Our Board is responsible for the overall governance of 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
Denese Bates, KC (Chairperson)
Denese’s three-year term as Chair of the Real Estate Authority began in February 2019. Before that she had been a member of the board since 2014. She is a King’s Counsel who has had a wide-ranging civil practice. She has also had governance roles in a diverse number of private and professional organisations. She is chair of the Melanesian Trust Board and a director of a number of private companies.
Denese has had previous experience with regulatory and disciplinary regimes including as a member of the Commerce Commission and as a member of the Council of New Zealand Law Society. She has also been chair of the New Zealand Law Society Ethics Committee. She was a member of the Insurance & Savings Ombudsman Commission which runs a compulsory disputes resolution scheme for insurance companies and financial advisors.
Vern Walsh JP
Vern has a financial services and governance background. He operates a mortgage broking consultancy and is a registered financial adviser. He had an 18-year career with Westpac Banking Corporation.
For over a decade Vern has jointly operated a governance consultancy and training business, Meeting and Governance Solutions Limited. This company works primarily in the local government, sports, and not for profit sectors.
Vern was previously an elected Councillor for Auckland City Council (1998 - 2007) and a licensing trust member (2001 - 2007) and is a former director of the Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board, a board he chaired for 10 years before standing down in 2019. Vern has also held governance roles in council-controlled organisations and was a member of the Lottery Environment and Heritage Committee (2002 - 2008).
Vern is a Justice of the Peace and in December 2021 he was appointed Chair of the REA Audit and Risk Committee.
He is a member of the Remuneration Authority.
Elizabeth (Liz) is a licensee and people manager of Nidd Realty Limited, an independent real estate company which has been operating in Dunedin for 25 years. She has 35 years’ experience in the real estate industry. Liz 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 and has now served seven years as a director of the Real Estate Authority. She is also a Fellow of REINZ and holds a Batchelor of Applied Management Degree.
Anthony (Tony) has been involved in sales and people management for the past 35 years, including 15 years’ experience in the real estate industry in Tauranga and Rotorua, along with national and regional roles in the grocery sector having worked for two large food manufacturers. Tony is the Sales Manager for a retirement village operator with villages throughout the Bay of Plenty region. Tony has broad management and governance experience, is involved in Rotary, and has other community interests in Tauranga.
Latham is a highly experienced real estate professional with over a decade of experience in the industry. He began his career as a salesperson, and has since progressed to become the Training and Development Facilitator for Property Brokers, where he supports all areas of the real estate sector. In addition to his work in real estate, Latham is also deeply involved in governance and community service. He has served on a variety of boards and trusts in local government, non-profits, and community organisations, including chairing the Kind Hearts Trust and co-founding the Manawātu Young Professionals network. He is also a certified TetraMap Facilitator, using this method to enhance team dynamics by valuing diversity and reducing conflict.
Mele (Samoan, palagi) has 25 years of governance experience and is a respected leader in the education and not-for-profit sectors. She currently chairs Wellington Community Fund, and is a board member of Te Kura Correspondence School, Toi Mai Workforce Development Council, and Tāwhiri: Festivals and Experiences. In 2019, Mele became a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to governance, the Pacific community, and women. In 2022, she won the Not-For-Profit Governance Leader Award at the Women in Governance Awards.
Brooke Loader (Ngāpuhi) graduated with a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts majoring in Music in 2010 from the University of Auckland. She began practising law in 2011 and her experience has included Māori land law, environmental law and resource management law, Treaty Law, Criminal law and Family law. She has been the principal in her own law firm Loader Law since 2018 practicing in litigation, consumer law, public law, RMA, local government, Waitangi Tribunal and Māori legal issues. She is currently an elected member and Deputy Chairperson of the Henderson-Massey Local Board of the Auckland Council and a member of the Waitakere Licensing Trust.