Mary has experience in management and governance in the government and community sectors. She has been chief executive of a government department, deputy director of a community education organisation and manager of an NGO. In 1985 she moved from her position of Deputy Director of the Nelson Community Education Service to establish and lead the Ministry for Women where she was CEO till 1988.

From 2010 to 2017 she was the Area Manager for the five Wellington Citizens Advice Bureaux. In the intervening years, she worked in her own consultancy business undertaking assignments in Aotearoa and the Pacific Islands including Samoa, Fiji, Tonga and the Cook Islands where she managed NZAid bilateral aid development programmes.

Mary’s governance experience includes being National President of the YWCA of Aotearoa, Chair of the Colleges of Education Accreditation Committee, Chair of the Nurses Education and Research Foundation, Deputy Chair of the Women’s Refuge Foundation, Board member of the Fred Hollows Foundation and, currently, a trustee of WELLfed NZ.

Mary’s belief in the principles and power of community development has underpinned all of her work.