Meet our Directors

Catalyst’s management style and team approach are key ingredients in our many successful open source projects. Our staff are natural collaborators who enjoy working cooperatively to achieve shared goals. It’s a pleasant and rewarding experience that attracts some of the most talented open source technologists to work at Catalyst.

Our Directors

Our Directors are all closely involved in continuing our excellent track record for service delivery.


Don Christie   

Don ChristieDon is one of the founders of Catalyst and has had over 25 years' experience in IT consulting and implementation. Don is a former President of the New Zealand Open Source Society and was on the Council of Internet New Zealand for two years. He manages Catalyst's global development strategy and key accounts and remains active on matters affecting the openness of the internet.

He has been responsible for the management and delivery of some key systems for Catalyst clients such as Spark, Fairfax NZ and Intel Corporation.


Godfrey Fernandez 

Godfrey Fernandez Godfrey, a founding Director of Catalyst, has over 26 years' experience in bespoke development and IT. Godfrey now manages key accounts and has oversight of our financial management and reporting functions, as well as Catalyst's HR functions.

Godfrey has had extensive involvement with the Elections Management System development and implementation in its various incarnations for the general elections, delivering results and statistics for New Zealand's electoral process since 1990.

Godfrey has also been involved in other significant project work, including support, project management and account management for various systems and clients, greenfield systems development, content management systems delivery, financial system conversions, various Y2K projects and the implementation of meat and other agricultural processing systems, implementation and support of internal systems for various government departments, and implementation of corporate web-enabled applications.


Sara Brownlie

Sara BrownlieSara Brownlie is an Independent Director. She also sits on the REANNZ (Research and Education Advanced Network of New Zealand), Rongotai College Board of Trustees and volunteers for Victim Support.

Sara is a Fellow Member of CPA Australia and a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors (IoD) in New Zealand and of the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ). Sara has had an extensive career working for the NZ public sector in senior financial management and now runs a consultancy business; Fargher Woods Ltd.


Mike O’Connor  

Mike O’ConnorMike has had a 30 year career in IT. A founding Director of Catalyst, Mike manages key accounts and delivery teams, and has a particular focus on our eLearning business and our expansion into Asia.

At Catalyst, Mike has overseen the delivery of some of Catalyst's largest pieces of work for government, news media, corporate and education clients. As an example, Mike has overseen the technical delivery of New Zealand's General Election management system for every election since 1987.

Mike has established Catalyst's joint ventures in education consulting, education product development and broadband monitoring. These ventures have established international partnership networks and collaborating organisations and have led to the development of Catalyst's international presence and client base.


Gavin Thompson  

Gavin ThompsonGavin, also a founding Director, also has over 25 years' experience in developing software systems in the manufacturing, engineering, financial and government sectors. Gavin manages Catalyst's hosting facilities and several key accounts and is an active advocate of open source participation and success.




Paul Waite  

Paul Waite Paul has many years' experience in the development and management of software projects. Paul has oversight of our quality assurance team, is critical to our general election-related software and clients, and takes particular interest in our project methodologies and our integrated testing approaches.

Over the last 13 years, Paul has worked with one of our most important clients, the former Chief Electoral Office, whose functions are now undertaken by the Electoral Commission. Paul helped build the core election management system that runs New Zealand's general and by-elections, starting with the 1999 election.

Paul has also worked with SOUNZ, the centre for New Zealand music, along with Volunteer NZ and many other clients.