Tax Policy Scholarship Alumni

Meet the many talented individuals who have taken part in the competition over the years. Below are short descriptions of all.

2015  |  2017  |  2019


Caleb McConnell

Caleb has spent the last four years working for a US law firm advising on a wide range of corporate tax matters. His practice has been broad, with a focus on the taxation of hedge funds, private equity funds and multi-national technology companies. His advisory practice has required detailed analysis of significant policy developments focused on the taxation of highly digitalized businesses (including the UK diverted profits tax, digital services tax, offshore intangibles tax and the OECD Pillar One “unified approach”). Whilst his practice remains principally transactional, Caleb retains a keen interest in tax policy.

Caleb is due to complete his Masters in Tax Law from Oxford University in September 2020 and received the Oxford Field Court Tax Chambers Scholarship. As part of his studies, he is writing his dissertation on the double taxation concerns arising from the recent proposals to implement incremental taxes (such as the digital services tax and the OECD unified approach).

·“Practical Tax Considerations Arising From Trends in European Fund Structuring,” co-authored with Will Smith, The Hedge Fund Law Report, June 13, 2019
·“How the EU Tax-Haven Blacklist May Affect Private Funds Formed in Blacklisted Jurisdictions,” co-authored with Will Smith, The Hedge Fund Law Report, November 2, 2017
·“How Recent Developments Under BEPS May Affect Fund Managers’ Ability to Use Special Purpose Vehicles,” co-authored with Will Smith, The Hedge Fund Law Report, October 5, 2017
·“Application of the newly proposed criminal “failure to prevent” offense to a common hedge fund structure,” Hedge Fund Law Report, 2016

Jeremy Beckham

Jeremy is an Associate Director with Deloitte where he works with clients across a range of industries on corporate income tax and international tax matters. Jeremy has completed a PhD in Commercial Law at the University of Auckland and has written many articles on international tax and tax administration topics that have been published in journals such as Bulletin for International Tax, Trusts and Trustees, Australian Tax Forum, New Zealand Business Law Quarterly and New Zealand Journal of Taxation Law and Policy. Since entering the Tax Policy Scholarship Competition in 2015, Jeremy has gone on to serve both as a Committee member of the Young IFA Network in New Zealand and as a Committee member of the Tax Policy Charitable Trust – proof that being a finalist in the competition can open the doors to some great opportunities in our small tax community!

Matthew Griffin

Peter North

Peter participated in the 2015 competition as a graduate in EY’s International Tax and Transaction Services team, in which he is currently a manager. Since the competition Peter spent 2.5 years in Wellington as a solicitor in Chapman Tripp’s tax team before returning to EY Auckland in 2018. Peter currently specialises in transfer pricing, with a particular focus on inbound financing arrangements, restructures and transfer pricing diligence. He continues to take a keen interest in tax policy and regularly engages with officials on transfer pricing policy matters.


Chris Park

Chris Park started his career as a GST and customs consultant in New Zealand, after studying law and music at university. He worked as an indirect tax advisor on GST/VAT implementations in Malaysia and the Middle East, before moving to London to work on indirect tax technology solutions.

Matt Woolley

Matt Woolley is a senior solicitor at Russell McVeagh, where he advises on cross-border financing structures, mergers and acquisitions, and dealing with the Inland Revenue’s investigation and dispute processes. He also advocates for tax law reform, an area for which he brings a unique perspective having previously advised on tax, foreign investment and trade policy while working for the New Zealand Treasury. Matt is a Chartered Accountant (Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand) and a committee member of the New Zealand Young International Fiscal Association Network, and in 2017 was a recipient of the Robin Oliver Tax Policy Scholarship.

Nicholas Coyle

Nicholas is currently working as a solicitor in the litigation team at Auckland based law firm, Keegan Alexander. He acts, and has acted, on a wide range of matters including debt recovery, property, insolvency, securities and company law matters. He previously worked at Inland Revenue in Legal and Technical Services where he developed an interest in tax policy. This interest was encouraged by his participation in the Robin Oliver Tax Policy Competition 2017 where his proposal regarding the deductibility of interest expenditure for tax purposes was selected for the finals.

Talia Harvey


John Lorentz

After beginning his career in tax transaction services, John now have the privilege of working between Deloitte’s Sustainability and National Tax Technical teams. He is motivated to explore how we can integrate the best of our thinking on tax policy, climate change, complex systems and community wellbeing. In particular, he is energised by the growing movement towards regenerative, organic agriculture. In 2019, John joined the Tax Policy Charitable Trust’s scholarship competition to propose radically accelerating agricultural R&D through a specialised tax credit (modifying the existing regime), paid for by a progressive tax on biological methane emissions – all aligned with NZ’s targets in the Zero Carbon Act. He looks forward to continuing to explore innovative (tax) policy responses to complex and systemic issues over the coming years. Outside the world of tax policy John is an avid gardener and roaster of coffee beans.

Nigel Jemson

Nigel started his career at Deloitte in tax and is currently the Group Tax Manager at Spark New Zealand.

In this role, Nigel is responsible for managing the tax compliance and reporting for Spark. This role complements Nigel’s enthusiasm for tax where he can apply his tax knowledge to interesting and complex challenges.

Nigel has retained a keen interest and passion for tax policy development throughout his career to date. Nigel was the winner of the 2019 Tax Policy Scholarship with his proposal for a “Trusted Taxpayer Regime” which proposed a concessionary tax regime for small business in exchange for enhanced Inland Revenue oversight over small business tax compliance.

Outside of work, Nigel is kept busy spending time with his wife and 1 year old daughter. Nigel is also a keen cyclist and has completed the Lake Taupo cycle challenge 5 times.

Shay Webster

For the past 4 years Shay has worked as a tax specialist in the Private team at Deloitte in Auckland, which focuses on advising SME businesses. Via his role at Deloitte he has experienced advising a broad range of clients on tax & accounting issues, from sole-traders & mum-and-dad property investors, through to some of the largest privately-owned businesses in New Zealand, as well as experience advising significant international businesses operating in New Zealand on their domestic tax issues. From his time working directly with SME’s he has developed an interest in practical domestic tax issues and how they impact privately-owned businesses and has developed expertise in the taxation of property transactions, group restructures & assisting owners realise the value of their businesses.

Outside of work he is passionate about travel, sport (football in particular) and music; his calendar is typically full of concerts however recent events have restricted this a little bit! He has also been involved in a number of small start-up businesses with friends & one of his ambitions is to one-day own his own business.