Our history

The origins of EMA

The EMA was established in 1886 to help provincial employers navigate employee relations during the rise of unionism in New Zealand. 134 years later the EMA is part of a national business network together with Business Central, Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce (CECC), Otago Southland Employers' Association (OSEA) and BusinessNZ. BusinessNZ has grown to become New Zealand’s largest business advocacy body, championing a production, export-oriented, competitive business environment in which enterprise can thrive. Our wider business network represents over 14,500 member companies.

Where we are

Our locations

  • Auckland +64 9 367 0900 145 Khyber Pass Road
    Grafton, Auckland 1023
    New Zealand
    Private Bag 92066
    Victoria Street West,
    Auckland 1142
  • Hamilton +64 7 839 2710 103 Tristram Street
    Hamilton 3204
    New Zealand
    PO Box 490
    Waikato Mail Centre,
    Hamilton 3240
  • Rotorua +64 7 348 0334 Level 1 Trinity House
    1268 Haupapa Street
    Rotorua 3010
    New Zealand
    PO Box 7411,
    Rotorua 3042
  • Tauranga +64 7 571 0600 Smart Business Centre,
    65 Chapel Street,
    Tauranga 3110
    New Zealand
    PO Box 13 202
    Tauranga 3141
  • Brett O'Riley CEO Brett O’Riley is the Chief Executive of the EMA, having commenced in that role in January 2019. He is a graduate of Victoria University of Wellington, with post graduate qualifications from MIT (Boston) and Singularity University (San Jose). Brett returned to New Zealand from Australia in 2009 and has spent the last 10 years dedicated to the goal of growing the New Zealand innovation eco-system, as founding CE of NZICT, founding deputy CE of the Ministry of Science + Innovation, and recently as Chief Executive of Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development, Auckland’s economic growth agency until September 2017. Prior to that Brett worked in the telecommunications and IT sectors for 20 years in New Zealand and internationally. Prior to joining the EMA Brett worked as a Director and Advisor to organisations with a common goal, connecting them with international markets and opportunities. Brett will continue to be involved with some of these including directorships of Dotterel Technologies, Wine Grenade and the New Zealand Film Commission, and he also serves as the independent chair of the Hapi Brewing Success PGP project. Read more 
  • Matthew Dearing Head of Legal and General Counsel Our General Counsel and Head of Legal at EMA, Matt represents EMA members in mediation at the Employment Relations Authority and Employment Court. He works with both large and small companies across a range of areas including dispute resolution, restructuring, employee performance, reviewing and drafting employment agreements and in-house policy documents, as well as providing advice on a broad spectrum of employment issues. Prior to joining EMA in 2011, he was a Legal Advisor with the Broadcasting Standards Authority and a Judge's Clerk/Hearing Manager at the Environment Court for the Ministry of Justice. Matt has a Master of Laws from Victoria University of Wellington and was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court in 2005. He is a sitting member of the Auckland District Law Society Employment Law Committee.? Read more 
  • Melanie McKay Head of Corporate Communications & Marketing Melanie is a former journalist with more than 15 years’ experience in communications, public relations and marketing. Passionate about people and their environment, she has held in-house and consultancy roles for clients and companies from Moana New Zealand to Waterfront Auckland. Her portfolio for the EMA is broad but is centred on driving two-way communication and engagement with members and helping create the best business environment through topical and timely external relations. Read more 
  • Geraldine Bromley Chief Financial Officer Geraldine is the CFO at the EMA. She has over 10 years’ experience in the Finance, Banking and Professional Services industries. Previous roles include Performance and Planning Manager – Home Loans at ANZ and Senior Finance Business Partner at Experian. She holds a Bachelor’s in Management Studies with First Class Honours, Major in Accounting. She is currently studying for a Masters of Commercialisation and Entrepreneurship and is a member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. Known for her eye for detail and juggling priorities, she is passionate about helping business and enjoys growing the finance function. Read more 
  • Omima Alsafwani Head of People & Support Services Omima is responsible for shaping the people strategy and architecture to align with the EMA’s transformational business objectives, and to create an agile workforce capable of adapting and supporting continuous change. She has experience in senior roles in consultancy, with Goodman Fielder, Fonterra and at Drake International. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Human Resources and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Canterbury. Read more 
  • Alan McDonald Head of Advocacy & Strategy Alan McDonald is the Head of Advocacy and Strategy for the EMA. Alan’s role is to set and guide the policy agenda for the EMA and lobby both central and local government on behalf of the organisation. He also oversees ExportNZ in the Upper North Island with oversight of regional operations in Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga. He has a background in corporate and public affairs especially in developing and implementing large scale campaigns to effect significant industry change or achieve critical business goals. Read more 
  • Raymond Skoglund Head of Member Growth and Engagement Raymond has more than 30 years’ experience in the IT industry managing business growth, exceeding sales targets, and establishing new business. A key strength is his ability to create and drive sales strategies to secure new market segments, while maintaining the ongoing growth of the existing business and establishing new, long-lasting relationships. He joined the EMA as he relishes working in an organisation that is passionate about making a difference, fosters a culture of innovation, strives to deliver to outcomes and provides the highest level of member satisfaction. He takes great pride in what he does and derives personal satisfaction from helping organisations understand how they can transform their business. In addition to working first in sales and then as part IBM’s New Zealand-based Executive Team, Raymond, has worked with NZTE and run his own consultancy. Read more 

Our Board 

The EMA Board is responsible for the overall direction and strategy of EMA.
It also appoints the CEO, who has delegated authority for the day-to-day  running of  the business.

Learn more

The EMA Network

The wider EMA business network supports 14,500 member organisations.