with commercial needs, vision and values. Her special interests lie in workplace culture, retention, health & wellbeing and coaching. She is here to help you build engaged and high performing teams as she strongly believes your people are your greatest asset.

With communication being one of Zona’s key strengths, you will find her warm, approachable and eager to assist you with your various people-management needs.

Telephone 09 445-1077 and 027 584 2333

Gellie Taylor Consultant Positive People

Gellie Taylor


Gellie is a Generalist HR practitioner, with a Master’s Degree in HR and BSc (Hons) in Psychology.

She has worked in the UK and NZ and is a member of HRINZ and CIPD. She is experienced in both Internal HR, and consultancy and has been a HR Business Partner for international organisations as well as local SME’s in private, public and non-for profit sectors, in both unionised and non-unionised environments.

Her broad experience in multiple sectors has given her extensive employment relations exposure. Her strengths lie in coaching and guiding Managers through the end-to-end employment life cycle, including; recruitment and retention, payroll, performance management, disciplinaries, union collective bargaining, developing and implementing strategic engagement activities.

Gellie enjoys taking a pragmatic approach to problem solving, as well as creating and implementing innovative solutions to foster a positive culture within organisations.

Gellie is a licensed Private Investigator registered with the Department of Justice. This allows her to credibly and independently investigate complex in-house employment matters for our clients.

Telephone 09 445-1077 and 022 438 0443

Becky Riley Consultant Positive People

Becky Riley


Having worked within multinational and privately owned businesses Becky brings over 20 years HR experience to her profession with a strong emphasis on creating workplace cultures that embrace innovation, collaboration and professional growth.

Throughout her career Becky has demonstrated her expertise across various aspects of HR Management including change management, employment legislation, employee relations, engagement and policy development. She is passionate about enabling organisations to deliver on their strategy through embracing change, leveraging technology and promoting a positive employee experience.

Becky enjoys transforming traditional HR practices and values establishing strong relationships through her ability to build trust and rapport with employees and key stakeholders at all levels of an organisation.

Telephone 09 445-1077 and 021 363 663

Trudy Golder Consultant Positive People

Trudy Golder


Trudy is an experienced Human Resources generalist, with 20 years’ experience working in medium and large businesses across multiple industries including manufacturing, transport, health care, entertainment and not for profit. She has a wide breadth of experience across the full HR remit including recruitment, employment relations, performance management, remuneration/ benefits, change management, and policy development.

Trudy has a pragmatic and down to earth approach and she enjoys building strong working relationships and working as a trusted business partner to design and deliver relevant and practical HR solutions and initiatives. She is passionate about upskilling and empowering managers and business leaders to enable them to get the best of out their teams and create an engaged, productive and client focused workforce.

Telephone 09 445-1077 and 021 148 0138

Elena Keegan Consultant Positive People

Elena Keegan


Elena has a 25-year background as a senior generalist people and capability practitioner, with most of her career having been in senior roles leading large scale organisational change and transformation, specifically within the technology sector.

For the last 10 years Elena has focused on consulting to the SME market, working with organisations that require support and pragmatic guidance to deliver tangible people solutions that are fit for purpose, easy to understand and meet the needs of their business. Elena enjoys working across all layers of a business, with a down to earth style and drive for ensuring positive commercial outcomes via good people practices.

Elena employs a pragmatic approach with her customers and thrives on understanding their business and applying practical solutions. Elena has significant experience developing and implementing people systems and frameworks, managing large scale change work and providing guidance and advice across the generalist human resources remit.

Telephone 09 445-1077 and 022 568 2808

Amanda Paxton Consultant Positive People

Amanda Paxton


Amanda has over 30 years extensive experience in all things “People”, different industries – hospitality, IT, healthcare, NFP, oil & gas, telecommunications, recruitment, vet services and different countries – NZ, US, Asia, Australia and Qatar. She has a Bachelor of Business Studies in Management with a Diploma in Employment Relations.

Amanda loves getting the best from people and seeing them and the organisation succeed. Work should be a fun, positive, productive and enriching experience. Our job is to build the foundation for people to grow, but also to have the right people on the bus, all going in the same direction.

Her communication style is warm, fun, honest, straight up, professional, people centred and transparent. Her leadership style is collaborative and inclusive, using the strengths of others to get things done to a high standard. She is very efficient, customer centric and organised and enjoys juggling many things at once. She is a great problem-solver and mediator – with a practical, solutions/action-based approach that supports a healthy and productive work environment. She enjoys developing HR frameworks and structure to suit the needs of the organisation.

Telephone 09 445-1077 and 021 164 2564

Kimberley Barry Consultant Positive People

Kimberley Barry


Kimberley combines legal acumen with HR expertise in her consultancy work, delivering a unique skill set to foster thriving teams. An enrolled barrister and solicitor, Kimberley’s experience includes mediating employment disputes through MBIE’s mediation service, and generalist HR working across the full remit of HR areas.

Kimberley is passionate about supporting workplaces to provide an environment where their people can truly thrive in their mahi, enabling growth and success for both the organisation and the people who work there. She brings expertise in interest-based problem-solving and a commitment to achieving win-win outcomes wherever possible.

Keeping a focus on your organisation’s priorities, Kimberley will work with you to ensure your people approach is aligned with your organisation’s strategic goals and helping to keep you moving in the right direction.

Telephone 09 445-1077 and 022 459 0029

Linda – Ann Scholtz


Originally qualifying as a Materials Scientist, Linda-Ann uses her natural bent for logic and reason to research, collect, order and provide analysis of HR data. She is also involved in providing back-up and support to the team on all data related matters.

Telephone 09 445-1077

Heidi Büchler Positive People

Heidi Büchler


Heidi has extensive experience in business, having owned and managed a family business for many years. Over the last 15 years she has focussed her career on financial management. Heidi looks after all our billing, accounts and all manner of other administration. And when she’s not doing that, Heidi enjoys family time, socialising, travel and the gym!

Telephone 09 445-1077 and 021 026 60107