Our people

Chief Executive and Registrar

Kevin Lampen-Smith

Kevin is our Chief Executive and Registrar. The Registrar exercises specific powers and responsibilities under the Real Estate Agents Act 2008.

Kevin has over 15 years’ experience working in the regulatory and consumer areas of the public sector.

He is a chartered accountant with experience in senior roles across government, including the Electricity Authority, its predecessor the Electricity Commission and Heritage New Zealand.

Our Board

Our Board is responsible for the overall governance of the REA. It is appointed by the Minister of Justice and is made up of experienced practitioners from many professional fields, bringing together expertise in law, real estate, risk management and finance. It has up to seven members, at least two of whom are licensees or former licensees.

Our Board members

John Auld (Chairperson)

John is a barrister who was previously in private practice in New Plymouth for forty years as a commercial, resource management, and property solicitor.  He was partner in a national law firm for twenty two years before becoming the senior partner in Auld Brewer Mazengarb and McEwen.  He is a past President of the Taranaki District Law Society and a past Council member of the New Zealand Law Society.  John has considerable corporate governance experience across a wide range of Crown and privately owned businesses and is Chairman of the George Mason Centre for the Natural Environment at the University of Auckland and was previously the Chairman of Port Taranaki Ltd.

John is a Charter Member of the Institute of Directors (IOD), and was a Disputes Tribunal Referee from 2009-2012.  John is a director or trustee of a number of companies and trusts.  He was appointed to the board in 2009 and as Chairman in August 2013.  John lives in Matakana, Auckland.

Denese Bates, QC

Denese is a Queen’s Counsel who has had a wide-ranging civil practice.  She has held governance roles in a diverse number of private and professional organisations.  She has been involved with various professional disciplinary regimes both as legal counsel and as a council member of the Auckland District Law Society and the New Zealand Law Society.  She has served on Law Society Complaints Committees and has represented the Law Society in disciplinary hearings.  She has also been the chair of the New Zealand Law Society Ethics Committee.

From 2001 to 2009 Denese was a member of the Commerce Commission with a particular responsibility for litigation.  She is presently a trustee of the Melanesian Mission Trust Board which is responsible for a considerable portfolio of assets for the benefit of the Church of Melanesia.  She is an executive director of a family owned manufacturing business.  In 2013, she was appointed as a member of the Insurance & Savings Ombudsman Commission which operates a disputes resolution service for disputes between insurance companies and financial advisors and their customers.  Denese lives in Auckland.

Aaron Bhatnagar

Aaron is an investor and venture capitalist based in Auckland.  He is focused on value investing in New Zealand and global equities markets, and growth investing in technology.  He has commercial property interests in New Zealand and Australia.  He was a committee member of the New Zealand Shareholders Association Auckland Branch 2012-2017, and is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors.  He was served as an Auckland City Councillor 2007-2010, and was Chairman of the City Development Committee responsible for regulatory services, town planning, and infrastructure.  Aaron was also an accredited RMA Hearings Commissioner between 2009 and 2013.

Marion Cowden

Marion is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of New Zealand and a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors in New Zealand.  She holds a BSc and BCom from Auckland University and an MBA (with Distinction) from Massey University.  She has held senior roles in finance and corporate services in the New Zealand and Australian public services and with the Commonwealth Secretariat based in London.

Her current governance roles include Deputy Chair of the Institute of Environmental Science and Research, Member of the St John of God Hauora Trust, and Trustee and Chair of the Finance Risk and Audit Committee for Nazareth Care.

Elizabeth Nidd

Elizabeth is a licensee and director of Nidd Realty, an independent real estate company.  She has 30 years’ experience in the real estate industry.

Elizabeth was President of the Otago Branch of the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) for six years and a Regional Director on the Board of REINZ for six years.  She is also a Fellow of REINZ and a Trustee of the Otago Peninsula Trust.

Anthony Stack

Anthony is a member of REINZ and has been involved in sales and people management for the past 30 years, including 14 years’ experience in the real estate industry in Tauranga and Rotorua. He has broad management and governance experience.

Anthony has also managed a business franchise for elderly care and spent a number of years working in the grocery sector.

Our Senior Leadership Team

Our senior leadership team is responsible for our leadership, performance and deliverables. Our senior leadership team members are:

  • Kevin Lampen-Smith - Chief Executive/Registrar
  • Steven Bruce - Head of Strategy and Insights
  • Tanya Dunlop - Human Resources Business Partner
  • Victor Eng - Head of Corporate Services
  • Anna Fenton - Legal Counsel (acting)
  • Theo Baker - Head of Regulatory Services


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