Our Team

Amanda Barker – Director

Tauranga – Bay Of Plenty

Amanda is the Director of Pillar Consulting which she started in 2016 after moving back to New Zealand from Australia. With experience working in the coal mining sector in Central QLD, Amanda has also worked with a large number of organisations across NZ from a range of sectors since beginning Pillar four years ago.

Currently engaging with more than 20 businesses across NZ, Amanda has experience working in tough environments such as Ports, Farms, Orchards and Construction sites. She often engages with Boards and senior staff to ensure that they understand their duties when it comes to NZ Health and Safety and Employment legislation, as well as ensuring best practice systems and processes are implemented to build a strong culture.

Amanda sits on the BOP branch committee for NZISM (New Zealand Institute for Safety Management) and is passionate about providing her clients with tools and skills to build a strong health and safety and people culture. She thrives on having robust, educational conversations with people about their business and providing training and coaching sessions to staff, empowering them with the skills to do their jobs safely.

As a business owner, Amanda is also a member of the Business Women’s Network (BWN) committee in Tauranga and is passionate about seeing small businesses in NZ thrive. She was also the first Premium Partner in New Zealand to sign up to using the NZ owned ‘Safe365 – Intelligent Health and Safety Software System’, an online tool that has been named as one of the Top 50 Enterprise Start Ups in 2018 by APAC CIO Outlook.

Talk to Amanda: 021 621 733 – Email: amanda@pillarconsulting.co.nz

Mariska Carlson-Smit – Director



Mariska started her career in her country of origin South Africa and then relocated to the UK where in London she worked for a couple of large Recruitment Agencies, both of which have global footprints as a brand. After falling in love with New Zealand on a working holiday, she decided to make NZ her home. She has worked with three major Recruitment Agencies over the last 13 years with a variety of success and challenges as a senior consultant, or senior manager. As a recruitment professional Mariska can think with an innovative lens which has paid off for her previous employers, landing significant clients and training and developing high performing teams.

In her last role as Group General Manager for one of Wellingtons major recruitment players, the day to day would cover leading a team of Consultants and Administration staff, driving sales and ensuring the right culture was in place so that operationally the company would have excellent continuity.

Mariska gained accreditation on psychometric assessment interpretation and facilitation through OPRA Consulting; this is a powerful tool to ensure clients and candidates find the right fit which improves employee retention by making the right hiring decisions. In this role, she was also the Human Resource and Health and Safety Manager across Wellington and Auckland which she has a particular passion for and boded well for her next journey with us here at Pillar Consulting.

Talk to Mariska 027 528 4713 – Email: mariska@pillarconsulting.co.nz

Katharina Schmidt

Senior Health & Safety Consultant

Kat joined the Pillar Consulting team in Tauranga in 2018, bringing with her a wealth of knowledge, experience and qualifications across a range of industries.

Having worked in the Kiwifruit industry in NZ, where she was a Health and Safety Manager for a local Bay of Plenty post-harvest operator company, as well as in the education sector as a Safety & Wellbeing Business Partner, Kat enjoys the variety of working with a range of Pillar Consulting clients.

Originally from Germany, Kat worked as an Environment, Health and Safety Manager for a multinational conglomerate company in the Renewable Energy sector, which had her regularly travelling across Europe as part of the management team of major offshore construction sites, planning and implementing safety initiatives throughout their various locations.

 She has a Bachelor of Engineering in Hazard Control as well as the German version of the NEBOSH Diploma (called SIFA in Germany) and has recently completed the NEBOSH International General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety in NZ. She is a Graduate member of the NZISM (New Zealand Institute of Safety Management) and a member of Engineering New Zealand and the New Zealand Society for Safety Engineering.

 Kat is qualified to lead health and safety incident investigations. Her methodical, detail-oriented approach makes her particularly accomplished in this area and many of our clients highly value the conclusions that she articulates in her reports.

 Kat is passionate about what she does and loves educating others on health and safety initiatives, systems and processes as well as behaviours. She is process driven as well as results oriented, loves partnering with her clients and having exposure to a range of industries.

Kat has recently relocated back to Germany and works for Pillar Consulting remotely

Talk to Kat:  katharina@pillarconsulting.co.nz

Heather Mackay

Health & Safety Coordinator – Wellington


Heather joined the Pillar Consulting team in August of 2019.

Having recently returned to NZ after living in Seattle with her husband and three children, she is excited at the opportunity to help NZ organisations achieve safer working environments.

Heather’s work history includes 15 years of retail, account management and sales in the pharmaceutical industry.

Heather also worked in the Aviation Industry for 4 years where health and safety standards and procedures are paramount to every aspect of operations.

Based in Wellington, her role as Client Relationship Coordinator is to ensure our clients gain ultimate value and are entirely satisfied with the services we provide.

Heather is excited at how she can help clients achieve their best across the health and safety landscape by working with the highly talented and experienced team at Pillar Consulting.

Talk to Heather  027 226 2706 – Email: heather@pillarconsulting.co.nz

Natasha Jurisich

Health & Safety Consultant – Tauranga – Bay Of Plenty

Tash joined Pillar consulting in January 2020 as a Health and Safety and Human Resources Consultant. She brings with her valuable experience from various roles across the Manufacturing, Steel Construction and Agricultural sectors.

As a Health and Safety Professional, Tash has worked within organisations from the ground up in the development, implementation and management of best practice systems. She is passionate about worker engagement and creating a positive culture around Health and Safety within an Organisation. Always committed to finding the best solution, Tash prefers to take a practical approach to health and safety, looking to implement systems that actually work within an organisation while maintaining the ultimate goal that all workers go home healthy and safe.

Tash has New Zealand Diploma in Business endorsed in Human Resources. She is experienced across multiple HR functions, including the design and implementation of HR Policies and Procedures, job design and recruitment as well as people and performance management. Specializing in communication, Tash is well practiced in working with organisations to strengthen positive team culture which she believes is an integral part of building productivity and performance.

Talk to Natasha 021 627 204 – Email: natasha@pillarconsulting.co.nz

Jane Lenting

Health & Safety Consultant – Wellington & Wairarapa

Jane joined the Pillar Consulting team in July 2019.  She was looking to join a small team of Health and Safety professionals and saw an opportunity in working with Pillar Consulting.

Jane has worked mainly in the oil industry, as an electrical engineer and project manager.  This included being in Aberdeen, Scotland in the early 1990s and involved in remedial work and safety related projects for various clients, which were initiated following a disaster on the offshore oil production platform Piper Alpha. 

More recently Jane worked in Wellington for BP Oil, in downstream engineering and refinery planning.  This work included developing contractor safety management systems.

A career change followed, kick started by completing the Graduate Diploma in Viticulture and Oenology at Lincoln University.  Jane then worked in the Wairarapa in wine sales and wine making as well as in developing a Health and Safety Management system for one of the Wairarapa’s larger wine companies.

Based in Martinborough, Jane works with a Pillar Consulting Wellington based client, a company owning multiple bars and restaurants in the Wellington and Waikato regions.

Talk to Jane on  021 025 78799 – Email: jane@pillarconsulting.co.nz

Sandra Partridge

Health & Safety Consultant

In response to many of our clients being based in New Zealand’s largest city, Sandra has joined the Pillar team as the first Auckland based consultant.  With a strong background in sports, working across Health and Safety and Event Management, Sandra has also more recently been involved in implementing safety initiatives and support within the construction and hospitality sectors.

As a Health and Safety professional she has a strong focus on providing practical solutions to support organisations and the wellbeing of their employees. She brings a positive approach to the table and is passionate about educating and training her clients in the importance of a positive safety culture, making it second nature to them in their work environment.

Sandra is excited to work with our Auckland based clients to implement health and safety systems and processes that work specifically for them, at the same time as fostering worker engagement to enhance positive behaviours within an organisation and promoting health and safety as everyone’s responsibility.  

Talk to Sandra on 021 0267 9319 – Email: sandra@pillarconsulting.co.nz

Jacinda Matzer

Health and Safety Coordinator – Auckland

Jacinda joined the Pillar Consulting team in September 2021. With a varied background including hospitality and sports administration covering wellbeing, health and safety, and administration, Jacinda brings a passion for team participation and welfare. 

With experience spanning large corporate hotels, one of New Zealand’s largest wine retailers, and as director of an Auckland catering company for 13 years, Jacinda understands the importance of procedures and protocols, while nurturing worker engagement. With a Diploma in Copy Editing, Jacinda has a meticulous eye for detail in implementing systems and processes. 

Jacinda is looking forward to working with our Auckland clients, building relationships while creating and streamlining systems to ensure health and safety is at the forefront of daily business activities. 

With time spent throughout New Zealand and Australia, Jacinda now resides in Auckland with her husband, daughter and three cats. 

Talk to Jacinda – Email: jacinda@pillarconsulting.co.nz

Chantelle Venter – Director Australia

Chantelle is the Director of Pillar Consulting Group Australia, the sister company of Pillar Consulting in New Zealand.  Wanting to build a career that had more focus on developing and maintaining relationships helping people, Chantelle began her career in customer service, talent acquisition and human resources. She started her own consultancy focusing on IT and financial recruitment and it grew strongly for five years. Family values became central to her life, so she sold her consultancy and moved to New Zealand to raise a family. Chantelle quickly built an active profile in New Zealand, working with a variety of companies as a principal consultant and implementing developmental changes in large businesses. More recently Chantelle qualified to consult in Workplace Health and Safety in Brisbane Queensland, partnering with our clients to help them put strong, robust processes in place to allow them to protect their people and their business. Driven by a strong work ethic, challenge, and change, she continue her passion to make a genuine effort to improve people’s lives. Chantelle consistently deliver quality within her work and are passionate about people, change and technology. 

Talk to Chantelle on 04 1953 9280 – Email: chantelle@pillarconsulting.com.au

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