Better by Design is part of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and operates from its Auckland office.

Suzie Marsden


Suzie is the new Director of Better By Design, responsible for the delivery of all aspects of the Better By Design programme. She is an experienced senior executive and marketing professional with strong leadership credentials. Recently she has been working as an independent consultant and leadership coach. Suzie’s previous career included eight years in a range of executive and leadership roles with Westpac, and prior to this Fisher & Paykel Finance, and NatWest in the UK.

During her time with Westpac Suzie held a range of roles including Regional Manager Retail Banking, Head of Sustainability, and Head of Brand and Marketing. Whilst in the Head of Brand and Community role Suzie developed and implemented a retail design strategy using Stanford University design methodology.

Suzie was a board member of the NZ Centre for Personal Financial Education, a partnership between Massey University and Westpac to develop programmes that improve New Zealander’ personal financial knowledge. She has also been a trustee of the Auckland Communities Foundation which provides a convenient and flexible vehicle for people to set up funds. It researches and grants to effective organisations making a difference in Auckland. 

John Hatrick-Smith

Design Catalyst

John has over 30 years experience as a product designer most recently leading KOHLER Australasia's in-house New Product Development Programme.

He designed the well-known 'Gentle Annie' washing machine control panel technology (more recently known as the 'Smart Drive') at Fisher & Paykel and also developed the renowned WorkZone office furniture range for Criterion.

John helps the programme's clients use design strategically. He also works with the design community to ensure its skill levels are matched to the needs of business, with the aim of encouraging a ready supply of world class designers and design services.

Another focus is the education sector to make sure graduates of design, commerce and engineering courses are up to date with the design needs and capabilities of each profession. 

Nicola Halliday

Coach Manager

Nicola began her career in design thinking in the education sector, having led and directed the first post-graduate degree of its kind in New Zealand, the Master of Design Management. She was a member of the senior leadership team of the School of Design at Unitec, Auckland, and its post-graduate board of study, responsible for governance of all post-graduate programmes. Nicola has also been a programme director for an innovation hub whose objective was to foster a climate of innovation between disparate businesses.

Nicola has most recently worked as a senior consultant in organisation development concentrating on leadership, culture and organisation design, primarily coaching leaders to build capability for performance improvement. She has worked closely with both private and public sector customers and has built a deep understanding of their operating environments.

Nicola’s role is to manage our private sector Design Coaches, ensuring they have a good understanding of NZTE Services, the Better by Design programme and are enabled to offer world class services to our customers. 


Back to top