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Past Chairpeople

We would like to acknowledge our past Chairpeople for the long hours and good work they put into making the User Group successful. These people include:

Tim Rivett 

Tim has been involved with SAP since 1997 when he was the Inland Revenue team lead in their selection and implementation of SAP as the department’s FMIS. At IRD, Tim has been closely involved in a number of projects at IRD including the implementation of SAP Payroll to administer New Zealand’s Paid Parental Leave scheme, BW/SEM to support  financial planning, forecasting and reporting, PSCD to support KiwiSaver and a  major program to implement HR/Payroll.  He is currently responsible for all Inland Revenues Corporate systems and integration technologies.

Tim attended his first User Group meeting in early 1998 along with around 6 or 7 other customers!  He joined the executive a few years later, working initially with Mike Palairet, then with subsequent chairs up to and including Emilie Lad.  

When not living and breathing SAP, Tim enjoys spending time with his family, DIY (not yet a DIY rescue case) and is an armchair motor sports fan.

Emilie Lad

I have worked in many SAP related roles, both in UK and NZ, since 1999.  It was 2009 before I found out about the New Zealand SAP User Group (NZSUG) and its purpose immediately made sense to me as a forum for networking and knowledge share.  In November 2009 I joined the NZSUG Executive team and in November 2010 I became Chairperson, holding this role through to November 2014.

During that period of time we experienced enormous growth both in membership numbers and aspirations for the organisation.

 I feel both proud and privileged to have held an office with NZSUG and have been very fortunate to have had the support of so many people.  Many of whom have become both friends and colleagues.  I wish the current Executive the very best and look forward to seeing the next chapter of New Zealand SAP User Group unfold.

Nigel Bernie

After being in the massive shadows of both Mike and Julian, I finally got my chance to be Chairperson when Julian twisted my arm at a conference in 2009. I have enjoyed my time as Chairperson and have been pleasantly surprised by the success of the two day events. Unfortunately work commitments have meant I have not been able to introduce all the exciting things I had been planning. Emilie is already showing the drive and motivation she brings to the role and I am sure the User Group will further flourish under her guidance.

Julian Phillips

It’s very sad to be saying good-bye to this role, although I will be lurking in the background supporting Nigel and NZSUG, just on a smaller scale, to my relief!! Although the role only lasted just over a year, its sometimes felt like an eternity.

In that time we saw the birth of our first NZSUG website, which certainly made my role easier with regards communicating to you all. There was contentious debates around SAP's Enterprise Support, held in Auckland and Wellington. We had very successful user group meetings. Our numbers grew from approximately 250 to nearly 450. We introduced simultaneous streams, trying to offer more content, and where able tried to move away from Power-Points to more inter-active presentations.

Hopefully some of the ideas that Mike originally had were improved upon in my time, as I am sure Nigel will improve upon now for the benefit of this community, businesses and you personally. Nigel is an excellent speaker, knowledgeable SAP practitioner and has a great sense of humour. We are in safe hands!

My thanks goes out to Mike Palairet again for his stewardship, guidance and friendship. SAP, for the huge efforts in support especially in my infancy in the role. A special thanks to Martin Cairns (SAP) for always rocking up to present and putting up with my smart remarks. All the NZSUG Exec members, Scotty my web developer who did a sterling job in developing our website, my boss Steve and Gallagher's, for allowing me to support this role as well as hosting events and the website.

Many thanks to you all for your endorsements and support over this period.

Onwards and upwards!!

Mike Palairet

My association with IT began in being asked as a civilian to help the Project Manager with the initial implementation of SAP, from early 1995. By the end of the year I became Project Manager, and was duly appointed to head the SAP Support Group to manage the NZDF’s SAP systems in production. The mandate grew to include providing a basis for project teams, and undertaking numerous enhancements and upgrades. Along the way, we became certified as a Customer Competence Centre in 2001.

I replaced Russell in May 2000 when he moved to USA, although from the start I had been collecting names and lists of activities to assist in keeping minutes of the meetings. As Chairman, I had felt the most important objective was to foster networking among the SAP customers in New Zealand, especially to breed confidence in the new customers, to whom SAP must have seemed a daunting prospect. It was also important, however, to generate programmes that were sufficiently interesting and relevant to attract members to the meetings. I believe we have been ably supported in this endeavour by customers who were game enough to “get up front” and talk about their experiences, also offering tips and tricks; and SAP and Partners who presented new functions in the SAP suite of programmes. I must say that involvement with the User Group has given me a lot of satisfaction, buoyed up by the ready support offered by the key players.


Russell Jones

Russell from Carter Holt Harvey took over from Derek Locke as chairperson of the user group and was in the chair until May 2000 when he moved the the USA.

Derek Locke

Derek was the first ever chairperson of the NZSUG until he joined SAP NZ as a consultancy manager. The NZSUG was grew out of the shared experience of Telecom, Trust Bank and Defence in the jump start training courses, and the first implementations of SAP R3 in NZ, although Cadbury already had a system that was implemented from Australia.

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