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Meet our Executive Leadership Team

Naomi Ferguson - Commissioner and Chief Executive

Naomi Ferguson | Commissioner and Chief Executive of Inland Revenue

Naomi was appointed to the role in July 2012.

She brings more than 20 years of experience in revenue agency management to the role, including serving as Deputy Commissioner, Service Delivery at Inland Revenue from 2003 to 2006. Before returning to Inland Revenue Naomi was Director, Business Customer and Strategy for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in the UK, where she earlier led HMRC’s compliance division. She has also worked for Inland Revenue in Northern Ireland, and in the UK banking industry.

In 2016 Naomi won the Women of Influence Award for Public Policy

Naomi has a Master of Arts in English Literature and Sociology from Glasgow University.


Greg James - Deputy Commissioner, Change

Greg James | Deputy Commissioner, Transformation

Greg joined Inland Revenue in June 2013.

Greg has a wealth of experience in transformation and change, successfully leading a number of large scale programmes. In addition to this, Greg held executive roles at Fonterra as the Director Information Systems, Global Business Process, and Global Procurement. He was also acting CIO of Telecom Retail.


Mary Craig - Deputy Commissioner, Corporate Integrity and Assurance

Mary Craig | Deputy Commissioner, Corporate Integrity and Assurance

Mary has had an extensive and varied career with Inland Revenue since she joined in the early 1990s.

Prior to taking up the role of Deputy Commissioner Corporate Integrity and Assurance she had several senior roles in the Department. From 2008 Mary was Deputy Commissioner Corporate Services; other roles have included acting Deputy Commissioner Business Development and Systems, Group Manager for the Office of the Chief Tax Counsel, National Manager Business Management Services, Senior Advisor in Child Support and operational management positions in Manukau, Dunedin and Invercargill.

Mary has a Masters in Business Administration.

Mary is currently leading an across-the-organisation programme (He Kōtuitui) which will bring together all the work which we are doing to imbed the changes required to become the agile and intelligence-led organisation for the future. This programme includes completing all organisation design work, embedding new ways of working and leading and governing the transformed IR. He Kōtuitui will also once again incorporate the Pou Whirinaki Team for Early Life Support leading up to and through R4.


Simon Mason | Deputy Commissioner, Corporate Integrity and Assurance (Acting)

Simon started at Inland Revenue in 2013 as the Commercial Lead on IR’s Business Transformation Programme, a multi-year, multi-stage change programme to create a modern world-class revenue organisation. Simon was appointed to the role of Head of Commercial and Procurement in July 2016.

Simon has a wealth of commercial and procurement experience covering a wide range of sectors including Public Sector, Telecommunications, Insurance, Financial Services and Technology Services. During his 15+ year career, Simon has successfully led a number of large-scale procurement activities on both a contract and permanent basis. In addition to this, Simon has held senior management positions at Telecom New Zealand (now Spark) as the Head of Enterprise Relationship Management. He also led the Infrastructure and Operations team at Insurance Australia Group.

Simon took on the acting role of Deputy Commissioner Corporate Integrity & Assurance early in 2019 and will continue into 2020.


Mike Cunnington - Deputy Commissioner, Information, Intelligence and Communications

Mike Cunnington | Deputy Commissioner, Information & Intelligence Services

Mike joined IR as Deputy Commissioner - Information & Intelligence Services in July 2013.

Mike has led IR's work to develop our approach to compliance, build customer strategies and develop our digital, data analytics and marketing capabilities. He brings experience of leading customer-centric change in a range of organisations.

Prior to joining IR, Mike was Chief Marketing Officer for ANZ Bank and has held senior positions in marketing agencies in both New Zealand and the UK.


Emma Grigg | Deputy Commissioner, Policy and Strategy (Acting)

Emma joined Inland Revenue in the Policy Advice area in 1995. During this time Emma has been involved in a wide range of tax reforms with a particular focus on business and international tax. Emma holds LLB and BCom degrees from Auckland University and is also a Chartered Accountant. Prior to joining Inland Revenue Emma practiced as a tax lawyer in Buddle Findlay in Wellington and was a tax accountant with KPMG in Auckland


Sharon Thompson - Deputy Commissoner

Sharon Thompson | Deputy Commissioner, Customer & Compliance Services - Individuals

Sharon joined Inland Revenue in July 2017 and brings a depth of experience in leading change, building employee engagement and improving services for customers in the financial services industry.

Her career in banking (most recently at ASB and previously at Westpac) has included developing and leading strategic change within large customer facing teams. Most recently, her roles have been focused on the development and implementation of digital strategies to lift customer engagement.

Sharon holds a Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in Management, specialising in change management and strategy.


Cath Atkins - DC, PAS

Cath Atkins | Deputy Commissioner, Customer & Compliance Services - Business

Cath Atkins joined Inland Revenue in January 2017. Cath has over 25 years of policy experience in the public sector.

Before being appointed to her current role she held the position of Deputy Secretary, Macroeconomics and Growth at the New Zealand Treasury where she lead the Treasury’s work on settings to promote economic growth and a stable macroeconomic environment. Cath has held a range of senior leadership positions since joining the Treasury in 1999, including Deputy Secretary, Strategy, Change & Performance.

With a background in economics and international trade, Cath holds a Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in Economics.


Lara Ariell - Chief Financial Officer

Lara Ariell | Chief Financial Officer

Lara joined Inland Revenue in April 2016, initially on a 12 month secondment.

Before joining IR, Lara was the Deputy Chief Executive - Finance at the Tertiary Education Commission.

She also worked for the Ministry of Justice, initially as the CFO and then as General Manager Performance and Improvement, Courts and Tribunals. She also spent time as the CFO at Te Papa Tongarewa, the Museum of New Zealand, and working in planning and finance teams across the public sector. She started her career working in receivership and insolvency with accountancy firm Price Waterhouse and then McCallum Petterson and Co.


Mark Daldorf - Chief People Officer, People and Culture

Mark Daldorf | Chief People Officer, People and Culture

Mark was appointed to the role in January 2016.

He has an extensive career in the private sector in senior Human Resources and Change Management roles. His previous roles included General Manager Human Resources for Foodstuffs North Island where he led the people workstreams of the merger between Foodstuffs Wellington and Foodstuffs Auckland in 2012-13. Prior to this Mark worked internationally in a number of companies across Australia, the Middle East and Asia, including Emirates Airline, Westpac  and Standard Chartered Bank.

Mark has a Masters in Business Administration.


Martin Smith - Chief Tax Counsel

Martin Smith | Chief Tax Counsel.

Before joining Inland Revenue in 1995, Martin was a practising tax lawyer in large law firms in Australia and New Zealand. He was a tax consulting partner in the Sydney office of an international accounting firm, and was Director of Taxation Research for Ernst & Young in New Zealand.

Martin holds Bachelor of Laws with Honours (LLB (Hons)) and Master of Laws (LLM) degree from the University of Adelaide, a post-graduate Diploma in Financial Management from the University of New England, and a Master of Taxation Studies (Hons) from Auckland University. He is admitted as a barrister and solicitor in Australia and New Zealand and is a member of the International Fiscal Association and a Fellow of the Taxation Institute of Australia.


Gary Baird - Chief Technology Officer

Gary Baird | Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

Gary is the Chief Technology Officer for Inland Revenue joining us in April 2016. He leads the IT and Change Group (IT&C), a team of over 500 people who are proud to deliver trusted and reliable technology and digital business services to our customers and staff.

Gary has held executive positions at ANZ and DHL leading large and complex technology environments and has significant experience leading teams through transformation and integration projects.

Defined category Definition
Active customer
  1. A customer with any registered activity within a specific period, or
  2. a salary and wage earner whose only relationship with Inland Revenue is having PAYE deducted and paid on their behalf within a specific period.
Defined category Definition
Adjudication categories

Adjudication cases are classified (depending on the degree to which the position of the Commissioner of Inland Revenue was upheld) into the following five categories:

  1. decided fully for the Commissioner
  2. decided mostly for the Commissioner but not the full amount or grounds/reasons
  3. decided fully for the taxpayer
  4. decided mostly for the taxpayer but not the full amount
  5. decision unable to be reached on the amount of assessment.
Defined category Definition
Customers in debt

Any customers with overdue debt.

Defined category Definition
Entity type

A classification of customers based on their legal structure and tax obligations. These include companies, diplomatic missions, government departments, individuals, Māori authorities, partnerships, society/clubs, superannuation funds, trusts, unit trusts.

Defined category Definition
Filing channel

We distinguish between three types of filing channels:

  1. e-Filing (a system for registered tax agents to send and receive information electronically)
  2. paper-based filing, and
  3. web (online) filing.
Defined category Definition
Geographic area
  1. Geographic areas are based on Inland Revenue district offices:
    1. Auckland: Manukau, Takapuna
    2. Rest of the North Island: Gisborne, Hamilton, Napier, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Rotorua, Tauranga, Wellington, Whangarei
    3. South Island: Christchurch, Dunedin, Greymouth, Invercargill, Nelson, Timaru
    4. "Corporates" offices for customers not allocated to a specific geographic area.
  2. At an aggregate level district offices are combined into three major areas: Auckland, Rest of the North Island and South Island, as shown above.
Defined category Definition
GST turnover

GST turnover is calculated from GST returns as the sum of sales and income for the year ended 31 March.
For a two-monthly filer, this would mean the sum of gross sales on six successive GST returns, with the last return being for the period ending 31 March.
The GST tables only include GST collected or refunded by Inland Revenue. GST collected on imports by the New Zealand Custom Service is not included.

Defined category Definition

Customers not registered for GST or PAYE and not belonging to large enterprises (LE) or non-profit organisations (NPO).


  1. This includes individual customers receiving income from business (eg, rental property, shares) but not registered for GST or PAYE.
  2. Where there are overlaps between LE, NPO, SME and individuals, entities are allocated to the group according to the following order of priority. The priorities are:
    1. large enterprises (LE)
    2. non-profit organisations (NPO)
    3. small and medium enterprises (SME)
    4. individuals.
Defined category Definition
Large enterprise (LE)
  1. A non-individual entity which by itself or as a part of a business group has an annual turnover exceeding $100 million (calculated based on GST101 returns), or
  2. an entity belonging to specialist segments as follows:
  • Crown
  • financial
  • high-wealth individuals
  • manufacturing
  • non-resident entertainers
  • non-resident contractors
  • resources
  • services.
Defined category Definition
Liable parent (formerly non-custodial or paying)

A parent of a qualifying child who is normally required to pay child support.

Defined category Definition
Non-profit organisation (NPO)

All entities exempted from income tax and not belonging to large enterprises with the following exemption types:

  • society/club income < $1000
  • amateur sports clubs
  • charity
  • dairy herd society
  • district societies
  • scientific and industrial research
  • veterinary service clubs, or
  • all entities except building societies and friendly societies with "other" exemption type.
Defined category Definition
Overdue child support debt

The amount of an employer's or a liable parent's liability which is in arrears (due, but not paid), together with overdue receiving carer overpayments.


  1. Child support debt excludes debt  we collect on behalf of overseas agencies.
  2. This amount includes any penalties applied to the debt. Note that only the overdue penalties component is recognised as a debt from the Crown perspective.
Defined category Definition
Overdue debt case age

The length of time the debt has been overdue.

Defined category Definition
Overdue debt cases

A debt case is created when a due date for payment has passed without full payment being made. Other overdue debt elements may be added as they become overdue. The case will close when all overdue debt has been fully resolved.

Defined category Definition
Overdue debt element

A specific tax type and period for which a debt is due. A customer can have one or more debt elements.

Defined category Definition
Overdue student loan debt

The amount of repayment obligation for a tax year that is overdue.


  1. The definition applies to both residents and overseas based borrowers.
  2. This amount includes any penalties applied to the debt.
Defined category Definition
Overdue tax debt

The amount of tax that remains unpaid after the due date for payment. Overdue tax debt includes any penalty and interest applied to the debt.

Defined category Definition
Overdue Working for Families Tax Credits debt

When recipients are paid more than their entitlement and they don't repay it by the due date a debt arises. The amount includes any penalty and interest applied to the debt.

Defined category Definition
Payroll giving

A scheme which allows employees to donate money to an approved donee organisation (an organisation that has Inland Revenue-approved donee status) of their choice by having a deduction taken direct from their gross pay and receive immediate tax credits that reduce their PAYE payable.

Only employers who electronically file their employer monthly schedule and deduction form can choose to offer payroll giving to their employees.

Defined category Definition
Percentage of payments made on time

The percentage of late payments to the total number of payments per tax year.

Defined category Definition
Percentage of returns filed on time

The percentage of late filings to the total number of filings per tax year.

Defined category Definition
Receiving carer (formerly custodial parent)

A parent or carer of a qualifying child who is normally entitled to receive child support from a liable parent. They must have at least 35% care to receive child support.

Defined category Definition
Registered customer

Registered customers include all customers registered with Inland Revenue, either individuals or entities. Registered customers include some entities and people no longer active.

Defined category Definition
Revenue collected

Revenue collected includes only taxes and duties collected by Inland Revenue. GST collected by the New Zealand Customs Service is excluded. Numbers are unconsolidated.

Note: The Treasury publishes monthly financial statements prepared on a consolidated basis, meaning they eliminate tax transactions between departments, state-owned enterprises and Crown entities.

Defined category Definition
Revenue collected from Liable parents (formerly non-custodial or paying)

Revenue collected from liable parents includes all revenue collected during each tax year by Inland Revenue including payments related to other time periods.

Defined category Definition
Shortfall penalty

A penalty imposed as a percentage of a tax shortfall (a deficit or understatement of tax), resulting from certain actions on the part of a taxpayer. Shortfall penalties apply to most taxes and duties, including student loans, but not to child support repayments by liable parents.

The law divides these actions into five categories of fault or breach, with a specified penalty rate for each category. The severity of the penalty increases in proportion to the seriousness of the breach: Not taking reasonable care (20%), Unacceptable tax position 20%, Gross carelessness (40%), Abusive tax position (100%), Evasion (150%).

Defined category Definition
Small and medium enterprise (SME)
  1. All entities with an active relationship for GST or PAYE that do not belong to large enterprises or non-profit organisations, and
  2. all non-individual entities without active registration for GST or PAYE not belonging to non-profit organisations.
Defined category Definition
Source deductions

Source deductions include:

  1. PAYE (pay as you earn), and
  2. ESCT (employer superannuation contribution tax), and
  3. SSCWT (formerly known as the specified superannuation contributions withholding tax).
Defined category Definition
Tax agent

A tax agent prepares the annual returns of income for 10 or more customers in one of the following ways:

  • a practitioner carrying on a professional public practice
  • a person carrying on a business or occupation in which returns of income are prepared, or
  • a Māori Trustee.

A tax agent must be a registered Inland Revenue customer.

Defined category Definition
Taxable income

Taxable income for individuals is income on which their personal income tax is assessed for the March year.
For people with IR3 tax returns or Personal tax summaries, this is income from all taxable sources less allowable deductions and losses. People with negative income because of losses are recorded as having nil taxable income in the tables. For people who are non-filers, taxable income is deemed to be their total PAYE gross earnings in the year ended 31 March. PAYE gross earnings can include income from employment, and also taxable welfare benefits, New Zealand Superannuation, earnings-related ACC, student allowances, and paid parental leave.

Defined category Definition
Weighted overdue debt case age

The average age of the case elements weighted by their dollar value.

Defined category Definition
Working for Families Tax Credits

The Working for Families Tax Credits (WfFTC) consists of the following credit types:

  • FTC - family tax credit
  • IWTC - in-work tax credit replaced child tax credit from April 2006. Customers who received child tax credit before 1 April 2006 and don't qualify for in-work tax credit may continue to receive child tax credit
  • MFTC - minimum family tax credit
  • PTC - parental tax credit.

Note 1: WfFTC was collectively known as "family assistance".

Note 2: CTC - child tax credit. There are a very small number of people who receive this tax credit but because their numbers are now so few; they are no longer reported on separately.