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  |  2022


Caleb McConnell

Caleb is a Partner at Simpson Thacher’s U.K. Tax Practice. He advises clients on tax aspects of a broad range of U.K. and international corporate and funds matters, with a focus on complex tax structuring of investment funds, cross-border mergers and acquisitions and fund financings. Caleb’s background includes roles as a Senior Tax Associate at US law firm, Sidley Austin and as a Solicitor at Chapman Tripp in New Zealand.

Caleb holds a Master’s in Tax Law with distinction from the University of Oxford, along with a Bachelor of Laws (with first class honours) and a Bachelor of Commerce with distinction from Victoria University of Wellington.

·“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 the Director of Tax at KPMG, with over a decade of experience advising clients across industries on corporate and international tax matters. His expertise lies in the set of international tax rules enacted in response to the OECD BEPS project and recent developments related to the OECD’s Two-Pillar Solution and Digital Services Taxes. Jeremy maintains a keen interest in tax policy and collaborates with Inland Revenue during the legislative development process to provide certainty of outcomes for taxpayers.

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.

A finalist in the 2015 Tax Policy Scholarship Competition, Jeremy has since served on the committees of the Young IFA Network in New Zealand and the Tax Policy Charitable Trust, showcasing how the competition can open doors in our small tax community!

Jeremy Beckham

Matthew Griffin

Matthew is currently the Financial Controller at ilabb, with extensive experience in improving financial reporting processes, implementing transfer pricing policies, enhancing cash flow management, and driving business strategy. Prior to this, Matthew held Financial Controller roles at Gosling Property Group and Hobby Co, where he tackled tax compliance automation, and e-commerce growth strategies.

Matthew is a founding member and Treasurer of the Blockchain Association of New Zealand. Continuing his enthusiasm for tax policy, he has drafted a paper exploring the use of blockchain technology in the New Zealand tax system. Additionally, Matthew was a top 4 finalist in the Robin Oliver Tax Policy Scholarship competition, where he presented a novel approach for GST on cross-border transactions.

Peter North

Peter is an Associate at Cleary Gottlieb in the UK, where his practice focuses on corporate taxation, particularly providing tax assistance on mergers and acquisitions, private equity, and financing transactions. He regularly advises on cross-border investment structures, capital and debt market offerings, employment-related tax issues, and transaction taxes.

Previously, Peter was an Associate at White & Case and practiced in New Zealand with EY and Chapman Tripp, specializing in cross-border investment, transfer pricing, tax controversy, and policy matters.

A participant in the 2015 tax policy scholarship competition, Peter maintains a keen interest in tax policy developments.


Chris Park

Chris is the Senior Strategic Alliance Manager – Accounting and Consulting at Avalara in the UK. He specializes in building commercially valuable relationships with accounting/consulting practices across EMEA, from sole practitioners to Big 4 firms.

Previously, Chris was the Manager of Tax Technology at PwC UK and prior to that he was an indirect tax advisor on GST/VAT implementations in Malaysia and the Middle East with PwC, KPMG, and Keypoint. He began his career in New Zealand as a GST and customs consultant after studying law and music.

Matt Woolley

Matt is a Senior Associate in the corporate team at Quigg Partners, where he advises on a wide range of commercial, tax, and regulatory matters. His expertise includes mergers and acquisitions, private equity transactions, joint ventures, and overseas investments.

Previously, as a Senior Solicitor at Russell McVeagh, Matt advised on cross-border financing structures, M&A deals, and Inland Revenue’s investigation and dispute processes. He brings a unique perspective, having worked for the New Zealand Treasury, advising on tax, foreign investment, and trade policy.

A Chartered Accountant and previously a committee member of Young IFA, Matt actively advocates for tax law reform. His commitment to the field was recognized in 2017 when he won the Robin Oliver Tax Policy Scholarship.

Nicholas Coyle

Nicholas is a Senior Associate at Couch Harlowe Kovacevich, an Auckland-based law firm, where he applies his extensive experience in commercial litigation, focusing on complex contractual, property, and insolvency disputes. Previously, he held senior roles at WRMK Lawyers, Brookfields Lawyers, and Keegan Alexander.

Before his current position, Nicholas worked as a Solicitor at Inland Revenue’s Legal and Technical Services, providing legal expertise and support on tax and compliance matters. This role sparked his interest in tax policy, which was further fueled by his participation in the 2017 Robin Oliver Tax Policy Competition, where his proposal on interest expenditure deductibility reached the finals.

Talia Harvey

Talia Harvey is a Senior Policy Advisor at Inland Revenue, leading regulatory stewardship reviews to ensure effective and efficient tax regulation. Her career spans over 14 years at Inland Revenue, progressing from investigator handling complex tax evasion and avoidance cases to her current policy role.

In 2017, Talia was a joint winner of the Tax Policy Scholarship Competition for her innovative proposal on charity taxation. This work was presented to the 2017 Tax Working Group and featured in their final recommendations. Talia holds a Master in Taxation Studies with honours, completed in 2020.


John Lorentz

After beginning his career in tax transaction services, John is now Senior Sustainability Advisor at Beca. He’s an experienced sustainability professional who is passionate about exploring the intersections of sustainable development, community flourishing and good public policy to create a sustainable future for all.

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.

Nigel Jemson

Nigel is a passionate tax professional dedicated to helping kiwi businesses navigate tax complexities. As the Director of Tax at PwC New Zealand, he leverages his expertise from previous roles at Spark (Group Tax Manager) and Deloitte (Senior Tax Consultant) to deliver practical corporate tax advice across diverse industries like energy, media, property development, and telecommunications.

With experience in both in-house and professional services roles, Nigel understands the importance of translating complex regulations into comprehensible strategies. He also actively contributes to enhancing New Zealand’s tax system through his involvement with Young IFA and PwC’s Knowledge and Insights tax policy team.

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.

Shay Webster

Shay is a versatile finance and operations leader with expertise spanning corporate roles, entrepreneurship, and professional services. He currently serves as the Head of Finance and Operations at Qwilr, a software company in Sydney, overseeing Finance, Legal, HR, Business Operations, and Professional Services as the company scales globally.

Previously, Shay co-founded LevelUp, a startup-focused management training marketplace. Before that, he spent 5 years at Deloitte, providing accounting, tax, and advisory services to startups and large privately-owned groups across Australia and New Zealand. His specialties include financial/management accounting, corporate structuring, business advisory, change management, tax compliance, and corporate law.


Vivien Lei

Vivien Lei

Vivien is currently Senior Group Tax Advisor at Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, where she helps manage tax compliance and advisory for the global group. Her previous experience includes M&A tax at EY and six years as an entrepreneur.

Her background in the social impact sector inspired her winning proposal to the 2022 Tax Policy Scholarship for an “Impact-Weighted Tax” to tax organisations based on their net positive or negative environmental impact. The proposal aims to help better reflect the scarcity rent on resources and cost of cleaning up negative environmental externalities, while also incentivising organisations to proactively innovate towards positive impact. The policy has since been featured by Sir Ronald Cohen and on the New Zealand Tax Podcast. Outside of the tax world, Vivien dabbles in governance roles in not-for-profits.

Mitchell Fraser 

Mitchell is an Associate in the Tax team at Allen & Overy in the U.K. As a New Zealand-qualified solicitor, he brings expertise in a wide range of areas, including M&A, restructuring, debt capital markets, tax advisory matters, and tax disputes resolution.

Previously, he was a Tax Solicitor at Mayne Wetherell and Russell McVeagh, two well-respected law firms in New Zealand. He also served as a committee member at the Young IFA Network, a professional organization dedicated to fostering the development of young professionals in the field of taxation.

Mitchell’s tax policy insights were recognised in the 2022 Tax Policy Scholarship Competition, where he proposed an innovative alternative to address unintended consequences of Inland Revenue’s information collection powers.

Mitchell Fraser
Daniel Doughty

Daniel Doughty 

Daniel is a Tax Strategy Analyst at the New Zealand Treasury, where he supports one of the Treasurys core objectives to manage state sector and public finances. Driven by his passion for tax policy, he actively participates as a committee member at the Young IFA Network – New Zealand, a platform dedicated to nurturing young professionals in the tax community. Before joining the Treasury, Daniel was a Senior Consultant at EY in Wellington.

In the 2022 Tax Policy Scholarship Competition, Daniel proposed to introduce a consolidated reporting regime for small businesses. His creative vision aimed to simplify tax reporting processes, showcased his ability to identify and address complex tax challenges faced by kiwi businesses.

Daniel’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Otago, providing him with a solid foundation in legal and commercial principles relevant to his work in tax strategy.

Jordan Yates 

Jordan is a Senior Tax Consultant at ASB, a role he has held since 2022. His career journey began at PwC New Zealand, where he spent over four years honing his skills as an Associate and Senior Associate in the Financial Advisory Services team.

In the 2022 Tax Policy Scholarship Competition, Jordan’s fresh-thinking approach to tax policy made him a finalist. Seeing the fragmented and politically charged nature of the tax policy landscape, he proposed the establishment of an independent New Zealand Tax Council. Modeled after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, this council would be responsible for designing and enacting fiscal policies related to the nation’s tax system.

Jordan Yates